Dutiful. Accommodating. Selfless.
Lies. Sort of. Sometimes.
Better than the alternatives.
Demanding. Difficult. Self-centered.
Peace and comfort of others at her own expense.
A cop out. An avoidance tactic.
It’s easy to meet the needs of those who know what they want.
She doesn’t. Or she’s not sure.
True peace and comfort exist in more and less.
More makes light her journey.
This poem came out of one of the exercises from the writing course I took. What was interesting about this exercise was the process for getting to the final “exhale.” At the end of a given day, you were to review your words and actions for any lies—big or small, explicit or by omission. Let’s face it, most of us lie to ourselves or others every now and then, or more frequently. What I came to realize is that perhaps the biggest lie I tell myself is the lie of less than. Less than is how I can often feel.
Awake in the middle of the night shortly after writing this poem, a thought crept into my consciousness. More. It’s all about more and filling up, not with things outside myself, but from what’s within me. Less than is an illusion.
Once I got back to sleep, I had a dream that my ex was starting a new business across the street from where I lived and I was going to have to see his name on the outside of a building every day. I was in a rage, storming around the neighborhood, knocking on doors, and demanding answers. I rarely remember my dreams but this one I remembered in vivid detail, especially the anger. That anger stayed with me for hours after waking.
Having recently been shown the gold that can be mined by analyzing dreams, I sat down to dig into the messages the dream held for me. This is what surfaced …
- I’m only as visible as the attention you give me.
- Don’t hold onto the past. There is so much more.
- You don’t need to walk through every door that’s open to you.
- Do what YOU want.
- You don’t need to worry about out there. It’s safe in here. You are home. You are loved.
- Love what is.
- Being second doesn’t mean you don’t come first. Be you.
There was a whole lot of less than going on in that dream. From experience, I know this anger didn’t have anything to do with my ex. This anger was all about me. The dream reminded me of all the ways I have made myself small in order to accommodate others and make them feel comfortable. Playing small has always been a safe place for me to be. Going along to get along maintained a sense of peace. Playing small kept the apple cart upright.
It’s always a false sense of peace, though; an illusion that keeps us separate from our true selves. I think there comes a time—or many times—in our lives when we can no longer play small and go along with the expectations that friends, family, coworkers, society, etc. have put on us—implicitly or explicitly. To live a truly meaningful life, we need to be more of who we really are and less of what others expect of us or what we think they expect of us. Only by finding peace and comfort with ourselves can we access the more that exists in us and in the life around us.
There is always more. More makes light your journey.