I Will Never Be a Tall Black Man
One of my friends, Susan, has a phrase that she’s said to me many times over the years when I was full of self doubt; “People can tell you you’re a tall black man, but that doesn’t mean you are. It’s just not the truth.”
There was more to the saying, like a tall black man with one brown shoe, or tall black man with one glass eye or something – I’ve gotten it mixed up. But the point it, it does not matter what people insist that you are. It doesn’t make them correct. Susan is right, I’ll never be a tall black man. It just ain’t going to happen, Captain.
There was a person in my life who spent endless hours, endless years, telling me that I was sub par, damaged, not fabulous. They had something negative to say about me, right up until the day that they died. I had always hoped that the endless barrage would end. But no, even on their deathbed they downloaded. Then suddenly they were gone. Exit, Stage Right.
Another friend of mine and I were talking, and she admitted that when her mind wandered, what she heard in her head repeatedly is – I Am A Piece of Crap. Over and over. I love this person. She is so generous, so kind, so funny. But still, her mantra is self loathing. She can change that though, just like we all can. Change the message. My Dad used to call it “changing our tapes”. So instead of I am a piece of crap, maybe I am loved. Or our old faithful, I am enough.
It’s a human condition for us to think we are fakes and phony’s and not as good as and all of that. Most of us feel that way at least occasionally, until we either teach ourselves or meditate ourselves, or process ourselves out of that way of thinking long enough to at least tempt the concept that we are the bee’s knees. That’s right, baby – we are the damned bee’s knees!
Self contempt is so much a part of the human condition that we actually have to beware the person who doesn’t ever really seem to doubt themselves. They are the posers. They are the fakers and the liars. We have a couple of perfect examples front and center in our landscape right now. We know who they are.
It doesn’t matter if someone really needs you to understand that they think you are not so hot. In fact, it’s not even your business why someone makes it their business to hurt your heart. Even if the person makes you batty with rage – leave them to stir their poisonous stew. Let them serve the bitter mess up to someone else. They will, too, because once you aren’t available to listen they will find someone else. It’s not about you, it’s about them. It is their own self hate you are hearing.
We are not pieces of crap. We are stardust. We are super heroes to our children. We are history and memories and experiences. We are sunshine in a dusty road, and dew drops on big fat green leaves. We unwind our short unique tales and stories on our own paths, and we are flawed and we are perfect.
We are love. We are whatever we want. Go look in the mirror and tell yourself how forever fabulous and fantastic you are. And then do it again.
I love you.