Giving Up The Need To Be Special

One of my greatest lessons occurred when I was on a month long silent retreat course in Chennai, India. Just before the 30 days were complete and we were getting ready to return to our homes, we were instructed to sit in a circle with a teacher. She looked lovingly around the circle and asked if there was any suffering lingering inside our hearts that we didn’t want to take home with us. Immediately I lifted my arm and related the following story:
“I spent three years writing a book and published it just before my Mother’s 80th Birthday. It was a long, arduous process to get it done. I was very proud of myself and the accomplishment and couldn’t wait to share it with friends and family. My plan was to present it to my Mom the day of her big celebration. I flew into town for the party with over fifty people attending and just before the guests arrived and in a quiet moment I said, “Mom, I have something to share with you. It’s my birthday present to you!” I carefully laid the book in front of her with great anticipation of her compliments, excitement, pride and joy. Instead, she was not at all interested and pushed the book away saying she will look at it later and got on the phone. I was crushed. I felt deeply rejected. I couldn’t understand her lack of enthusiasm or support. I am a mother and whenever my children do anything positive I praise them and acknowledge their accomplishments. I was so hurt that my Mom did not do the same with me. I have been suffering for over a year over this. What should I do?”
The teacher looked over at me and said, “You have just had one of the greatest lessons of your entire life.” I was shocked. What was she referring to? How could this rejection and feeling like a failure be a lesson? She said, “You must learn to give up the need to be special!” I felt like at that very moment a charge of energy went through my body and all the pain associated with the wound of rejection from my Mother was healed. I was free. I was so thankful for the bigger picture of why this happened to me.
That lesson comes up for me from time to time when I see my ego running amuck. I remember the thought that sits in the back of my awareness, “Give up the need to be special, to be seen and heard, just listen and be the love that you are!”
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