Something Fishy Is Going On
Taking my seat in a large auditorium church, it is day two of a much anticipated conference. After a few minutes of sitting I notice something smells fishy. I raise my hands to my face. No, it’s not my skin. My skin smells like the just applied “Falling in Love” lotion I lathered on after my shower.
I pull softly on my blue and white guaze top and smell the corner of it while looking around the room as though I always do this and it smells freshly laundered. Nothing. Then I look to the right. There is a woman with short brown Liza Minelli cut hair, a ruddy face and overexuberant disposition. I lean into her to hug her and eeeek, it is her. She stinks. She smells of, not old seafood from a diner platter the night before, but from “I took raw salmon skin and rubbed it on my body this morning as my new lotion.” I couldn’t believe it. My gag reflexes set in and I wanted to barf.
I leaned away from her to breathe as my mind kept pondering how someone could smell so fishy. Ten minutes later my inquiry is answered. I imagine she took fish oil pills and it is coming out of her pours. I wasn’t sure what to do. I was seated in the “minister” section and there weren’t any empty seats. I vascillated between extreme nausea and breathing through a small slit in my mouth while keeping my nostrils closed. I could do it, yet it was uncomfortable.
During small group assignments I had some relief as we weren’ t in the same groups so I could take deep, deep inhalations without restriction. Then the leader would ask us to circulate and there Rev. Fishy would be standing in front of me; then hugging me.
Occassionally I wondered if I should tell her. I have a reputation for being outright and sometimes blunt. I practiced in my mind “excuse me, do you take fish oil tablets?” Nope, that wasn’t right. “Maam, I thought I’d let you know …” Nope, that sounded strange too. I went back to my no nose, through the mouth technique and living with it.
Later in the day she moved from sitting next to me to the back of the santuary. I did an internal happy samba. Another exercise and there she was. After hugging, again, I smelled my skin and I could smell her on me, the smell lingered for ten or fifteen minutes. When she wasn’t around; I could conjure up the smell by simply bringing her face into my mind.
After the day was over I visited a friend where I told her this story. She smelled my skin and we agreed it wasn’t me. Driving back to where I was staying I became aware I had been taking a new supplement package. I let myself into the house and ran to the bottles. Yep, one of the pills had fish oil in them. For research purposes, I took another and felt fine. Then, I burped. The smell and the taste I’d been in all day filled my mouth. Was I the fishy one and I blamed someone else? Was there something in my chemistry mixed with the woman sistting next to me which heightened the scent in her presence?
I got to thinking (and swearing off the pills) how often do I blame others, or project my issues upon others, unknowingly? Then, ask a friend to verify my reality and she takes my side? I sit with this question. I am better, I believe, since doing my consciousness work. I do it far less then I have in the past, and when I catch myself I apologize. Yet, the question remains. It can be difficult when I am stinky and can’t smell it to own up to the “me factor” in the situation.
What I’ve learned about projection:
1. When there is stink and I smell it, I am somehow involved. I am either the stinker, receiver of the stink, or a combination thereof. I am involved. I am in the field of “stink.”
2. Regardless of where it originates, I can be involved in its clean up. I can move or change my environment; I can address the situation; I can stay in the midst of it all and bless all involved.
3. Stink is temporal. This means, it too shall pass. I will invest an appropriate amount of life energy to the issue; not making it bigger than it needs to be.
I end my evening with prayer, calling forth my seat mate’s face (and yes, the smell followed) I spoke words of love, gratitude and well being for the two of us. Knowing there is no time and space in the Infinite; just pure Love, I allow this energy to wash over us both and gradually the air neutralizes. I ask my inner guidance to show me anyone else I have judged and as faces pass the inner recess of my mind I sit in this energy of Love with each new mental picture.
My head lands on the pillow satisfied and satiated.