Sunday, June 15, 2008

Energy For Me

Dearest Goddesses,

I've been talking a lot lately about my waste of energy worrying about everyone else and taking care of everyone else regardless of the effect on me. I've also noticed that sometimes we tend to treat our closest relationships very differently than we would other relationships – we can be mean, judgmental, critical, harsh, cold, you get my drift. I'm not sure why that is, although I'm sure there are a ton of studies out there that will discuss the phenomenon.

Last week, I posted about not shoulding on ourselves – that the second we create the shoulds, ought tos, coulds, etc. that we immediately create a resistance to it. I notice it with myself and my negative self-talk – but also with the people in my life. The second I hear the word should – my fangs come out (although they will be masked by a nice smile!) Who wants to be told what they should be doing? It sucks. But I'm the first one to be telling John what he should be doing – sometimes on a minute by minute basis ;) and he does the same thing with me. Not only do his shoulds get me burning and I tend to waste a lot of energy, but so do the he shoulds. More than likely in an argument with him, I'm not upset about the content of the argument, but in how he presents his argument or how he speaks to me – because he SHOULD be talking to me differently, or presenting his argument differently. It turns into an ugly, vicious cycle and nobody wins.

The Law of Attraction states that what you focus on you tend to attract. I spend a lot of time focusing on how John SHOULD be. And while I think I am right in certain aspects – the fact that I am shoulding on him means that he'll never hear me. You know when your little brother or sister was bothering you as a little kid and your mom said – just ignore him/her. They craved the reaction that you gave them and when that reaction went away – suddenly the game of bothering you wasn't as fun. Sometimes I think that we do that with the people that we are the closest to – perhaps their reaction lets us off the hook in some way. Certainly by focusing on what someone else should be doing – you have less time and energy to look at your own life.

In my effort to enjoy Shakti to the fullest (make sure you check out the chakra orgasm meditation!!) this week, I am going to take on the following.

  1. I know that John loves me – so when I hear (or perceive!!) the shoulds coming from his mouth – I'm going to transform them into love (remember – take a should and communicate the anger, fear, request and love to transform the criticism into coaching). I may ask if he has a specific request and see if there is something that I can honor.
  2. I am going to give up shoulding on John – and when I feel a should coming on, I'm going to work through the anger, fear, request and love and see what I can request of John.
  3. I'm going to give up thinking in always/never terms (he ALWAYS / he NEVER) because always and never are not the truth – he doesn't always speak to me jerkily and it's not like he never pays attention to my requests.
  4. I feel like I have gotten into a habit of commenting (negatively) on a lot of things that John does and I think it is time to push the pendulum in the other direction. When he does something that bugs me, I'm not going to say anything (this will be my biggest challenge!)
  5. Before we go to bed, I'm going to come up with at least 3 things I appreciate about him and I will share it with him.

Since the only thing I really have control over is my own self, I'm going to take this on and see how much more energy is available for me. And this will be great practice to bring to the rest of my life that might not be as "safe".

Are you in it with me? You don't need a significant other – perhaps a co-worker, sister, brother, mother, father? OR take on yourself.

Love to you,

Patty

3 comments:

Rowena said...

I know that when I get into a place where I feel like everything Sean is doing is wrong... well that's when I know that who I am unhappiest with is really me. And i need to put that energy into reaching for my dreams.

How do we take care of ourselves, really take care of ourselves when all our energy is going into taking care of others?

Once we get past the shoulds... then how to do it? I'm still working on it.

Patty Kennelly said...

Well, where I'm starting is working on those things I can control (my actions, reactions, responses, thoughts, beliefs). If I am only focused on John and what he's doing wrong - that is energy expended and no longer available for me. I might actually find, that by focusing on ME, the things I'd like to see in John just might make themselves available.

Sugar said...

You are so right! One of my favorite phrases is "Don't Should on Me." But, just as you have said here, I will should on others. I was in my group this morning where many of us struggle with CoDependency. We were talking about how when there's something wrong inside of us and we can't quite name it, that's when we tend to become overly critical of those close to us and start shoulding. One woman said she notices what she's doing and stops her behavior as quickly as she can. Then she goes to another room or for a walk to get inside of herself and figure it out. Once she can name what it is that is out of sync with how she wants to live, she apologizes (makes amends) to those that she shoulded on.

It's not easy. It's a daily process. Understanding boundaries and our owning our own weaknesses is good. And with that, forgiving ourselves and others is a wonderful way to continue moving forward.