It’s as plain as the Ann on egg’s face.

THE LITTLE ELF — By John K. Bangs
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I met a little Elfman once,
Down where the lilies blow.
I asked him why he was so small,
And why he didn’t grow.

 
He slightly frowned, and with his eye
He looked me through and through –
“I’m just as big for me,” said he,
“As you are big for you!”

 

Books and reading weren’t big in my upbringing, but this little ditty got a huge whack of time.

It spoke to my mother.  And, all these years, it’s spoken to me.
A wishful, reassuring, “I’m ok despite my fears and deficiencies.”

What never struck either of us, though, was that we had strengths. Our sensitivity. Our generosity. Our glaring awareness of ourselves and others. Our vulnerability. Our honesty. Our courage to show our true selves.

We have strengths in areas where, thirty adult years have almost taught me, others might be deficient.

My focus on my failings has been a preoccupation. It’s made tough situations torturous. It’s slammed doors and stung hearts. It’s kept me cowering and defeated as I’ve approached interpersonal obstacles. It’s squeezed me into a tiny, fragile self.

As I limpingly come to fathom possible latent advantage, I’m trying to see the need to turn this ditty around.

G.O.B.: What? No, Michael, you can. Don’t you…? You just won the gold medal at the sexual Special Olympics. She can’t ever find you again. Don’t you see that you’re so lucky? God, how do you not…?
Arrested Development — Alter Egos — March 17, 2004

 

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