As the adult child of an alcoholic, I learned at a very early age that life was chaotic. I was the first child of my mother and father’s 3 children, and the only girl. I learned that I could cry, and still not be held, comforted, or even fed. (Read that as I was not nourished.) I learned that when I was born, my mother began to drink again, after she had stopped for a number of years.

I also learned that some love can be conditional, or so I thought. My perception of my life, of my BEING, was that that I was not good enough as I was.

I had to wear corrective shoes because I was pigeon toed. I took ballet lessons when I was very young, not because I showed a proclivity or a talent for it, but because I was pigeon toed and knock kneed, and someone thought that ballet lessons (with feet properly turned out) would fix what was wrong with me. After all, I was born imperfect, and my mother began to drink again because of me. Or so I thought.

The background is necessary not so that you will feel pity for me, but to share with you how I developed a wall; a shell; a part of my psyche that was protective. An ego. Yes, we all develop egos. We all, at some level, believe that our true and real selves are in some way imperfect, and that we have to hide behind something. Not to mention that we feel that we have no control over our lives, so many of us try to control everything and everyone.

I am in the process (and a very intense and sometimes extraordinarily painful process at times) of removing this ego from me, and fully aligning with my higher self. The part of me that is God. I have learned that we do not have to do this (live life) alone; that we have all of the help and the answers inside of us. I know I had heard this in myriad ways before, in writings, from speakers, at workshops. But I had to experience how the ego has played me; tricked me, before I fully understood that I don’t want or NEED this ego part of me anymore. I had to realize that it has been leading my actions for the most part for years, when I didn’t think ego was even involved in my decisions. THAT was quite a wake up and one of the most poignant episodes for me, to date.

In order to really be able to help yourself, and then to help others, one has to experience things first hand. Then, and only then are we prepared to be able to help others navigate through life in these changing, shifting, and evolving times of chaos and re order. Sometimes these life lessons are truly very difficult. Some days I pass the tests and other days I fail, as I did yesterday. (And many times in the past few months.)

I ask for ease, grace and benevolence as I continue to align with the God within me. It has finally sunk in that I am powerless to do anything by myself. The good news is that I don’t have to. I have it all in me, as we all do. I was listening to the ego for so long, and now I am learning to listen to myself; to God within my heart.


Valerie Sargent
August 6, 2011