I’d a conversation earlier with someone about conditioning and having to stifle your true self and your intuition to fit into different systems and relationships. Going up against these systems armed only with your heart, soul and gut instinct will quite often and rather sharply have you dismissed as a fool or a crazy person. I know myself that I have a deep distrust of authority when it throws its weight around (thanks Dad) and an even deeper expectation of its dismissal (thanks to more recent experiences).
I found myself catapulted back to a few years ago and doing what I was advised to do when my intuition and gut instinct should have taken the driving seat instead. It also reminded me of my mother and her determination to trust her own instinct in the face of criticism and derision. She defied doctors, odds, advice and found herself one ally to assist her in trusting her instinct. She could have said I told you so many times afterwards because her instinct and intuition never saw her wrong, and possibly saved lives, but in typical Peggy style she never said a word and chose to live in the triumph of it with silent joy instead. What Peggy lacked in stature she more than made up for in gumption, bravery and the fierce knowing of her own instinct, especially when it came to her kids. Nothing ever seemed to shake it.
I have two kids who are absolute slices of both their grandmothers. These were women who grew up in times when societal norms and expectations dictated much of how they lived and loved and who they could publicly be. I often think of them both and how much pride they’d have for my kids now – for their strength, sense of kindness and fairness, for their fun, humour and laughter amongst many other things. I know they’d revel in seeing my kids embrace their true selves and express that no matter what the world tells them they should be.
That phrase about your kids being your heart walking around outside is so true. My kids are my greatest teachers. As they grow I see myself reflected back at various different stages and I’ve been really lucky to be guided to heal so much in myself – not just for myself, but for the generations before me and for the ones to come. I’m not sure I would have seen it so readily if I hadn’t had these walking hearts out in the world or that I would have known it required my love and attention. They push the comfort zones of my understanding of the world and they force me (very gently!) to see and dismantle conditioning I’ve been absorbing for some 50 odd years now. It is awesome, infuriating, expansive and I suspect it’s the source of my lovely white hair highlights. I think regularly that my heart is breaking with these two, but they take me gently by the hand and remind me it’s just breaking open a little more.
My youngest has been through the wringer these last few years and we’ve been through it with them. They have sensory issues that contribute to overstimulation and overwhelm, and every day brings new challenges. They’ve talked for ages about shaving that gorgeously wavy thick hair of theirs in favour of a buzz cut. There are chunks of days at a time where hair is scraped back under a hat or a scarf or tied up tight. They literally can’t stand the feel of it. So on Sunday night I (quite badly) shaved my child’s head as they wanted me to. They are totally rocking it and they love how it feels. As I hoovered up the last of the hair it struck me how like my mother they are. How my mother would have rocked her shaved head if she was here now. How she might not have had to bother with the scarves and the wigs (which she hated) and the doing of the hair so that the scars and bumps of her brain surgeries didn’t show. I’d like to think if it were now that she’d be embracing her truth and rocking it too as well as cheering my kiddo on as the hair fell to the floor.
I wish that the world was a place that allowed us to trust our intuition more, to be guided by it and to trust in the knowing of our own hearts without a second thought. I wish that it hadn’t taken me 50 years to get a point of embracing that truth myself and to begin dismantling all the structures that kept me from it. I wish that the noise of the expectations of others and a society hell bent on having us ignore ourselves had a mute button. I wish that my children never have to rediscover their truth, their innate wisdom and the beauty of trusting in and expressing who they truly are. So far, I do believe, they are totally smashing it.
May all so be blessed.
(Permission granted by both my kids for sharing here!)