When we're children, in many ways we are small. We are physically small, we are emotionally fragile, and we are dependent on parents and authority figures for so much. We need our parents to be perfect and of course, they're not.
Anything that's missing we assume must be our fault, our flaw. And these flaws can affect how we see the world well into adulthood.
When I was a child, my mom had a tendency to try to control me by making make me feel small and insignificant.
We all develop strategies to avoid pain, and one of mine was to become a pleaser. If I did what my mom and other adults wanted, then I could avoid this pain, this lack of independence and power. What I didn't see was how much power it gave to other people. I couldn't see at the time how my efforts to gain control were actually giving that control up.
My mom didn't intend to hurt me. She was only protecting herself. She had her own triggers. Her parents had made her feel small, and she made herself feel bigger by making others feel small, too.
I can see that sometimes in how I treat my children. I can see how the pattern gets passed on, how we can make the ones we love feel invalidated because they are innocently triggering those feelings of inadequacy in us.
How different would it be if we could see the enormity of what we are, the infinite nature of the consciousness that is breathing and living through us? And how different would it be if instead of making the people around us feel small and insignificant, we could help them begin to see the their own true nature?
For me, the challenge is to become more and more conscious of those patterns, and to realize that every time I feel the urge to make someone feel smaller, I can help them feel bigger instead.