I dropped a carton of eggs this morning.
Remarkably, I can’t remember ever having done it before, but it’s just the sort of thing I usually do. I’m a little bit clumsy and a little bit careless. As I watched gravity take the eggs from the counter to the floor, I thought “here we go again” and immediately started preparing a clever Tweet.
Last fall, any incident like that would have thrown me into a tearful self-punishing rage. For instance when I hung some pictures crooked in my kitchen I spent about an hour telling myself I was a failure who would never amount to anything. But no one ever accused me of being melodramatic.
At that time I was recently in love. Never before had anyone known so much about me, wanted to know me better, and been determined to love what he found. My insecure psyche revolted. Unable to believe that I could be perfectly lovable just as I am, my subconscious found a thousand ways to beat me up, to find evidence of huge character flaws in even the slightest peccadilloes. Like so many people, I just couldn’t believe that I was loved.
This was unfaithfulness: to my boyfriend, to my close friends and family, and to God. To allow a belief in my own unlovability to flourish was tell all of them that they were wrong for loving me. But to put that fear to bed meant to awaken myself to the new possibility of radical openness. It meant being who I am with confidence and abandoning the self-criticism that can get us out of doing things that are hard.
I’m still working on it.
But today I quickly scooped up the two broken eggs, almost before they hit the floor, and put them right into mixing bowl to scramble them. I ended up with a few bits of eggshell in there, but that’s sort of my thing.