Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
The Puppy in the Pound
Everybody can love in the place where they are. We can all add our share of Love without leaving the room.
Mark Nepo asks, “What good if only your obedience and good manners are accepted and the rest of your passion and personality must be kept in hiding?”
Frankly, not much and I know because I tried to be loved by showing only the good things about myself and hid everything I loathed about myself. You don’t really know who loves you until they see your Ugly and keep loving you.
At dinner, a friend who is interviewing for a job shared how she sometimes felt too eager for their acceptance. She said she found herself inwardly yelping, like a puppy in the pound, “Pick me! Pick me!”
We all laughed, because we all do this. At some point of inner confusion, we assume that we are orphaned of all the gifts and possibilities. During these painful times, we imagine that we are so small and what we have to offer that we become desperate to belong anywhere at any cost.
To make matters worse, we then hide parts of who we are, certain that if the potential boss or partner or new friend were to know all about us, they couldn’t possibly accept us.
Once inside this thinking, it is hard to repair, and the challenge, repeatedly, is to stop giving ourselves away. For what good is it if only a sliver of you remains? What good if only your ear is accepted and the rest of your body must be kept out of view? What good if only your obedience and good manners are accepted and the rest of your passion and personality must be kept in hiding?
In truth, no one can live with a sliver; for slivers, even of gold, are nearly impossible to hold.