I got accused of being “full of myself” in a Facebook comment yesterday.
Reckon I am.
It was intended as an insult, of course. To put me in my place. To devalue and dismiss the deeply considered and researched statements I had made in a previous comment.
It was intended that way, but I didn’t accept it that way. I am getting better about choosing what I accept from other people.
In fact, the accusation made me smile.
Because I am. I AM full of myself.
I have spent all of my 46 years growing fuller and fuller and fuller of myself, and I am damn proud of how full I have become.
Where did we get the idea that the phrase is an insult, anyway?
We got it from the same place that burned wild wise women as witches, and destroyed indigenous peoples, and enslaved others, and continues to attempt to snuff out anything that resembles personal power.
We got it from colonizers.
We got it from the hierarchical religion wielded by colonizers.
We got it because it is the most effective weapon ever wielded for controlling people.
Convince people that they are inadequate, insufficient, wretched. That the only way to escape their own wretchedness is to connect with the divine. That the only way to connect with the divine is to pray to something “out there” something “above,” something all-powerful and all-knowing, preferably through an intermediary who, in turn, can be controlled with alternate dog treats and threats.
Separate them from their own inherent, divine authority.
The requirement to look “out there” for authority, for fullness, for divinity, makes one vulnerable to control.
Gods, don’t I KNOW it.
I have put my authority outside myself so many times, for so long, over so many decades, in so many ways, that it is a knee jerk reaction to care more about what “they” think than what I think. To modify my behavior according to what others will prefer.
Those of you who follow me may not believe this is true of me, because I am so godsdamned fierce, but you haven’t seen how I agonize in my room at night, the sleepless nights spent worrying about how to manage a situation to cause the least amount of disruption or harm or discomfort or inconvenience to anyone else.
The contortions I have put myself through to try to hold on to my integrity or speak up for myself without making anyone else the least bit uncomfortable. To justify incompatible values so that I could continue to fit where I do not fit.
The self-blame and anxiety I have placed upon myself for imagined harm my words may have caused, for setting a boundary, for claiming my truth against someone else’s, for refusing to be victimized. For speaking up.
You may not know how I have, over and over, fallen prey to idolizing hero after hero, only to be dashed to pieces when the hero turns out to be human.
Or, worse, letting myself be victimized by those idols, justifying and explaining to myself why what’s happening isn’t abuse, how I can’t trust the feelings in my gut.
You may not realize just how much I have carried other people’s judgments and opinions, how much I have doubted myself. How much I have sought external validation to reassure myself that I’m not garbage.
Maybe you didn’t see me that night when a single email from someone I once trusted dissolved me into uncontrollable wails of grief and self-flagellation that I could not contain, even in public.
Perhaps you have not ever seen me any of the other thousand times another person’s judgment has dissolved me.
You may not have seen it in my outward presentation, but trust that I KNOW what it feels like to place my authority outside myself.
Thanks to the legacy of colonization, most people do. Everyone has been inculcated to some degree, some more, some less, to place their authority outside themselves. I, more than most.
I think it is the work of our time to reclaim that authority.
It has certainly been my journey over the past forty-six years (and especially the last few) to gradually, and not-so-gradually, and then gradually and then not-so-gradually, and then gradually and then godsdamned precipitously, reclaim my authority.
This journey has required me to wrestle with so many demons that if I were to list them for you, we would be here all day and I still wouldn’t get to them all. It has required me to face my own darkness and shadow over and over again. It has required me to walk away from things and people I thought I needed, over and over again. It has forced me to claim my rights even when it hurt physically and emotionally to do so.
It will continue to demand these things of me.
But what it gives me in return is valuable beyond measure.
No, what *I* give *myself* is valuable beyond measure.
I have given myself truth.
I have given myself freedom.
I have given myself courage.
I have given myself a mirror, into which I gaze and see divinity.
I have taken the scales from my eyes to recognize the divinity in every being I encounter.
I have opened myself to communion with an infinite universe full of sentience and divinity greater than I ever imagined existed before.
I have given myself the gift of ongoing relationship with beloved departed ones. I have given myself friends everywhere my footsteps take me. I have opened my eyes and ears to the depths of beauty and truth to be found in every millimeter of the world, in every leaf, every hair, every tiny insect that crosses my path.
I have given myself my body, which was taken from me by abuse. I have given myself presence in this world, in this body, in this moment. I have given myself love.
I have given myself my self.
Full of myself.
Yes. Yes I am.
FULL of my SELF.
I don’t think I have a uniquely TRUE view of what the universe is. I don’t think any of us do. Some scientist (I don’t remember who) once said that whatever we believe about the universe, it’s bound to be way more weird and wild and strange and complex than we can fathom, so why not believe what makes us happy?
But what I think is true is that we are all both one and separate. I believe “God” or “Divine” is just a word for the sentience of the complete whole of all that we are. I think that we are all unique and separate and individual instances of the divine, each of us completely connected but also completely separate.
That the universe is fractal, and that we are all God and also gods. That at least part of our job here is to bring this incarnation’s experiences back to the whole, but not to dissolve ourselves into it, but rather to celebrate our uniqueness and grow in our uniqueness.
That our job here, ultimately, is to be completely who and what we are. To know it and claim it and grow it.
To be absolutely, completely, 100% full of our Selves.
So, yes, fellow walker upon this Earth.
Yes, I am full of myself.
Thank God for it.
Thank god for it.
May every day bring each of closer to the fullness of our divinity, of our god-nature.
May you, also, be full of yourself.