She was steadfast and gently authoritarian, and I enjoyed her half-day kindergarten, my first foray from home. That was my teacher, Mrs. Wilson. I walked to the school by myself every day. I am very grateful that my neighborhood was safe for a five-year-old to walk 6 blocks to school every day. It’s interesting that I don’t have any recollection of meeting other kids for walking, or even making friends with anyone except Charlotte. Was her full name Charlotte Adams? That’s what pops into my head.
Anyway, I remember Mrs. Wilson singing to us while she played piano during nap time. I remember tables where we worked and sitting in a circle. I remember standing in a line as we exited the classroom. And I remember having to stay after school one day. That’s my most salient memory of Mrs. Wilson and kindergarten – having to stay after class. My stomach knots up when I recall that moment, when Mrs. Wilson said, “OK class. It’s time to stop playing and get your things ready to go home. I was so enrapt in my imagination in the play kitchen that I ignored her. I wasn’t finished yet! She had to call me again, and this time she meted out a serious consequence for my slow response. “Regina, you’ll have to stay after school today because you didn’t stop playing when I called.”
I was so ashamed because I always wanted to do what Mrs. Wilson, or any adult, told me to do right away! I have always wondered why that incident stands out so vividly in my memory. As I look at it now, I see that the principle of “Story” and the origins of our limiting beliefs could provide some insight. When Mrs. Wilson, someone who I thought loved and approved of me unconditionally, scolded me, I was shaken from my idyllic world of unity and love. It may not seem like a very traumatic incident, and yet it lurched me from my heavenly world. In that instant, I felt separate and alone. My creative imagination was stifled. My sense of self-perfection was shattered.
In Radical Forgiveness, Making Room for the Miracle, Colin Tipping talks about how our Victim Stories and limiting beliefs begin with incidents like this, where something happens that we don’t understand and then we do our best to interpret what it means. As children, we make it mean something about ourselves! I made something up about myself and my creativity that day, and Mrs. Wilson helped me have that experience. Here are some of the limiting beliefs I may have made up that day:
- “I’m bad and disobedient and don’t deserve love.”
- “There’s never enough time to be creative”
- “I’m not lovable just the way I am.”
- “I get in trouble if I get carried away in my creative self-expression.”
Am I making a mountain out of a molehill here? I don’t think so. From the view that “we are spiritual beings having a human experience” and that human experience is one of having physical experiences of limitations with time and space, this would have been just one of many realizations that living in a physical body was a lot less free than being in the Spirit World where no such limitations exist! My five-year old interpretation of that simple incident was dramatic!
So where’s the gratitude? It’s in acknowledging Mrs. Wilson as being someone who gave me an experience of separation from Oneness, a gentle reminder that I was now living in physical form where there were parameters of time and space and authority. I could not have thanked her then, because I was unconscious to this way of looking at the world, but from where I sit now, awakened to the possibility that I can choose peace about my past because even small incidents had a spiritual purpose, I can thank Mrs. Wilson.
What do you think? Do you have an incident that sparked a limiting belief or view that formed a foundation for how you have viewed the world? Please share it in the comments!