Three years after Joy was born my best friend shocked me by asking me, “What are you trying to prove?” I had no idea what she was talking about. Moi? Trying to prove anything? Looking back from here, I’d been trying to prove I was worthwhile, trying to earn a place in the world. Theme of my youth.
Relinquishing my baby to adoption was the greatest trauma of my life. I lost both my baby and my fragile sense of worth. I had been convinced I couldn’t care for her and told not to speak of her again, when my parents took me home from the hospital.
I insisted my mother take pictures of me holding my baby girl before signing the termination of parental rights. Holding her again was similar to her birth, a sense of heaven, suspended in joyful knowing beyond anything slse. Then she was taken from my arms and I was ushered into a small office to sign the prepared paperwork. I couldn’t see what I was signing for the tears.
There was no discussion of “feelings”. There was a lot of silence. I cried in my room for a couple weeks or so… The opinion of the world as I knew it was that my baby and I did not deserve each other. She was pure and good. I was unworthy of her. The world hadn’t made much sense to me before that. Giving my baby to strangers stood my sense of right and wrong on its head. At this point I really didn’t care to live in the world I’d known so far. Losing my firstborn daughter to adoption through submitting to the idea that I wasn’t good enough to be her mother devastated my self esteem. I was supposed to suppress my grief in favor of shame. Finding myself waking up alive day after day was a bit of a surprise.
It shifted to seem I was playing Rapunzel, waiting to be rescued from my parents’ protection. I realized it was time to leave my parents home and find my way in the world, to make a new life. The next move was up to me, to get up and go back out in the world to see what I could find. For about a year, I told everyone I met about losing my baby, until a young man looked at me with a shocked expression and told me my baby needed me and that it was wrong to leave my own flesh and blood behind.
I started trying to push this significant point in my life story back as far as I could. Sex, drugs and rock were no replacement.
Inwardly I was both at war with and worshipping the god of opinion. Others opinions and even my own, conflicted with my true inner goal of living as a divine creation of God. Jesus was my secret role model. I grew up in the sixties and attended Love-Ins with the youth minister from my family church. “Hippies”, free love and the “spiritual” aspects of the popular culture appealed to me. I was both baffled and curious at discussions about “the purpose of life”. People were studying meditation and experimenting with psychedelic drugs to uncover life’s meaning. My sense of spirituality was that it was way more mysterious than I was. Privately I contemplated and processed these messages. My personal answer to “What is the purpose of life?” was “To have fun.” It sounded too simple and maybe sacrilegious, so I kept quiet.
It was beginning to discover my purpose, expressing my worthiness as a child of God. Just like everyone else. I am. That’s what I was trying to prove.
Trying to prove it is counterproductive. It’s something to be experienced, not proven. Trying to prove my worth indicates I’m not experiencing it. Trying to prove my worth is siding with the devil of separation.
I want to fulfill my purpose of living and loving who I am.