(By Christa Black Gifford)
Earlier this year, I sat down to go to the loo in my guest bathroom, finding myself staring at a little plastic lid to an eyedropper on the floor a few feet in front of me. Now, this wasn’t just any plastic lid….it was the same kind of lid I had frustratedly asked a friend (who was at my house a lot) to make sure and always throw into the trash can, ensuring that my baby wouldn’t pick it up and choke on it. Every time I’d find one on the floor, a few things would happen inside my heart.
My mind would freak out and future-trip towards disaster: I’d envision my crawling baby Loxley choking, unable to breathe…would I be close enough to find her? Would she die? Would it mess up her bowels if it made it down her throat? Because I would let my mind move towards future disasters (that had never happened), FEAR was always the result in my body. When I started in the emotional energy of fear, I always communicated to my friend in a tone of fear…and was rarely heard.
I felt unseen, unheard, and not valued. Every time I saw that plastic lid, it represented every time my voice had not been heard over the course of my life. That lid represented every time I had a need and my need wasn’t acknowledged or valued. It represented a feeling ALREADY INSIDE OF ME FROM THE PAST that felt like what I had to say wasn’t important enough to listen to. Whenever I would speak to my friend from a lifelong energetic state of not feeling heard, I communicated harshly, with massive amounts of frustration, trying to prove WHY my voice needed to be heard. (Which meant, once again, I was rarely heard).
As I stared at that tiny plastic eye dropper, playing out worst-case scenarios in my mind and simultaneously feeling the weight of a lifetime not feeling heard and valued, my heart started to boil over in anger. But this time…before I let the feeling take over…I stopped. I woke up to what I was allowing myself to do. I made another choice.
Like a crazy woman sitting on a toilet, I started talking out loud to that plastic lid.
“Hey pink eye dropper lid. YOU will not be the reason I am miserable today…my internal misery is on ME. I will not give you that much power over me and my internal state. I will take responsibility for my choice to feel frustrated, scared, and unseen and not put it on you, keeping myself in the present moment…and in the present moment, no one is choking. Plastic lid, YOU are not the reason I feel like my needs are never heard…you just exposed that that feeling has been INSIDE of me for a long time. I cannot control that you, plastic lid, are on this floor again, but I CAN choose how I allow myself to think and feel about it. And I think I’m grateful that you are triggering me, exposing all kinds of junk inside my heart that need to be owned, released, and reframed.”
When our external world brings scenarios that expose patterns of frustration, fear, anger, or unworthiness it’s not always about what happened. It’s about what it revealed INSIDE of us.
So, what does your external world reveal is still inside of you?