ollie, ollie oxen free!

i see you. and, also, i see the me in you.
I pretend not to be you and you pretend not to be me, always finding new ways of hiding.



when i was seven i corrected my dad as he told a fib to a ticket-collector.  if i were six, he would have saved one dollar on my ticket (a mighty buck back then). my dad told him i was six.


i remember the building pride – the sense of curiosity … the genuine delight to be of assistance as i corrected him, “baba! i’m not six, i’m seven!” I was sure he would turn, chuckle and correct himself, but, instead, he turned beet red.




flustered and reactive, he chastised me for interrupting his conversation.  he was angry and he sure didn’t have that look of love that he always gave so freely.


i was crushed. I thought my truthfulness had caused me to loose his love.


you see, my dad was the one that was always on my side – always happy to see me – no matter what! and, at that moment of deep need and connection, my young, untrained mind created a story that was incorrect, one that i carried for way too long:


in order to be loved, i had to avoid being truthful –– a.k.a … i am not enough.


this assumption took many forms – wore many masks – and affected every aspect of my life.  and, without questioning this story – without questioning the new rules to our game – i was destined to hide — to deny the ME that was swelling inside, the one so innocent and eager to mix with the world outside.


now, i’m not saying my dad or that experience was responsible for all the choices and suffering in my life, but i am pointing out how the stories around the most tender parts of who we are – our hearts and our beingness – are most vulnerable to misinformation and misunderstanding.


what’s your story? … the one that makes you want to hide … the one that makes you feel like you are doomed to be ‘it’ in the infinite game of ‘life’s not fair!’


believe me, you’re not alone. we’re all unconscious players in the game of hide and seek – collectively designating someone/some group to be ‘it’ and then running and hiding in our anonymity.


but, what if we’ve got it all wrong? 


what if we’re not here to be found or tagged by others? what if we’re here to find our self – the YOU that’s the same as me and him and her and them.


what if we misunderstood the rules? maybe we were too young, or we unconsciously adopted the views of our parents, or fear and anger sent us into the shadows, or maybe we just weren’t paying attention.


what if this close enough, preconditioned meaning of what we are feeling doesn’t fit anymore – is standing in the way of possibility?


“the game has gone on long enough … [it’s time that we] wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self” (watts).


including this reality is recognizing that home is not some base out there. YOU are at center – in the middle … home!


one by one we’re waking up from the game – out of our collective hiding … out of the shadow of shame – so we can talk, so we can share our views, so we can see that the stories that we have about each other are misunderstandings – broad strokes – a broken puzzle with too many missing pieces that we’ve been shlepping around with us for way too long.


when life screams ready or not here i come! be creative, take risks, explore – find new ways of hiding – seek for someone who doesn’t always hide in the same ol’ place.


and, be curious.  open up some unconditional space … get to understanding your story  – the one that makes you want to hide … the one that makes you feel like you are doomed to be ‘it’ in the infinite game of ‘life’s not fair!’- where it came from – how you contributed to it – and ask yourself, does it still fit?






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