I'm thinking it's time to remove the chink(s) from the armor. You know, the one that started as a nick when I was very young, then grew until it went right through me. The pieces missing from the protective cover of self love.
That visual image occurred to me as I was assessing how much damage I sustained after an agent's recent rejection of my book, saying I needed a "unique and special" message. She may as well have said "you're worthless," me ego tells me if I let it. It tells me a lot of things I know aren't true, yet it's so powerful and persistent, I sometimes fall into it's trap.
I had thought egos built us up better than we are, causing us to excel at the expense of being compassionate and caring. But mine (Just where is the ego factory anyway ... where we are endowed with these parts of ourselves? I'd like to trade mine in or return it as defective.) feeds on self doubt and has particularly fortified itself against me with fibromyalgia and my staying home with children, then attempting to build a career again.
It almost fooled me this time. The voice of ego, which took on the agent's, had a familiar echo ... a little too familiar and close to home. It sounded very much like the Sunday School teacher who told me my heart was black with sin at age three. The black-heart thing was the first time I ever even questioned who or what I was. The first time I felt less than. I also recall not believing it, even if I couldn't verbalize that thought then. Yet each time I received a similar message, I let it compound with the original.
Why do we do that? Is it because we are trusting? Naive? Don't want to buck authority?
For me, it has probably been all of those with the net result forming self doubt. I can't recall the last time I felt really sure about something. Well, yes, I can. And it's been about my book. The one I feel God has taken me by the hand and led, pulled and cajoled me through the last 12 years, even when I didn't recognize what was forming. The almost-unconscioualy moving ahead is part of the package. Had I realized, I would not have cooperated. One step at a time, however, I can manage ... even though I am continually whining for clarity. If I truly had it, it would scare me into immobility. Often I am immobilized anyway; or so it seems.
I am working to restore that chink, wondering if, perhaps, it's a phantom injury: one not really there, but "faked" by ego to hold me back. The best way to proceed, I believe, is by beginning to listen more deeply within myself and to those who love me and seeing ego for what it is and when it's whispering to me.
I am rebuilding that protective cover and will be more selective in what I choose to let in.
• What tends to make me doubt myself?
• What's the pattern of that been in my life?
• When/how have I recognized it as something destructive?
• What spiritual practice might overshadow those doubts?
• When I can truly be with Spirit, what happens to the doubt then?
it starts so very small
that it's easy to dismiss
until we're silently under barrage
and miss the pileup
falling into the habit
of assuming we screwed up
and that becomes a heavy weight to bear
one only undone with recognition
like shining the light into a deep, dark hole
to uncover something shiny and worthwhile buried