Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm back, did you miss me?


I've been afraid to write.

There. I said it out loud.

Sometimes I start writing and the things that come out are shocking. Alarming. My words seem to self propel – they take on a different direction than any I might have intended. A can of worms might open, one that I didn't know existed. All unsettling.

A recent example: Do you ever want to run away from home and never come back? I do... far more frequently than I am comfortable with.

I wonder how I ended up here. How this journey became mine. How did I acquire this vast responsibility of caring for others – some days I can hardly care for myself. I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, scared. Scared that my love is not bigger than my exhaustion. Scared that one of these days I will fall apart and break into a million tiny pieces. And that all the kings horses, and all the kings men, won't be able to put me together again.

Another example: I'm tired of the bickering that goes on around me. I'm tired of putting out fires, preventing meltdowns, anticipating needs, being responsible.

And if that hasn't sufficiently depressed you... I'm tired of apologies. Other people's apologies that is. It's so easy to say I'm sorry, but when the behavior is repeated over and over, 'I'm sorry' loses value. Stop being sorry, start being responsible.

And now you know why I haven't been blogging. I'm not afraid of the brutal writing, per se, but that's not my purpose. My intention when using this mode of communication or expression is the soul-searching, tapping into my inner child, finding direction from within. I haven't been giving myself the space to do that. Not that I don't value the spewing. I do find it productive, or at least validating. When I put the words on paper I no longer need to hold on to them. I am able to question what's behind them. What was the trigger? Why do I feel resentful? Am I meeting my needs? Am I being kind to myself?

Allowances, permission, forgiveness – I grant myself these and more. I recognize that some of this stems from funky hormones, less sleep than I am accustomed to, reacclimating to life with a little one. Yet when I look just a little deeper there is a common denominator for all these rough (multiple definitions) drafts. They all stem from expectation.

When I have an expectation, I set myself up for disappointment. This is something that I have struggled with for most of my life. Doing it all myself, being unable/unwilling to ask for help, waiting to be desperate before reaching out, finally asking/begging from a point of despair - with an expectation that “I never ask, so obviously, when I do, you better show up for me...” So much faulty thinking there. 
Learning how to separate asking for something, from expecting a result has been beneficial, but I'm a work in progress. Making the decision to detach the emotion is something I grapple with, regularly.

Detaching can come through building walls to protect myself. I can easily 'harden my heart', cut off feeling and do what I gotta do, from a distance. That form of detachment is a survival mechanism, one that I need to reserve for a situation that requires survival skills.

The detachment I strive for is that which stems from presence and mindfulness. I am aware that I need to take responsibility for my thoughts, my speech, my behavior. I recognize that I have no control over the outcome. Expecting to control the outcome is trying to control the thoughts, speech and behavior of another, and those are not mine to control. When I blame a person or situation for my the way I'm feeling, I am essentially handing over my control panel, and that's a power I want to hold onto. The effort belongs to me, the outcome does not. When I abandon the word should, I have a much more peaceful existence.

This is not simply a decision, it's a practice. It begins by picturing that peaceful existence. I keep my eye on the prize. I question the patterns that prevent this tranquil reality. I recognize that they are my own doing. I acknowledge that it is within my ability, within my grasp, to make it real.

I have learned to ask for little things, without expectations. “Would you please make me a cup of tea.” Or “please bring me the phone.” Don't roll your eyes at me. These are my baby steps, and they allow for me to gain sure footing. When I successfully ask for something small, I move onto bigger things. Sometimes I'm a little shaky, but I have been asking for things that matter, without emotion. While I may find myself cringing deep inside, I simultaneously believe in my capacity to carry out the vision of a peaceful existence.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and take on a stretch. I resolve to be undaunted by my own words, to give them freedom of expression, through which I grant myself an opportunity for discovery.


To peaceful existence within all of us,


Chana

p.s. I'm back, did you miss me?

12 comments:

  1. Chanie, you are unbelievable! Your expectations of yourself are way, way too high. We are all human and we all have demons that we fight. All the time. I loved reading this-it shows the very real you. And makes the rest of see, that everybody goes through this. Not just us. I went through this after I had my third child. I was so happy with my life, yet so miserable (I was then diagnosed with post-natal depression). And I still, more often than I would like to admit, get this really low, depressing feeling about my life. It is very unsettling, because this is the life I want and love. Your post just helped me realize I am not the only one in this boat. And I just have to work on myself. Thanks for sharing this so beautifully.

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    1. Thank you Devorie, I appreciate your comments. My expectations of myself might be a little high, but I'm working on that too. Grateful to have plenty of room to grow.

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  2. Wow are you speaking for all of us??? Feels like you took the words right out of me.

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    1. I speak for myself. Glad it resonated.

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  3. Yes, we missed you. This is amazing. Your power to reach within yourself, to express such truth, to share what many of us experience, but somehow illuminated...it's a beautiful thing. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you Bella.
      Your feedback is valued and always expressed so eloquently.

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  4. Beautiful and honest - your sharing is a gift! Don't make us miss you ever again.

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    1. Thank you. Will try not to disappoint the readership

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  5. Chanie or Chana Leba :), you expressed something so powerful and real which many of us experience. Thank you. What a gift!

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    1. Thanks Laykie or Devorah Leah. I appreciate your feedback

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