Friday, October 29, 2010

Samhain Meditation: Inhabiting True Self

Our Samhain Altar
I awoke this morning at dawn and smiled at my thirteen-month-old son, who gazed at me for a moment and then offered one of his sweet grins. We lay next to each other in the quiet of the early morning, simply being. I realized that he is possibly the only person ever with whom I feel completely myself, totally calm and unaltered. I wondered if this is because he is still a baby, or because of who he is. I think a little of both.

When I am with another person, even a dear friend, my husband, or my daughter, I wear a sort of mask or costume. It's not that I am fake, exactly, just that I am not inhabiting the peaceful real self I am when alone, or first thing in the morning with my son. I often see this same mask-wearing in my daughter and husband and it irritates me. I want them to be their real self. Which of course is me wanting to be my real self and not knowing how.

We all wear these masks and costumes. We fear the vulnerability of being truly seen. Why? I think the true Self is powerful. Literally - full of power. Power centered in the self. When one is centered in her true self, she can be threatening to others who are used to getting their power not from within but from those around them. Ah, narcissism. My dear father was a narcissist, as was his before him. One of the things about living with a narcissist is that you always feel like you have to make them okay - and to do this you have to hide your power and cater to their emotional needs of the moment. We get used to doing this, and then it is second nature to hide the Self.

I think in some ways most of us are narcissists. We suffer from low self worth and seek power from others by denying them their power. It's not a conscious or malicious thing, it's just how we as a species tend to interact with each other. And it's how we teach our children to interact.

As a mom I don't want to perpetuate this pattern any longer. I know that the only way to teach my children to be themselves and for them to feel safe calmly inhabiting their true Selves even in front of others is for me to do the same. I am making this my Samhain meditation this year. It's amazingly hard. First I find that centered self and then I work to maintain it while interacting with another person by holding on to the body feeling of centeredness. I notice any sort of feelings that arise, like vulnerability or even anger. I just notice those feelings and learn from them. I keep coming back to center, noticing, learning, growing. It's a powerful meditation. I invite you to do it with me if you like.

Have a blessed Samhain. May the veils be thin for you.

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