I just came back from listening to Gil's Sunday morning talk, on the value of meeting ourselves fully, including embracing the big mistake(s) in our lives, as a source of compassion and humility. Not dwelling on the past, and beating ourselves up, but rather moving forward, taking appropriate reparative actions with others we may have hurt, and making the necessary changes in ourselves, so that we do not keep on perpetuating the same mistake. Gil's talk was very timely, considering that I have been spending lots of time lately facing my big mistake, up close.
During recent week-long with Gil and Andrea, I encountered a part of myself that I did not expect. Every night, I met her in my dreams. And during the day, I felt the effects of her presence, as I sat with a whirlwind of emotions. Anxiety, rage, fear, sadness, and grief, taking turn to keep me engaged, in my seat. 'Her' is the puella girl who refuses to grow up.
She has been a part of me, my entire adult life. And although I have known this on an intellectual level, it was not until I dwelled in mindful awareness, for hours on end during the retreat, that I started to actually relate to her in an intimate fashion. I saw her for who she is, a weak feminine presence, who does not believe in herself, and cannot figure out a way of her own. She has come to rely on male authoritarian figures for her survival, and resents it. Although she may dazzle others with her brilliance, she never stays long enough anywhere, to reap the fruit from her efforts. She has become a burdensome presence in my life, whose detrimental effects are far reaching, both professionally and personally.
After I came back home from the retreat, I reread Linda Schierse Leonard's chapter on The Eternal Girl, in her book, The Wounded Woman:
Ultimately, what is demanded of the puella in the process of self-transformation is to give up her clinging to girlish dependence, innocence, and powerlessness and to accept the strength which is already there - to really value herself. For if she accepts her power and strength, then her girlish innocence will show itself as youthful, feminine elan and vigor, as the spontaneity and openness to new experience that makes creativity and fruitful relationship possible.
I really get it now. The time has come, to part with my puella friend. No less than my life, and the happiness of those around me, is at stake. Which brings me back to Gil's original point during his talk on compassion. There is something incredibly humbling about owning one's big mistake, as I am doing. From Heal Thyself, by Saki Santorelli:
Compassion begins at home, with ourselves. Whether offering or seeking help, we are all wounded and we are all whole.
Now, tell me, what is your big mistake? What can you learn from it?