Thursday, February 4, 2010

"...looking for yourself out there..."

"...And did you miss me,
while you were looking for yourself out there..."

- Pat Monahan

A friend's email (copied below) popped into my inbox, with the attending "ping," just as I was listening to Train's "Drops of Jupiter," and reading the following quote:

"There is nothing so common as the desire to be remarkable."

I am sharing my friend's note...and my, with her permission. It is her hope that it might help others:

"Hi Kate:
I am feeling very small and insignificant.  Yes, I do know why I can't keep the door closed (on the suggestions that say I am not worthy of good, of friendship, or of love), it is because I have become the door mat.  Sleep isn't even an escape anymore..."

As you can imagine, I prayed, immediately, for something I could share with her.  Something that would reach her heart in this moment of sorrow, frustration, and despair.  My email to her is copied, in part, well as bits and strands of inspiration that have come through our ensuing conversations:

Hi _________:

Feeling insignificant, is just a coin toss of "the ego" landing on the tails side up...rather than the heady "I'm so great and special" side.  But, it's just the other side of the same coin.  I know that you would never, ever, send me an email saying, "Oh my gosh, I am so great.  I don't think anyone will ever measure up to how wonderful and important I am...I am just way too extraordinary!"  It is because, as a society, we treat that kind of self-importance as distasteful egotism. 

But, these thoughts of insignificance that you are wrestling with tonight, are no different that what we call egotistical self-congratulation, they are just the same...and, thank goodness, they are not your thoughts. Any more than they are mine when I give them audience. We listen to them, attach to them, and then repeat them, because we are convinced that they are okay, more "humble," more acceptable, more reasonable because they say, "you are small and deflated"...rather than puffed up and full of yourself. 

But don't be fooled.  It is still just the ego's way of getting its foot in the door.  And once you have let it in, it flips on you and says:  "I really do
want to be remarkable, special, better than someone else, better than everyone least at something, or to someone."  Trust me, there is no difference in those messages. One is not better than the other.

I love you...I know that these suggestions are pretty aggressive and parade themselves as self-important...important to your understanding of self.  But, they are not your thoughts...and you have to know that they aren't, and kick them right out of your sense of identity.  Because, believe it or not, from the outside...a coin is a coin.  And to the people who are not standing close enough to see, or care, whether it was heads or tails that landed that just looks like a coin, an ego on the ground asking for you to claim it as your own, give it value, and use it as a standard for valuing people, services, and "goods."  Sometimes it screams, "I am great," and sometimes it whines and whispers, "I am not worthy."  But which ever side lands up, it is just the ego sitting in the middle of the room begging to be picked up and put in someone's pocket...and well, I will ask you, "do you want to carry around someone else's ego?"

I love you...drop the coin. Drop kick the ego right out of your sense of who you are.  It is not you...or yours.  And it has no worth.  The real you has worth, is capable, and does make a difference in the world.  

The way to understand more about that real you, is to go to the Source of who you are.  And the source of all goodness, the source of all that we truly hope for as children of one divine Parent: to know love, to realize peace, to experience God.

Mary Baker Eddy writes this, to the members of her church, but I think it relates to each of us as we journey towards greater self-knowledge and actualization:

"Goodness never fails to receive its reward, for goodness makes life a blessing. As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, 'What am I?' to the scientific response:  'I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.'"

The ego doesn't like it when we turn our back on it, in all its petulance.  When we dismiss its whiny demands for self-indulgence, and seem deaf to its ranting and raving, as we move out of the spotlight, and into the radiance of serving - and celebrating - others.  It wants the light to shine on it, not on the gifts and talents of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It screams and flails for attention.  It says, "But if you don't call attention to me...who will?"

But that is not our job...our job is to be the light, not seek the spotlight for ourselves.  The best "me" you will ever be, is the one that is
so sure that God is at her the center of her being, that she radiates light and love effusively, effortlessly, just so brilliantly from her heart, that she illumines the good, the beauty, the wonderfulness in everyone she touches "out there."  She finds her own best self, in another's good.

You are lovely, loved, and're a star in the constellation of shine!

with Love,

Kate Robertson, CS


  1. wonderful post... great message to your friend... I love that song! FYI, I've read that he wrote the song for his mother, who had passed on from cancer. I love that the song encourages her to find wherever she is all the joy and promise she didn't find here. It makes me feel like flying.

  2. Anonymous5:51 PM

    From Jen Dale (on FB)

    This reminds me of a quote I've always loved which Nelson Mandela shared in 1994, attributed to Marianne Williamson:

    "We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually…who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

    We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

    And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same."

    As always, thank you for your crystal clear insight, Kate! XO

  3. Anonymous5:52 PM

    From Michelle (on FB)

    Ego = the coin begging to be picked up. Nice analogy!

  4. Thank you for the ego-as-coin analogy! This hit the spot for me. Love this blog -- kat