As I sit in a hospital room looking at someone I love unconditionally, I can’t help but think of all those who didn’t. All those who taught him he must be worthy of love. All those who taught him that being him wasn’t good enough. That he must behave as expected.
How hollow their claims of concern are now. How empty their tears. How foolish their attempts to make it about them.
My inner child wants to rage and destroy them. Wipe them from the face of the Earth. Salt their fields, poison all that they held dear. Build a new world with only those who are safe. And later I will grant him that. I will open my inner world and allow him to do as will until he feels satisfied and complete.
But here in the outer word I can simple shut them out. Allow them no more weight than they demonstrate they deserve.
While ironing this morning I caught myself thinking “I’m not very good at this, but a poor ironing job is still better than wrinkles on clothes stuffed in a day bag”. I was pleased I wasn’t caught up in perfectionism and letting that get in the way, but I felt like there was more to it.
So I reflected on why I wasn’t good at it, it wasn’t a flaw in me, but a skill I haven’t practiced. Why didn’t I practice it? Because for years I pretended to not care. I didn’t iron out of people pleasing. I didn’t care because I felt more in control if I ‘chose’ to look sloppy. I worried more about doing a bad job and appearing authentically flawed than about being inaccurately cast as slovenly I was scared of vulnerability because I’d been taught I was valuable for what I can do. Not valuable for who I am.
My rebellion against people’s wishes was it’s own form of people pleasing. I was just like those who reject relationships before they can be rejected because they fear it will devalue them. I rejected ironing so that no one could reject my skill at ironing and thus devalue me.