It’s funny how sometimes you go through life and do not even realize that you are allergic to something. For example, I was 54 before I realized I was lactose intolerant. I am a self-admitted cheese addict. I love cheese. I am not sure I could ever go from vegetarian to vegan because for me everything tastes better with cheese on it (ok, maybe not ice cream or cold cereal, but just about everything else). I never even realized I was lactose intolerant until I gave up dairy products for lent one year. Zoë, my life partner, very lovingly brought it to my attention that I was being a little less musical. Ok, for those of you who did not get it, I was not farting as much, did I think that had anything to do with my not eating dairy products. Lo and behold, when I looked up the symptoms of lactose intolerance there it was flatulence.
I discovered my allergy to drama in much the same way. I had always thought that drama was just part of life. I always thought this was normal. Then one day I had this epiphany while reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements. The drama in my life was because I had internalized other people’s lies and judgments about me. I had forgotten to reject that which was not of love and began to believe it. I began to focus on how I was too much of something or not enough of something. I lost sight of the understanding that God created me to be just who I am, a reflection of God who is love. I had stopped seeing the image of love that God created me to be and now found myself seeking to be other people’s image of perfection. The problem was they are not God. The more I tried to find that unconditional love for myself through others, the more I found myself listening to other people’s lies and judgments.
Then I decided to spend some intentional time rejecting the lies I have internalized and replacing them with affirming truths. What I began to realize is that when I stopped believing other peoples stories and lies, I began finding a peace and balance in my life that I had not experienced in a long time. It was like my time without dairy and I realized that I was allergic to drama; it brought out the worst in me and often times made me feel as if I was experiencing hell.
When I moved away from the lies, the judgments, the negativity, I found peace coming back into my life. I started to realize when those negative voices were coming in and stopping them in their tracks. Over the last few months, they are becoming more like annoying commercial interruptions, then a full episode or a full-length movie.
The day I told myself that I loved myself just as I was, I took a loaf of bread and a cup of wine and I broke communion with God and gave thanks for choosing me to be a reflection of love. Then I thanked God for blessing me. I gave thanks for surrounding me with people who said good things about me and removing from my life those who were not. I gave thanks for giving me a new set of ears that were only willing to hear words of love and were now deaf to the lies and hatred of others. Then I thanked God for breaking me open and allowing me to grow through the pain and back into the reflection of love I was created to be. I gave thanks because all the broken places in my life, all the wounds, became a blessing as my embracing it has begun the process of restoring me. Finally, I gave thanks, for being able to give again and for the humbling words that came to me in the middle of the night as I once again heard God whisper in my ear – You are my daughter, in you, I am well pleased.