A tale of transformation self awareness.
A Poem by Pattee Brown - written circa 1995
The first time I ever had an M&M
my mom filled my little hand
with these pretty candies.
They were hard, and round
and seemed strong, like pebbles.
I carried them, like a prize, closed tightly in my little fist.
But when I went to eat one,
I saw their gooey insides smeared
all over my palms.
Little M&M corpses all over my hands.
I cried my eyes out that day,
because I didn’t know they needed to be treated with care.
Sometimes I feel like an M&M.
When people see me for the first time, they think
I’m hard, and round, and I seem strong.
But, just like those M&M’s I carried that day,
my hard, strong exterior can be deceiving.
If I were an M&M, I guess I’d be the brown one.
The color most people don’t really notice.
Not the pretty blue one everyone picks out of the pile.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not just as soft and gooey and sweet on the inside.
I bet if you bit into a brown M&M, it would taste just as wonderful and exciting as that pretty Blue one tasted.
And I bet it you wrapped your hurtful words and insensitivity
around my hard, strong exterior,
I too would be crushed.
And you’d be left with little Pattee corpses all over your hands.
I bet you would cry too.
Because you didn’t know I needed to be treated with care,
or that I could make you feel just as wonderful as a pretty blue M&M could.
In looking back on my life, I understand now that I was two people while walking through my journey. The one who believed she was a brown M&M who was unremarkable and unworthy of attention or love, and the other one who the world received as confident, perhaps a bit abrasive but ultimately dynamic and quite remarkable according to many of the people I have been blessed along the way to know and love.
The facts of my actual life and accomplishments didn’t hold any weight against my perception of myself. I was successful, I had reinvented myself numerous times, had many friends, was wise well beyond my years and was the foundation of support for many people. Yet those facts paled in comparison to my belief that I was terminally flawed, unlovable and undesirable.
I wrote this poem when i was 30 years old and when I wrote it, every word was true to me. I believed I was the brown M&M that nobody noticed. Does it matter that the truth was very different than what I believed? Nope. Because the reality I was living was inside my head not outside in the real world. My beliefs dictated my experiences and my belief was that I was less than. I was not enough. I was flawed.
So, this begs the question… “How did I stop believing the things that limited my experiences?” How did I discover that I am a worthy and lovable woman that deserves happiness and grace in my life? How did I go from feeling like a brown M&M to believing I am a Blue one?
To answer that question its important to note there are many roads that can lead us to where we need to go and often times more than one we have to walk before the answers are clear to us. We travel through life on various paths, and if we are lucky we arrive on the other side of each journey knowing more and being more enlightened than we were when we started out. Some paths are hell fire we must survive, others feel wonderful and we enjoy while we can. Neither is better than the other, they are simply different life lessons we must experience in order to learn what we need.
There is no simple answer to how I turned my self perceptions around. No magic bullet. No easy fix. Each of us has been on however many journeys that land us where we are. The key is self awareness and practicing conscious living. To recognizing why we do what we do, what we believe that inspires us to make those decisions and learning to examine those beliefs to determine if they are true. It takes time, dedication, practice, study and faith to go from believing your are a Brown M&M to believing you are a Blue one. Its mastering emotional intelligence and understanding who you really are. Socrates was a very wise man - he boiled all philosophy down to two words... KNOW YOURSELF.
So the practical answer to how I came to know i am a Blue M&M and always have been involves many lessons and many roads and much practice. But the shorter answer is far more simple to express here...
I did the work and got to know myself.
If any of this resonates for you and you need some help getting started, perhaps I can help you on your way. its my honor to help anyone who wants to explore their journey. Give me a call and lets get started.