I was driving down Highway One tonight in a delightful, blissed out, open heart, giddy, love-for-humanity place. I saw a bumpersticker on the car in front of me – something demanding-sounding that I don’t remember – and I had a sudden little fantasy: what if every car in the world had only bumper stickers that were kind, loving reminders? Stickers everywhere that said things like “Receive.” or “Enjoy.” or “Thank you.”
Maybe I’ll start a business.
This reminded me of all the little wisdoms and reassurances I’ve been writing for myself every morning, which reminded me of a list of “good parent messages” that my friend Linda dictated to me over a glass of Pinot at the Big Sur Bakery the other day. I know this list is part of some probably copyrighted teaching I should credit**. Someone, presumably with a psycho-something background, created this list – a conglomeration of the primary messages we (ideally) should have received (but almost none of us did) as kids. The list is intended to be something practiced and spoken by the internalized parent we all now carry around in us.
For some reason tonight, sitting in the middle of my spontaneous compassion for all of us and our foibles and perfections, I want more than anything for me and you (yes, you) and the whole wide wounded world to hear and receive and know each of these things. Unflinchingly and in your bones.
I love you.
I want you.
You are special to me.
I see you and hear you.
I love you and I give you permission to be different from me.
It’s not what you do but who you are that I love.
I’ll take care of you.
I’ll be there for you.
I’ll be there for you even when you die.
You don’t have to be alone anymore.
You don’t have to be afraid anymore.
You can trust me.
Sometimes I will tell you no and that’s because I love you.
My love will make you well.
I welcome and cherish your love.
(you might want to read it again.
Can you imagine what a world it would be if we all knew these things?
As Linda said to me, on the dark days, reciting this list can have the miraculous effect of actually feeling like someone else is speaking it – that “it’s like drops of water on a wilting flower.” I love that.
**Since posting this, I have since learned that credit goes to Jack Rosenberg and Beverly Morse. (Thanks!)