The Beggar's Blog

About seven years ago a particular aspect of my personality decided that I had ignored and denied it for far too long; it was time to grab my attention. Let me introduce you to the Beggar, my nemesis. My daughter calls him Egg, rhymes with Beg, get it?

Synchronicity: Meaningful Coincidences
During a foray along the richness of the Magnificent Mile, the main shopping thoroughfare in Chicago, my room-mate and I encountered a mile long line of beggars spaced about 3-4 minutes apart. They all seemed to be gesticulating to attract my attention; at least that’s how it appeared to me.  At the end of the line stood a young woman looking quite stylish for a beggar, but begging she was. 

Several hours later another beggar in a local neighbourhood seemed less intent on taking the five dollars offered and much more interested in the take-away meal my friend was carrying. For some reason I found this incident somewhat disturbing.  It seemed to touch a distant memory - or was it a peek into the future - but that seemed really absurd.

Now back home in London, on the Sunday following my encounter with the beggars of Chicago, I went to my local Anglican church – a rare event – as if I knew why I had to go there. Morning Service was in full flow. As I stood at the back of the church, the Reading taken from Mark 10 told the story of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar who was making a loud commotion to attract the Nazarene’s attention.  He wanted to receive sight.

Well, that was it for me. I left the church immediately. There was no way the Beggar was an archetypal pattern of mine.  I simply did not want him; but your fate will always find you. 

After years of living in my neighbourhood, that day I suddenly saw the significance of the nearest pub to my home, notorious for gangland activity in the 1960s, being called The Blind Beggar.
After that I seem to encounter beggars everywhere. One was waiting for me outside the supermarket. Most unusually, he wanted to pay for a hostel bed for the night, and was still £1.50 short of his target of £7.50. But why me…what about the hundreds of people who must have passed by him?

The gods have a delicious sense of humour, but I was not particularly amused. It was too much. Fear began to settle in my bones. Was I required to live up to the Beggar’s challenge of ‘confronting empowerment at the level of physical survival’?  No, please, anything else but not that; I could not survive it. Fear clutched at my heart. 

At the time my daughter found it necessary to remind me that my previous job in the non-profit sector requiring  me to raise funds meant that I begged for a living!!! Thank you child; who asked you?  

Actually, that was true. I had never seen it in that light. The truth was the Beggar was indeed one of my archetypal patterns, but the Orphan Child aspect of my personality had refused to countenance that; she was a survivor and would do so by any means necessary, except as a Beggar.  But the days of the Orphan’s proudly claimed birthright of an uncompromising independence and self-sufficiency were numbered. The Beggar was poised to teach her about  humility, a different type of self-esteem and the real purpose of his presence in her life.  

The single words - addict, beggar, prostitute - used to describe habitual patterns of behaviour should not be taken literally. One needs to look beyond the surface to uncover the fullness of who we are. Our personalities mostly begin as 'diamonds in the rough' needing honing and polishing over time to reveal true worth. Or put another way, some of us require mentoring, training, coaching before the master performer emerges. It is when we do not recognise the gift inherent in us that life can turn sour.


Comments

  1. Well well well daughter! I should just tell her to get on her bike!
    Loved

    "At the time my daughter found it necessary to remind me that my previous job in the non-profit sector requiring me to raise funds meant that I begged for a living!!! Thank you child; who asked you? "

    That is a perfect representation Mya! I have been doing just this, beggaring!


    xxx

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