Spiritual instruction teaches us to keep our focus on ourselves - not in an egocentric way but as a way of consciously managing our energy and power... learn what rather than who draws power from you. ...Your task is to learn the lesson that the teacher has for you rather than to resent the teacher. (Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss, p. 39)So, as I lay curled up on the couch in the fetal position covered head to toe in a blanket, I took stock of things. What was my lesson? First of all, I realized that my physical position was telling me a lot: I was protecting myself. I mean, you don't curl up in a ball and hide under a blanket when you feel good about things.
What was I protecting myself from?
Protection. The Fetal Position... This is Root Chakra work. "The Right to Be Here." The right to take up space. The right to have my basic needs met. The ability to trust, to take care of myself, to be nourished, all comes back to this most basic of ideas. I have a right to be here. I have a right to have my needs met. I have a right to put myself before others when putting on the damn oxygen mask on a crashing plane.
I have those rights, but I have a tendency to put everyone else's needs first. I'll acquiesce, I'll understand, I'll shove it down because really what the other person needs in the moment is more important. I am hyper-attuned to what other people need. I feel other's energies. I know when they're anxious, sad, confused, angry, etc. Even if they don't always realize it or are trying to hide it. I put their needs first, because I can help. I understand.
Yesterday afternoon, poor Buddy had a Bad Day. We were at our new place for the inspection. I had been looking forward to this for days; it would be my opportunity to get to know the house better. I had never been in on an inspection before and was looking forward to learning about the process. But poor Buddy. He was not having his needs met. And he let us know, loudly and frenetically. I ended up babysitting him for almost two hours while the inspection was completed. I missed everything, including my chance to get into the house and really "meet" it.
This little episode triggered all my feelings of being left-out, being put on the back burner for more pressing matters, and feeling like what I wanted was not at all important. THIS WAS NOT ANYONE'S INTENTION. In that moment, taking care of poor Buddy was the right thing to do and far more important than me listening to the inspector talk about the hot water tank. I was the one best able to do it. End of discussion.
You can't - and shouldn't - get everything you want. Life doesn't work that way. Sometimes sucking it up Buttercup is your lesson. But everyone - me, you, Buddy, every random person on the street - has a right to take up space, to be heard, to be seen. To exist.
The lesson is there for me to learn. I have a right to voice my needs. I have a right to have my needs met. If my needs are not getting met, I have a right to say so.
I have a right to be seen, to take up space, to be heard, to exist.
And so do you.