Putting the CL on that ASS!

A Bernie's Daughter Thing



The Ego . . . Friend or Foe?

compassion-857727_1920One morning my daughter woke up in a panic.  She said she was terrified. She’d had a bad dream and apparently this dream rocked her to her core. Even though she knew it was a dream, and even though she knew the most likely cause of the dream—she’d watched a scary episode of a TV show UniKitty, she was still afraid.  She didn’t want to walk around the house until the sun arose or until I walked around with her. First, I had to make sure that I turned on the lights before we entered a room.  I didn’t get upset with her though.  I happily obliged her.  I understood her fear.  I could remember being a child and being afraid of the toilet flushing.  I would have this overwhelming need to rush to my bed and hide under the covers before the toilet completed its cycle.  And while I knew it wasn’t a logical fear, it was one I held for many years.

But beyond that, I understood because in that moment I felt as if I was able to witness the ego in the flesh.  Many psychoanalysts and psychologists from Freud to present have defined and redefined what the ego is. The ego is essentially our identity that is constructed of the thoughts and beliefs we hold about ourselves.  In the spiritual sector, and other sectors for that matter, the ego can get a bad rep.  Check your ego and humble yourself.  Don’t be so egotistical.  Don’t let your ego rule you.  These are just some examples of the warnings we receive regarding our egos.  We’re sold an image of the ego as a savage dictator and brat, hell bent on feeding its own desires well past satiation.  And sometimes that can be true. Sometimes the ego can operate like a toddler.  It can want what it wants without any regard for the consequences.  It can be bratty.  It can be ruthless in its pursuit to feel better.

But what if it’s more than that?  What if the ego isn’t actually a dictator?  What if the ego is actually just like my daughter this morning? Simply scared and asking for attention? What if our ego is actually asking us to shed some light in the darkness to illuminate those shadow parts of ourselves?  We tend to look at ourselves through cloudy lenses. We grade ourselves with high marks when we do those things which are pleasing to us or when we feel good.  When we don’t feel as good, or we feel we’ve misstepped, we tend to fail ourselves.  Perhaps our ego is our loving friend who is guiding us to look beyond the surface of what we see and to see ourselves fully as we are, without judgment.  But since we humans can be more than a bit stubborn, we don’t always take heed at its first nudging so it has to work harder to get our attention. It has to get louder. It has to start kicking and screaming.  Those are the moments where we are at what we deem to be our worst.  Those are the moments we look as if we are out of control. We’re fearful, angry, short-tempered, arrogant, and maybe even more than a bit selfish.  Those are the moments that in spite of knowing the fear is illogical, we refuse to walk around our familiar home until our mom walks with us and turns on all the lights.  But instead of it being about us getting out of control, perhaps we can consider that it’s more than that and that’s just the moment when we have the opportunity to gain control and begin to take the steps to accept ourselves. It’s the moment we get to turn on the lights to see things and ourselves as they truly are and not as they simply exist in our minds, which gives us a chance to accept ourselves and grow.  That’s a pretty radical thought, isn’t it?

Ego, just a three-letter word and yet so interesting. If we did not have an ego, we would be lost. Feeding it too much we would also be lost.

Lida van Bers


An Open Letter to My Body

Dear Body of Mine,

I owe you a most sincere apology.  For just about your entire existence, I have not liked you.  I have spoken of and to you in most unkind ways.  I’ve called you horrible names like fat, awful, and ugly. I’ve compared you to others and found you to fail to measure up.  I’ve wished you were something you were not.  And each time I felt you failed me, I blamed you.  I actually felt like you were a curse to me.  In short, I have hated you.

You may wonder why I have hated you and abused you.  I could pontificate about all of the underlying psychological issues and social conditioning that I may have and have possibly been exposed to.  However, the simple truth is that I’ve never thought you were good enough.

Why did I think that?  Well, I’ll admit that I just never liked the way you looked.  In the beginning, you were just skinny. Too skinny. And remember, this wasn’t during the time that it was cool to be skinny. I felt that you subjected me to teasing and taunts from others. Laughter filled advice about eating sammiches were painfully abundant for me–despite the fact that I did, in fact, eat many sammiches and more.  Yet, you weren’t filling out any time soon.

It would be many years later when you would begin to fill out.  I would be about 24 years of age.  Yet the problem with that is that you didn’t fill out the way I wanted you to.  You didn’t give me the curves I wanted.  You didn’t fill out to create the hour-glass physique I so desperately coveted.  No, there would be no Tocarra Jones’ body for me.  Instad, you kept your athletic physique, complete with its  narrow hips and wide waistline.   But you didn’t even have the decency to give me Serena Williams athletic type.  You just gave me straight body with a tire around my waist.  And I hated you for that.  Each time I saw another woman with the coveted hour glass frame, I thought you to be an even greater failure.  Why can’t you look like her? I’d lament.  You never answered me either.  Instead, you just kept calling for me to love you as you were and I refused.

