Monday, April 5, 2010

Go ask Alice, when she's 10 feet tall.

One day, my daughter came home crying because someone made an "ugly" face at her. I said, "Maybe she's just can't help it. Maybe that's the way she looks. "Oh," my daughter said, "I never thought of that." She went off to school happily realizing that sometimes people can't help being who they are.

My other daughter came home complaining that the boys were pulling her hair. I suggested that she pull his hair back. She kicked him instead, but then I got a phone call. My response to the teacher was, when you tell the boys to stop pulling her hair, I will ask her to stop kicking them. Good logic I thought. A girl has to stand up for herself.

I often think back to this when I am faced with situations where people are not pleasant to each other. Fear seems to be the underlying factor. Fear of . . . not being accepted, of being rejected, of not being good enough, of being lost, alone. Fear of the dark. Fear of crowds. Fear of grasshoppers. Fear of spiders. Fear of a meteor landing on your house.

I went to see Alice in Wonderland last night (yes, I am a Johnny Depp fan) which is all about fear. Fear of falling into dark holes. Fear of talking rabbits. Fear of being captured by a deck of cards and being enslaved by the Queen of Hearts. Fear of big fire breathing dragons. Fear of not fitting in.

The blue caterpillar, who was generally surrounded in a blue haze of smoke, was not afraid. Nor was Alice, who believed it was her dream and therefore could not be harmed.

And that's the whole key to overcoming fear. Taking charge of the dream and making it happen the way we want it to.

Sometimes I think, is this all there is? I hope not. I am mid dream in my life. There is lots to do yet. Places to go. People to see. There are greater things that can be accomplished, I just have to remember to keep looking for them, and not accept what others would have me do.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I say a picture is worth a lifetime, expecially when a person spends a lifetime picturing themselves badly. And words create the picture. Take charge of the words.

Negative words evoke negative images.I am overweight. I am unsuccessful. People don't like me. All of this adds up to one phrase: I am not worthy.

And I wonder, in this age of self-help books, Dr. Phil, Oprah, and the Dalai Lama, why are we still beating ourselves up? Maybe the message is not sinking in because we are ultimately 5 years old, afraid of the kid who made an ugly face. We need to remember that maybe that kid just can't help being that way.


Anonymous said...

You make a very good point. I am faced with the fear of speaking out and standing up for myself. I am 47 years old, and I am still not able to really speak my mind. When does the young child in us let down our barriers and allow our voice to be heard? This is a struggle for me. I have learned as you say, that I truly believe some people just cannot help it and they are just the way the are.

Lynear Thinking Strategy and Communications Consulting Ltd. said...

Thank you for your comment. Bullying and negative behavior is a problem these days. Those of "us" who do not prescribe to such things become frustrated and afraid of it. In my experience, the challenge is learning how to confront fears of speaking up by speaking out more. We should not have to accept when others make us feel bad. Anywhere.