I had had a great day. Work was super: I was in a good mood; many, many nice things happened; I was in a zone. It was clear that I am good at what I do and, especially when I was talking up the blog, it was clear that I’m in the right place at the right time. One fabulous young woman who I did not recognize in spite of her beauty said “I read your blog and I just want to tell you that you have a brilliant mind.” Now how can you not feel good on a day that you get feedback like that? And I was feeling good.
From work I went to Tae Kwon Do. Now I know that people like me there. I’m new and lots of people don’t know me. But I get lots of sweet feedback from people. Recently the instructor Amy said to me,”You’re the sunshine of this school.” Now I can’t totally swallow that. It feels a little strong and she can be effusive, but maybe something like that is true – maybe I am a positive presence in the school, that one I can buy. That same day last Saturday, Diego (a senior student) said to me “When I was sitting up on the judges’ table for the testing, sometimes all I could see was your smiling face, cheering people on.” Now that one I can totally buy, because that was the truth. I got very happy watching people succeed.
So how could it be that at class tonight I was recurringly buffeted by wave after wave of “Nobody wants me?” There were lots of opportunities for us to pair up. I ended up being the last picked two or three times. I know I was not being super-assertive about finding partners. And I know that people like to work with higher belt ranks during these drills. The teenagers go looking for other teenagers. For one whole section, I was the only one of my low (white-yellow) belt level on the mat and I really had nothing to offer these higher belt levels in the way of instruction. Why would they not be looking for somebody else? And why on earth would I want to take it personal?
The anchors of this go deep. It’s in the human condition. The Buddhists call it “conditioned mind” – that wants to put us down, wants to separate us, wants to make us feel alone. It’s human. So even this is a sign of how much I belong – belong to the human species.
Tae Kwon Do is going to be a tremendous vehicle for studying my conditioning – conditioning like “I can’t do this” (https://rlcol.com/2015/02/24/the-i-cant-do-it-voice/) and now the conditioning of “I don’t belong here” or “They don’t want me”. I want to welcome this as a chance to work out my stuff, a chance to get free.
Amy Dexter is always announcing that the purpose of our classes is to have fun. I’ll have fun as much as possible – but when I’m miserable I’ll try to be miserable in all the just-right ways.