Fighting nature with mittens

When my dad was a toddler, my grandmother used to do tricks to make him left-handed. Her dad was left-handed and as a result, she had this notion that left-handedness was the grand marker of creativity. She wanted my dad to be left-handed.

When we have a fixed idea of good and try to make others or ourselves into that good, we can make a bit of a mess — in our relationships, our work, and in our hearts.

My grandmother did all manner of gyrations to get my dad to use his left hand. For example as a toddler, when he would reach for things with his right hand, she would try to put the object in his left hand. Not even able to form words yet, my dad would immediately move the object over into his right hand. When he played with crayons, she put a little mitten on his right hand, so he’d pick up the crayon with his left hand. But what did he do? He started playing with something else, with his right hand.

Her strategies failed entirely. She was never able to get him to be left-handed. Of course he’s still right-handed and he’s eighty.

Luckily it didn’t become a rift between my dad and grandmother, because he was too young to remember. But imagine the turmoil my grandmother must have felt as a young mother with her first child, formulating and implementing various schemes, only to be disappointed. When my dad was flourishing as a toddler, she was wanting him to be different.

When this relationship dynamic happens later in life, it’s heartbreaking and the remnants become imprinted in our psyches. We all know what it feels like when someone wishes we’re something we’re not. And that thinking gets internalized. Now WE wish we were different. I find that gut wrenching.

Is there a way you’re trying to make yourself into something you’re not?

It’s a big question. You and I will come around to it again and again in this lifetime. We’re never done and it’s not a walk in the park for any of us. When we make peace with our true nature in one area of our life or work, we might still struggle with it in other areas. The journey keeps calling to us.

Native Genius points the way to our true nature and it promises that it’ll be worth it. So in small ways, how can you stop trying to put the pencil in your left-hand when you’re right-handed? And loosen the grip on your system-driven or relationship-driven notions of “good” and see the beauty before you, that is you.

I see the beauty in you, and I hope you do too.

Baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, we’re excited that so many of you joined the Live Journaling Labs we ran every Saturday in January and February. We created them so that you could take baby steps to activate your Native Genius. Thanks for joining. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces return again and again. We’re taking a break for now, but we hear you loud and clear that you want more. We’ll continue them in one form or another. Stay tuned.

Keep baby stepping.

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