Learning of my own arrogance is a painful experience.
Allowing myself the opportunity to shift and grow from the experience is both terrifying and electrifying.
I’m not even sure of where to start to share this journey because the seeds have long since been planted and bloomed. Kind of like a gardener trying to get a simple action completed which leads instead to a whole series of tasks. To plant the green beans you need to till the soil, and to do that you need the wheelbarrow which is filled with dahlia tubers which can only be emptied into the potting shed filled with last year’s saved seeds. In other words, nothing is unconnected. This learning now is connected to yesterday’s and will provide the soil for tomorrow’s new epiphany.
To get to this current learning, to understand the roots of my arrogance, I don’t try to be neat or ordered.
I just ask for whatever is related to step forward, in no particular order. An array of images pop up: the six year old finally getting the process of reading and the look of pride and satisfaction on my father’s face. The excitement of speaking Japanese and being able to make new friends. The first time someone told me of the powerful changes in their life because of their Reading with me. Telling someone no from a balanced place for the first time. Feeling the depth and breadth of myself. Through all of these experiences, I lifted myself into the wonder and power of me. I felt in balance with myself and felt myself part of a greater whole, me neither better than nor worse than, just me standing in awe of self, other, all.
However, other images also appear: me angry that I hurt so badly after a car wreck. Yelling at my daughter because I was exhausted and not taking time for myself. Smirking at someone’s lack of knowledge about something I thought I knew a lot about. Knowing I am right and he is wrong simply because I can’t be wrong. Oh, Lord! Help me save me from myself. In all of these images I am holding myself as better than, smarter than, more perfect than. But isn’t this part of our human experience: finding balance between holding self down and exaggerating beyond sense and truth
I came to this awareness of arrogance when I realized I was trying to build myself up by making someone else wrong.
My sense of balance, my sense of self-worth cannot, do not come by pushing someone else down. That is arrogance in motion, clear, simple, in my face. Yuck! That’s not what I want for myself or for anyone. I am amazing, powerful beyond my capacity to see sometimes, not because I am better than, simply because I am, I exist, I get up every morning and give my life the best that I am capable of. Instead I find that I come naturally to balance, within my power when I let go of my inflexible demand to always be right. I keep myself in my arrogance when I try to make myself right by making the other wrong.
I also know that I have had this tendency because of being around people who did the same to me.
Abuse in relationships, at its core, is an attempt to build power over by convincing one side of the relationship to be incapable, powerless, wrong. When you are on this side of the relationship, if your sense of self is weakened, it’s easy to accept the pounding down as truth — you are wrong, weak, and without power to make other choices.
To get out of this dynamic, you must find within yourself the ability to choose for yourself a different narrative about self.
And it is very easy to do this in the same way it was done to you by making the other wrong so that your truth can emerge. I won’t stand in judgment of this process choice because I know I have done it myself and at the time it was the only hold on reality for myself that I could find.
However, I am in a different place now, a place of safety of my own creation. I am in my safe harbor which I have built for myself.
And in this safe place no one need be wrong so that I can be right. No one, especially not those trying their best to be open, honest and truthful with me. The best of me is. The best of me is always growing and learning and allowing truth to emerge in this moment now. Not because I am better than or more right or more anything, simply because my powerful being is here, now, in this moment where we both are.