Then came what I felt was the ultimate betrayal.  Pregnancy.  After the birth of The Fizzle, you developed stretch marks in places I never wanted, never even realized one could develop there.  You began to bulge and droop in places that I didn’t think were meant to bulge and droop.  And let’s not even talk about what you did to my stomach!  I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy to combat such changes, yet they were all for naught. You still drooped and bulged and you didn’t even have the courtesy to return to your pre-pregnancy state, post pregnancy. Then you gave me the dreaded C-section pooch.   It was hard enough tolerating you before then.  Now how was I supposed to appreciate you?  I swore I would never forgive you.  And I didn’t.  Until now.

Now here we are, 10 years post pregnancy. I’ve since accepted that the pre-pregnancy body is NEVER returning.  And while I don’t like it (not one bit), I realize how cruel and superficial I have been. I have treated you as if you’re good for nothing more than an aesthetically pleasing accessory.  How wrong I have been!  You are so much more than that.  You have carried me through this world.  You even brought forth life!  How amazing is that?  And thanks to yoga, I now know you can do some amazing things I never even thought possible!  You are the vessel through which this soul of mine wanders through this Earth.  You lend your hands to help others up. And what’s more, you use your hands to pull yourself up when you fall down.  You love me so much that you will pad yourself to protect me when I am wounded.  I have finally realized that your worth doesn’t lie in what you look like.  Isn’t that ironic though? I’d have a fit if someone deemed me less than worthy based on my appearance, yet I meted that exact harsh judgment on my damn self. I have no excuses or any justifiable reasons for my ill behavior. All I can say is that I was ignorant and immature.  I didn’t know.  And I’m so sorry that I didn’t know and even more sorry for the way I have treated you.  But since I am not big on sorry’s or words, I’ll allow my actions to show you how much I have changed.  I’ll affirm you when I look at you instead of cursing you for everything I hated about you.  I’ll reframe your so-called flaws.  Where I once saw failure, I’ll see Life and splendor.  I won’t compare you to anyone.  I’ll appreciate you for who you are.  I’ll feed you well and move you so that you’re as fit and healthy as you can be.  As my Daddy used to say, I can show you better than I can tell you. And while I have never actually said this to you before, please allow me to close this simply by saying I love you.

Gratitude Day #1

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a podcast the other day.  The show is produced and stars a really wonderful young lady by the name of Kellye Howard.  Kellye is a hilarious stand up comedian, writer, and talented woman. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform many times and I’m always left with laugh and smile lines, and a bit of a nugget that makes me think.  Her podcast is called Living With Regrets With Kellye Howard.  The premise is to take one thing in your life that you originally saw as a regret, but over time you’ve been able to see was probably something that helped you out in some way.  That’s pretty much how I tend to look at my life so it wasn’t difficult to do that at all.

It was actually quite fitting that I’d done the show this week because I was musing over some of my old writings when I saw some Gratitude posts I’d written on Facebook a couple of years ago.  I was feeling really down and I wanted to stop moping around.  I decided to take an objective look at my life and see how there have always been sunshine and calm amidst my so-called storms.  So I wrote a week’s worth of gratitudes for those stormy moments in my life.  Since Thanksgiving is upon us–and it’s the holiday that’s dedicated to gratitude–I thought it fitting to go back and remember those moments.

So here’s Day #1 of my Gratitudes.

On this day, I am grateful for the love of my life, my Fizzle. At 27 years of age, a yearning awakened in me unlike anything I’d ever felt before. After years of professing that I never wanted children, my soul began to ache. The cause of the ache was simply due to the fact that I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to birth my own child so badly that it was all I could think about. I could see, hear, and feel my child. I knew she was on her way to me. And then the glorious day arrived: the day I learned I was pregnant. I was so overcome with joy that I fell to my knees and wept like a baby.The moment I found out I was carrying this life within me, I was overcome with a love I had never known– and one that continues to stupefy me.  I couldn’t wait to meet the child I so badly wanted.

The day I met her was one of my scariest. She arrived 3 weeks early after the placenta threatened to abrupt. Even though we didn’t find out the gender, I knew in my heart that I was carrying my Jasmine. I was so fearful for her, but she arrived healthy and full of willful, feminine energy. Yet, upon her arrival, I learned very quickly how ill prepared I was to be a mother. I had no clue what I was doing and unbeknownst to me at the time, I slipped into a most horrible bout of post-partum depression. But even in the midst of my darkness, the love I had for this precious little girl was ever present, ever growing, and unwavering. This love pulled me through the hardest moments of my life and forced me to grow the hell up and get the hell on with the business of truly living. The love I had for this little girl catapulted me into true Womanhood. It forced me to take a good look at my life and get real with myself. The life I was living wasn’t good enough for her. And then I recognized the ugly truth: the life I was living wasn’t good enough for me! And so, with that love in tow, I made the decision to leave a bad marriage and start living for me. That same love pulled me through yet another bout of depression when my father died. It stopped me from putting a bullet through my head and leaving her motherless, and the world without the beauty that is Me. That very love sustains me even now. Jasmine, your very essence gives me LIFE! I know without a doubt that I was born to be your mother and though the journey hasn’t always been an easy one. I would not, could not EVER trade it in for anything. I am so thankful that the Almighty saw fit to gift you to me. You have been such a wonderful teacher and a pure joy to guide and grow along side. I know there are many more days ahead of us. But I just wanted to take a moment to give thanks for the days that have already been.


*Be sure to check out Kellye’s podcast.  It’s a great show. *


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