Nightgown in the Garden

Very early this morning I went out in my nightgown to pick some Flowers for the office crew and visit with the garden. The sun was just coming up and illuminating the landscape with radiant morning light.  I particularly love how Flower petals glow in this early morning sun.

As I wandered around chatting with various Flowers, telling them aloud how beautiful they were, a new neighbor walked by with her dog.  I have no idea what she thinks of me, and it’s none of my business, but she probably has an opinion.  After all she’s seen me quite a lot in the early morning gardens apparently talking to no one while sporting a nightgown.  Though honestly the most unusual dawn moment must have been when I was heaving a few rocks back in place on a stonewall, also in my nightgown.

It’s just that the dawn calls soooooo loudly that I often run out to catch that early morning light and say hello to everyone before I get dressed.  Soon it will be winter and even I get garbed up with more than a nightgown for winter, but for now, before I put on my gardening pants for the garden work of the day or don clothes for the office, there is usually a dawn moment in the garden in my nightgown. 

What if I were to call out to my neighbor an explanation of what I am doing?  Would it make my behavior seem any less eccentric to shout out “I’m just talking to the Flowers.” And again, what she thinks of me is none of my business and it’s not my job to shift her opinion of me (nor is it possible).

My spontaneous moments of gratitude in the garden and all these questions I had about a witness to these moments made me think about all self expression in this strange moment on Earth.

I use the word moment here for a reason. I am very grateful that the Angels repeatedly tell me this is a moment which we are moving through not an experience here to stay.  Phew!  However, it is a moment that calls us to be our authentic selves then let the chips fall where they may.

Many of us could say that about our entire lives and many lives before that.  We’ve been called to be our authentic selves in communities that don’t necessarily get us or agree with us. And given that circumstance, we also recall how the chips fell out. Very badly at times.  It makes even a benign expression of our true shimmering glorious self an act of courage. 

Being in our truth is not a challenge because we don’t know who we are, but because we have been slammed for being ourselves.

It’s been a long time since I was disowned by my family of origin, but there are still ripples from this of both the inner and outer kind. One outer example is that I hear family of origin news such as the death of a relative in extremely strange ways or not at all. This incivility often leads me back to the original wound of being thrown out of the family which brings its own inner ripple.

Recently, someone sent me a link to a video entitled “Let Them Disown You.” I listened. I understood that the speaker was trying to encourage people to stand in their truth regardless of the consequences. That is a noble thing to encourage.  I would encourage it even after being disowned, but it’s not a simple thing to suffer the consequences of being true to ourselves.

I appreciated the man in the video asking the question, “Why would anyone want to be associated with people who think they own you and therefore think they can disown you?”  How true. However, life is more layered and complex than language.  

Of course no one wants to be in community with people who say they can own or disown you, but I doubt that ideas of ownership ever come in isolation from hundreds of other ideas and emotions in a family system.  To be disowned is to have been in a complicated relationship with a group of people who have complicated reasons for disowning you. And finding the language choice unacceptable doesn’t clean up the feelings that come with being disowned.

Wrenching rejections are experiences of us showing up in our truth only to be told “We don’t want you.” There is no follow up explanation such as, “Your truth exposes our lies and weakness, so it’s easiest to make you the problem.”

If we’ve had these rejections enough, even small moments of self expression can have a shadow of worry.  I hoped that the passing neighbor would see me as harmless.  I got a belly laugh out of describing the moment to the staff, but I also felt the need to reassure myself that I was safe. 

As I work to integrate all the parts of myself that have navigated rejection before, I experience all sorts of emotions and concerns. I try not to belittle any response but instead acknowledge the sadness, fear, anger and other feelings that still surface in the wake of traumas. Today for example, I held the tiny thread of worry and looked to my comforting inner adult that knows that no matter how nutty the neighbor thinks I am, it won’t get me disowned or burned at the stake.

One thing I really love about gardens is how they slow me down to a human pace.  When I dig potatoes, I fork up the earth and pick up one potato at a time. In this sane pace there is the space to hear all the voices within me that need to be heard. There is the space to be kind to myself.  I can contain my reactions then acknowledge and comfort the younger versions of myself that still live within me, healing from earlier traumas. 

As I dig in the earth I am reminded that our dear mother Earth herself brings comfort and support to our healing process. This is one reason why, no matter what the neighbors think, I will keep on visiting the gardens morning, noon and night to talk to all Nature and sing its praises.

I hope you too have a place in Nature that sets you free to be your full glorious self in full expression and comforts you if others don’t understand who you are. I hope you are surrounded by kindness.