My Life is My Message

My life is my message” is the sentence that always resonated deeply. I struggled so much with everything in my life that didn’t align with this message. I worked hard at it.

You might think it’s arrogant to say, but I was always ahead of the curve. Until now, I didn’t own it. The event when I was 6-years old shaped how I perceived being advanced. I was in a class of 30 students when the teacher wrote the text on the board and let other students read it slowly.

Since my language is phonetic, which means each letter makes only one sound, my teacher was moving her finger slowly from one letter to another while reading what was written. While this was helpful to some, it was boring to me. Before I even started the first grade, I had read the Larousse Encyclopedia from our home library multiple times. So, for me, this slow learning process felt off. And, at this age, all kids feel like the universe is revolving around them, so when I experienced impatience and boredom, I felt I couldn’t be the only one.

To make a difference in this situation and contribute to the class, I shouted from my seat the entire sentence written on the board. Since I expected praise for my ability to read fluently, I was beyond shocked when, instead, the teacher got mad at me. I adored my teacher. She was the embodiment of kindness – without a doubt. So, a young me figured, if I made such a kind person mad, I must be rotten to the core. My body was filled with shame and terror, but I didn’t want to show it. I knew I had to survive this somehow. It is at that moment, that I decided that the best way to cope with being a rotten one, is to be tough.

More than 3 decades later, I remembered this event (we often try to push away memories we don’t like). Acknowledging what happened from a different perspective allowed me to release it. When I let myself feel the shame that I didn’t want to feel back then, I was free of the death sentence of being rotten. Realizing I wasn’t a rotten one, I no longer had to be tough. All I needed to do from this point on was to bring awareness to it.

What I also had to confront is my fear of admitting when I was ahead of others. Throughout my education, I often stood out as an exemplary student. I knew it and would even brag about it to others, but I never really owned it. And, to be fair, being ahead has no more meaning than being behind. It’s not about dwelling on the rank, but it is about acknowledging what is.

Until I cleared this event from the past, I couldn’t find my place, and this created all kinds of problems: I was needy for praise, never felt enough, and was never satisfied. Having let that shame arise so it can move through and out provided enormous freedom to be. I could fully step into my power and make a difference I am committed to making without secretly worrying that some kind person out there will ask me to be quiet.

I have compassion for humans design because I have studied it for the past 20 years. I forgave myself and my teacher (she certainly didn’t know that I carried her words against me). And now that I have peace, all I have is lessons learned and the power I get to harness.