A very dear student sent this to me after some intensive coaching. It is with her permission and blessing that I am sharing it with you. May it shed light on the dark places of your journey and grant you greater freedom in your soul.
My mom gave me the rain.
My dad gave me the sun.
I am the rainbow.
My mom didn’t look at me with joy, the way affectionate, healthy moms do.
She didn’t look at anyone with joy, not even herself.
This devastated me. It made me very sad, but the sadness as a child would have overwhelmed me. So, I expressed anger and spent most of my childhood hating her.
I became trapped in an iceberg of coldness. Like the little match girl, I felt like an orphan, unworthy. Cold.
When I uncovered the sadness, and embraced it, it scared the hell out of me. What was I to DO with the iceberg?
By then I had learned this idea that I AM Awareness. I AM Presence. I AM Love.
I allowed the Awareness to be a space to hold the sadness. It took a couple of days of staying with it. Of allowing the Awareness to lovingly face the iceberg, without trying to change it. In one moment, the iceberg melted.
I was set free. Free to feel sadness. Free to let it pass through me without resistance. Now, when I feel sad, it feels like a raincloud. Sometimes stormy. But it’s okay. I feel safe with it. It doesn’t overwhelm me anymore. The cleanse I feel afterwards is quiet and beautiful.
I heard that sadness is saying goodbye to the old story of who I was. This feels right to me. I feel like I’m shedding stories. And I think I’m physically losing weight as this is happening.
My dad taught me from a very young age that he would monitor and decide if what I was saying was true and that he would decide if we, his children, were winners or losers (just because he said so). At any time. For whatever reason. I adored him. He was like the golden sun to me. But I hated when he did this. I felt angry and then powerless because nothing I said made a difference. There was nowhere to express my anger, though.
He wouldn’t hear me. So, I stuffed it. Whenever I needed something from him, I learned to justify myself and to be needy. To make myself small, so that he could feel big. I learned to constantly try to prove my needs and my worth. Rather than just being true. I spent a ton of energy trying to get his approval, which had nothing to do with my behavior and everything to do with what he thought and felt.
For years, I felt trapped. I learned to set boundaries with him and with others, but still needed to justify myself rather than simply saying NO. Even if I simply said NO to the other, I would try to absolve myself to them in my head. Or make them wrong. There was no peace in this.
One day, I really listened to my side of the conversations that were happening in my head. I saw my justifications that were unceasing. And I allowed myself to feel – and identify – the core feeling underneath my words. Guilt. Pure, unabashed guilt. Like chains that tightly bound me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. You couldn’t even see my eyes.
So, I sat with the guilt. I hated doing this. But I knew that there was no way out – but through. With Awareness, I became a space to hold the guilt. I turned lovingly toward the guilt, to the best of my ability.
I saw that there’s no way any child could feel that guilty – that bound up – unless they were truly innocent. Innocent enough to buy a story that someone told them. And to love that person with all their heart. Innocent enough to perpetuate that story in order to belong.
Staying with this feeling of guilt took so much courage. I had to keep convincing myself to stay in my body. To feel. To not run or abandon it.
After a couple of days, the chains dropped into a heap and I fell in love with the young child who had lived inside those chains and who was now set free.
I saw that buying into the guilt kept me small, which is how I bought love as a child. (Love shouldn’t ever have to be bought, but kids are resilient and do whatever it takes to adjust and figure things out to survive.)
I could thank the guilt now, strange as that sounds. I’m not completely clear of it because I feel a constriction in my throat as I wrote that last sentence. And yet, I can honestly turn toward the guilt with kindness. Now it represents my innocence, my good heartedness, my kindness. The sun. It’s part of my experience. I am learning to love what is rather than resist it. And in doing so, I am setting myself free.
Free to love. Free to connect with myself. Free to have mercy and kindness for myself. Free to be the rainbow that I am. Free to play and express myself honestly, maybe for the first time in my life. Free to turn toward myself with a gaze that a loving mother gives her daughter. Free to trust myself and to trust my needs without hesitation or justification, the way a kind and benevolent parent does. Free to fly as high and as fast as I want to go!
I had a dream last night where I was on a ferry boat and as we were docking at the other shore, the boat rocked. I was at the top of a stairwell inside the boat, and there was a man nearby who held his arm out and steadied me, just in case I needed it. I felt thankful to him, for his kindness.
When the door opened, I saw Robin Williams just a few feet in front of me announcing to everyone that we have arrived at the other shore. Then he personally let me know that the further I go inland, the more beautiful it will be. I walked inland and one of the first things I saw, in a clearing, in the center of many trees, was the tallest and most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen in my life. With pastel pink and lavender shimmering balls and many lights. Really beautiful.
I guess that’s what a rainbow does. It simply shines.
That’s what I will do.