My father is a chauvinist, always has been. Vertically challenged, with an intellectual case of short mans disease, he is dismissive to women and undermines their authority at every imagined slight. Graduating from high school, he told me that college wasn’t for me, that perhaps I was better suited for secretary school. At the age of 19, I joined the Navy, he told me I wouldn’t make it. I stopped speaking to him for a few years and there are days lately when I want to cut him out again due to his disrespect.
I am an over achiever. I am fiercely self sufficient. I am fearless and brave to the point of arrogant confidence. Anything that supposedly cannot be done, I will do and will silently throw it around in my aura of “up yours”. I do not boast, I no longer pound my chest in pride…these days Im content on watching people squirm in their need to size me up.
So, needless to say, the two are linked. I have strove for my fathers approval blindly my whole life and didn’t realize his chauvinism until the last five years or so. My over achieving and desire to prove him wrong has branded me, molded me. And now, as I routinely find myself chaffed by his disrespectful and dismissive comments, I realize finally, that I threaten him. A coward, a small man with insecure thought processes…I should pity him. Instead, this revelation makes me tilt my head waaaaaay back and laugh from the depths of my core. All the pain he inflicted on my sense of who I am, all the unjust judgment, all the personal affronts…they were just his way of posturing.
The number one enemy of compassion, is the ego.
My ego is stemmed from his chauvinism.
My ego is why his chauvinism hurts me.
My ego prevents me from forgiving either one of my parents.
My ego stands in my way like a fortress, it taints my progress.
My ego is silent and loud at the same time, it colors every action, every intent.
Conceptually, I understand how to rid myself of the obvious forms of attachment, but I grip onto my ego like a life preserver. Who would I be without the ego that has shaped and defined me?