Late last night, I shared a picture on Face Book and Twitter that made a few heads twist and turn from side to side. I’m sure the thoughts were “What the heck is that?! Did she take a picture of her…is that a…???
I’ll give you a few hints:
It’s hidden deep, deep, deep on the inside.
Still no idea? Here’s a visual:
Before I reveal the source of this divine, feminine presence, I want to share with you the lesson she taught me. About truth. Acceptance. And above all else…Perserverence.
I have to start with a question though: Who are YOU?
No…who are you REALLY?
I’m sure you probably answered the question in the form of your 11 second elevator speech, peppered with your accomplishments and successes. You probably defined yourself by your age, marital status, motherhood/lack of motherhood designation, and career status. Realizing that you said more about who you were in relation to others, you probably caught yourself and backtracked, making certain to mention what you LIKE to do and what your goals are in life.
If that is the totality of who you are, great! Good for you! But be honest…do you ever feel that you are being just a tad bit…inauthentic? Maybe you don’t, but some of us do. I know that for years, I struggled with the presentation I thought the world (aka those I cared about) thought they wanted from me, and my ‘authentic’ self.
In the beginning, I believe we had a word. And that word was ‘truth’. And we lived in our truth. And we rejoiced in our truth. And the world loved our expression and celebration of our truth, and even encouraged us in our truth.
And then…we grew up. Once we turned two, and the ‘terribles’ began, the ‘training’ began. We learned to filter and censor. We learned to be polite and gentle and kind and sweet. There’s nothing inherently wrong with those things; social norms dictate what is and what is not acceptable. But somewhere along the way, the forces that shaped our external world thought it would be better to alter our internal world.
We’ve heard repeatedly ‘train up a child in the way he (???) should go, and when he (again…???) is old, he (sigh…???) will not depart from it’. We also heard ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’. And let us not forget ‘boys are made from snakes and snails and puppy dog’s tails…girls are made from sugar and spice and everything nice’.
And there is where foreshadowing reared its ugly head. We’ve struggled to live up to the ideas, the ideals, and the expectations ever since. You were your authentic self, but a series of somebody’s (all people who mattered…who really only wanted to matter to their own someone or someone else’s) forced a change on your internal environment.
And you became someone else.
Which brings me back to the above mentioned picture. What you are looking at is the inside of something unnatural. Something pretty and convenient, but inauthentic.
You are looking at the inside of a seedless watermelon. See?
I hate seedless fruit. To me, they represent the height of man’s manipulation of nature’s natural process. A seedless fruit will never reproduce on its own. A seedless fruit was created by someone who failed to understand the relationship that fruit had with the ecosystem in which it should have been allowed to flourish, on its own terms. Fruit, to me, are feminine, and a seedless fruit symbolizes to me the barren-ness of femininity. Our very existence is defined through a lens that is patriarchal, paternal, and masculine.
Now, this is NOT a rage against men, because sexism hurts everyone. It just hurts some a little less than others a great deal of the time.
I was disappointed when I saw the sticker that said ‘seedless’.
Sidebar: My husband bought the watermelon, by the way. Okay, back to being deep!
When I cut through its shiny, deep green perfectly round exterior, and marvelled at its vibrant pink inside, I noticed the stark contrast of what was missing.
The seeds. The potential for this fruits continued existence.
And my children noticed it. “What’s wrong with it, mommy?” “What are those things inside of it, mommy?” “Is that where the seeds are supposed to go, mommy?” “I don’t want to eat it, mommy. It doesn’t look right”.
And they were right. The watermelon was pitted where there should have been seeds. And it was, to me, a sad commentary on the current state of self. There should have been so many seeds within us, to be sown in our lives and the lives of others. Instead, we have empty pockets of potential.
I cut into this watermelon, determined to make the best of it, because after all, this was it unless I drove across town in the middle of rush hour traffic, in the middle of a weekday, in Washington, DC (code speak for yeah…not going to happen. Apathy kills the authentic self as well!). It was sweet and satisfying, cool and refreshing. But I wondered about its nutritional value. I wondered if I was really getting from it what I wanted to get from it.
Are we really getting out of our relationships and experiences what we want to get out of them?
The deeper I cut, the more I began to notice these tiny, thin, pale, white, mutant seeds. What in the world were these? Were these the undeveloped, embryonic form of what should have been watermelon seeds? There were so many of them, but they were absolutely useless. No value.
How much of your time, self, energy, tears, laughter, help, comfort is being sent out into a world that just can not receive you?
You’re not authentic, and you’re still rejected because you’re not genuine? That…hurts.
But I kept digging, and then I saw something. I saw…what is this?! Something dark, brown, large, and hidden. Tucked away on the side of the watermelon’s inner core.
A seed. A single, solitary, hidden, determined seed.
Somewhere along the way, this seed said “To hell with agribusiness and price per pound. To hell with splicing and blending and enhancing and adding and controlling and watering and artificial lighting and picking before peak time and putting in a box and shipping me out of my natural environment and taking me out of my element and leaving me in here alone to forge myself under the cover of darkness where there is no one else like me and nobody knows I’m here and when they get to me they may over look me or they may even toss me out but DEAR GOD I’M HERE!!! I’M HERE!!!”
I took a picture of the seeds side by side for comparison.
I’m that seed. I’m round and brown and I got here by mistake but I’m right on time. I’m the original me, surrounded by a million imitators (negative agreements) that will never be me. I’m what was supposed to be at the core but it was convenient for me to be something else and someone else. It meant giving and providing support and meaning for other things in other capacities for someone else’s end.
That seed is that part of us, that original truth, that can never…ever…disappear. No matter how hard we try. She held on, hidden, maintaining her truth. Waiting to be discovered by the cutting and hacking and consumption of the flesh that surrounded her. And she dared to be noticed. And she dared to be brown. And she dared to be big. And she dared…to…be.
Who are you really? Are you who you were meant to be.
Your true seed…your self…is waiting. At the center of Te Coracao, to thine own self be true.