NOTE: I came to write another blog, YEARS after I wrote this one, which I found in my drafts. I publish it here, first, because it’s still appropriate, ESPECIALLY in light of very new and joyful developments since I wrote it. It illustrates how, even though I wrote it truly years ago, and lost it in the drafts folder, life hadn’t changed much for me in this department, until now….. but I digress. Here’s the story:
I woke up this morning from a horrifying dream. As I awoke, and realized how relieved I was to be “only dreaming”, and watching the waves of mortification wash through me anyway, I was bemused. It gave me a LOT to think about.
Did you ever wonder why the word embarrassed spells, roughly, “bare assed”? Wikipedia has an especially interesting definition, (and more than I can put here, so check it out). “Embarrassment is an emotional state of intense discomfort with oneself, experienced upon having a socially unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others. Usually some amount of loss of honor or dignity is involved, but how much and the type depends on the embarrassing situation. It is similar to shame, except that shame may be experienced for an act known only to oneself. Also, embarrassment usually carries the connotation of being caused by an act that is merely socially unacceptable, rather than morally wrong.”
So anyway, in my dream, I was at a conference. I was up-front of this conference, welcoming?, introducing?, noticing?, a good friend, tall slim guy, very young, who was the keynote speaker on writing. He was teaching us to write. So what was I doing?
If you have ever worn pantyhose, you know that the waistband can suddenly ROLL downward, and tuck itself under the “abdominal flap” some of us are cursed with on these lovely goddess bodies. Getting your hand under them, to unroll them, can be tricky, because sometimes the girth is longer than the arms….and/or it’s sticky, because tight clothing and rolls of flab are diabolical enemies, especially when you introduce hot sticky weather. So, I am walking off the stage, when my capris pretend they are panty-hose, and pop into a roll, exposing my front and back flaps. Okay, even writing this is embarrassing. It didn’t even happen to me in real life.
But in my dream — no, definitely nightmare — I am standing there, turning front to back, trying desperately to pull my pants up. OMG – I watch the tall skinny guy, and BOY, is he shocked….curious….open-mouthed….mortified…. Why would his friend pull such a stunt and embarrass him like that? EMBARRASS HIM? HE is embarrassed? NO, it’s my bare ass that’s causing all the ruckus. He gestures to the door at the back of the room, questioning the authorities there, (security?) wondering what to do, how to handle this, when he turns to me, and very firmly points to the door, and requests that I leave and never come back. Of course, I’m being dismissed (fired) for my stunt.
Thankfully, I woke up then. WHY would my subconscious mind torture me like that? WHAT is the message here?
Okay, the kid who was teaching us how to write – tall, thin, cool as a cucumber, 20, maybe. WHERE did he learn to write? What could he possibly have ever written? Teaching a room full of hopeful students how to write? Write what? I could easily write circles around that little boy, but no – I’m not teaching…I’m being em-bare-assed to death.
And HE, with the author-ity of youth and height and lack of breadth, and probably maleness as well, with the ignorance of the ability of tight elastic around a tighter round tummy to bring one to their knees in a heartbeat, has the ability to order me from the room, to dismiss my wisdom, my experience, my loving heart, my innocence, my very being — banished and never to be seen or heard from (hopefully, thank God) again, thereby accusing me of pulling the stunt on purpose to embarrass him — never once imagining that I might have been embarrassed – no mortified unto death by circum-stances over which I had no control.
So, what is the message? any ideas?
Comes to my mind the question of control. How much control do I really have over my girth? It’s surely an inside job, an insurrection of mammoth proportions. There is a resistance in me that runs my life. It’s a resistance, it seems TO me, a resistance to my having peace and health and beauty and well-being, from the inside out. WHO inside of me is so determined that I shall be imprisoned in this body? In physical disarray? In slothful inactivity? WHO so resists my well-being?
Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. I think that however we have been programmed, be it ancestral, societal, parental, corporate, we all, all, all, struggle with issues of self-worth, of ability to self-care, of resistance to that which is in support of our best and highest good. Or? Am I alone in this?
I am surrounded with loved ones who don’t have this built-in self-destruct button in the same colors as mine. Rather, these beloveds seem driven instead to live in perfect order and harmony — can’t go to bed before every pillow is fluffed and every thing is in its place. I stress when they come to my house — and I seldom invite them — because I feel less than in their eyes, in these ways — though not in all ways, or I wouldn’t obviously be hanging out with them.
Another thought that comes to mind, is that I put an awful lot of energy into questioning these things – writing about them every time they come up in my awareness. There ARE other things I focus on all day, every day. THESE are the issues, however, which plague me. My subconscious awareness is doing its best to keep me on track here, trying to figure out what my role is in the big picture of all this.
A lot of my musings this morning were about the incongruities of who I really am in relation to what I appeared to be in this scenario, compared, I guess, to the hapless youth at the podium. Compared to the audience who sat mute and didn’t really play in the dream, other than in my mortification about what they must be thinking. Compared to the appearances that my very being suggests — I live in disarray and I am overweight.
I’ve examined the disarray issue lately, too. Truthfully, I do tend to be neglectful to picking up after myself, and doing the dishes often enough, and I do let food go to waste rather than cook for myself. God help me when I get REALLY old. But it’s not as bad as it could be. I’ve seen way worse messes that people live in, and those people, in my ignorant judgment, don’t live the full life of varied talents and skills and projects and activities that I do. I really do choose to be busy rather than neat. I just need to find a little more balance on the side of neat. I haven’t yet slipped into the place where my mess is a further illustration that I’ve just given up altogether, and don’t have the ability to respond to life around me.
So, while I do yearn for a fairy godmother to come and help me muck out my closets and do a good spring cleaning, I’m not as hopeless in that area as I make myself out to be.
As often happens when I write, which is WHY I write a journal, I have sort of come full-circle here. Truth is, in relation to who I really am, my size and shape are not of such huge consequence. Truth is, I do still have those persistent little ego-maniacs inside who don’t want me to make myself a kale smoothie for breakfast this morning, even though I bought the ingredients for them last night, but I think I’ll just get off my butt and do it anyway.
I also bought myself four giant bottles of sparkling mineral water, and four smaller ones, so I could transfer the big into the small, and keep them in the fridge. I’m noticing that the biggest sugar intake I have is soda, which craving is really more for the fizz than the sugar, so I’m going to be drinking mineral water instead. I’ve been on a runaway sugar train again, and when that happens, I do feel morose. Having had the flu on Sunday, fasting a day or two, I have been off sugar for a couple of days, so I’m going to take advantage by staying off for now.
As for that youngster at the podium…I wonder if that is my estranged son who hasn’t spoken to me for a year? He fired me without a word, so maybe I’m processing him as well. Since I know for sure he will never read this, I can say that as much as I love that boy, I haven’t missed him that much. His emotional escrow with me was pretty small, so what I’ve missed is a phone call or two in a year. Knowing life as I do, I assume he will be back when the time is right. In the meantime, I love him dearly, no less than ever, and I wish him all the best in his life. I have no doubt that this young man will make his contribution to the world, with or without talking to his mom. [Turns out I was right! He came back into my life when he was ready to marry his GORGEOUS sweet wife, my new daughter-in-love since already years ago! He calls me a little more often now.]
Ain’t life grand? I’m off to start my day with that green smoothie.