Mary O’Malley – Imagine you have just put on a pair of glasses where the lenses are fractured. Your view of Life would be warped and even a little weird! And yet this is how we can describe what happened to you when you were young. When you were first born you were wide open to Life. There were no stories in your head that filtered your experience of this living moment. There were no ideas that said you needed to be different than what you were in order to be okay.
And yet you, like everybody else, were destined to take on what I call ‘the conditioned mind.’ Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, calls it the ‘mind made me’. In other words, your mind created a ‘me,’ a somebody that talks in your head all day long, a ‘me’ that creates a warped view of yourself and of Life, a ‘me’ that is exactly like putting on a fractured pair of glasses.
A good example of this comes from my life. My father completely rejected me because I was not the boy that would give him the prestige of having the first male heir in his generation, so he could claim the treasured family name for his son. (His brother had a son two months after I was born, and he got the name.) My father never spoke to me the 12 years I lived with him, and yet he silently let me know that compared to my older sister, my looks were disappointing. I absorbed this belief that I was ugly so deeply that all I could do was eat and eat and eat and then diet and then eat some more in order to try to numb the pain of being so fully rejected. In my 20’s I refused to get a haircut or wear makeup because that would require me to look in a mirror.
Fast-forward to my 30’s when I began to work with a mentor who made a big difference in my Life. One day she told me that I had a nice face. The next time I accidentally saw myself in a mirror, all I saw was the ugliness. When I saw her again, I told her not to say nice things that weren’t true.
The first time I actually saw my face without the filter of my conditioning was late one night as I was snuggled into bed. I had my bed under the window so I could see the stars, and when I was finished reading, I reached over my shoulder to turn off the light. As I turned, I saw a reflection in the window. It took a split second before I realized I was seeing my own face, and it was so completely different than the view I had been conditioned to believe. I was so stunned, I cried. Something deep and true inside of me knew that I was seeing my face as it was, not the conditioning, not the fractured pair of glasses that I took on when I was little.
From that point on, I didn’t always see my real face in the mirror. It was a process. Some days the old conditioned view would take over, but now I knew that there was the view that I was taught to believe about myself and then there was the real thing.
I invite you to contemplate the possibility that you, too, took on a fractured pair of glasses. You, too, were conditioned to see yourself in ways that weren’t true. Maybe you were taught that you weren’t smart enough, or pretty enough, or accomplished enough, or skinny enough, or tall enough, or athletic enough, or quiet enough. Maybe you took on the belief that the color of your skin, or your gender, or your sexual preference, or your religion made you less than everybody else.
Maybe, just maybe, that is all just conditioning. Maybe, just maybe, you are okay exactly as you are. And maybe, just maybe, who you really are has always been here, right underneath the conditioning of your childhood.
No need to struggle to find who you are outside of your conditioning. Just know that any thought you have about yourself that makes you tight and that causes your heart to shut down is the fractured pair of glasses, and it comes from your conditioning. And any perception you have that opens your heart – that allows you to see you are unique and beautiful expression of Life and that there is nothing about you that needs to be different in order for you to be okay – is closer to the truth!
SF Source Mary O’Malley Aug 2018