One day recently, I had a big upset. And it was so painful, I kind of shot out the other side. I honestly became delirious, endorphins even from pain are still kind of awesome, when you can imagine things are ok. The angels, who I work with daily, were really frustrated with me. I was wild, and free and probably acting pretty silly.
I figured it out later. The angels weren’t so interested in me discovering how to metabolize pain, they were more interested in me kind of growing up. If I’d had a more mature outlook, this whole bag would have been one of those things we so easily brush aside. “Its them, its not me, Im fine, you didn’t hurt my feelings.” Instead of the two year old temper tantrum. Its kind of embarrassing to be my age and still have that! And yet who among us doesn’t have their past injuries that can be activated by a situation that looks unkind, even if it isn’t meant to be that way.
In this realization, I could see the event that had triggered me wasn’t so unkind. I was looking at something benign, a sandwich on the counter. The sandwich is not good or bad, big or small, right or wrong. Its only a single thing, by itself, never huge in the scheme of a week or month or year. It has no overarching significance.
I’ve told myself a story, “I’m irritating to people, I’m rejected and it’s my fault for being so pink and loud.” It’s not a helpful story. It maintains my injury, and I tell it to myself when I think it’s happening again.
Like that story I tell myself, that sandwich is just one element of my life experience. Like that story, the sandwich isn’t out to get me. The story is my way of teaching myself and preventing myself from being pink and loud and getting hurt for it. I have chosen to pick up the sandwich, believe it is poison, and carry it forever. If it’s a story of how I’ve been hurt, it’s almost impossible to resist! But if it were a sandwich!?
So its a process, picking thru the stories as they come up. They are simple. They happened, and like a sandwich, they are what I describe them as. “This sandwich has carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, protein and vegetables. It’s vital for your body.” Or I can change the whole experience by saying, “This sandwich has wheat, a known allergen, beef with hormones added, addictive quantities of sugar.” I can describe the same sandwich as, “A fun time for family and friends to share this celebration of taste,” Or I can say, “This sandwich has 4,000 calories!! No one should eat this thing! It’s made to block your arteries!”
It’s a relief to slow down, to remember this idea. That past, it’s just one sandwich after another. I choked on them forever ago, the story can rest there, where it belongs, in the past. And I can look at them and redefine them completely. I can make a story I want to carry.
The old memories come up and my tears rise. I can heal this truly devastating thing I lived through, every time I see it, and allow myself to say, “Oh, there it is again. It was awful.” But the conclusion doesn’t have to be that I caused it by being too pink. or too loud. That story is no more than a sandwich. I think I’d rather say, “The angels are right, it was all about them. I am vibrant, I am loud and joyous. And my pink is just right for me.”