Tuesday, June 24, 2008

(Stop) Shoulding Update

Dearest Goddesses,

My girl came out of surgery just fine yesterday – thank you for sending her love and light.

In honor of Oya and change, I wanted to give you an update regarding the commitment that I made last week to stop shoulding on John – since I recognized the vicious cycle living inside a "should" world is. And since I was rebelling against his should – why wouldn't he be rebelling against mine as well!?

The beginning of the week was challenging because John was traveling with an investor. I recognized that when things were even further out of my control – my need to should increased tenfold. But then he was home and I found myself relaxing a bit and getting centered inside of my commitment to figure out the requests behind my shoulding and I've got to tell you I feel like I'm married to a different man. He's of course the same guy, hasn't changed a bit – but suddenly the lenses that I see him through are a different color. Now don't get me wrong, he still gets on my nerves – I just feel like I don't need to spend the energy making him "get it".

An insight that I did have was that I felt like I needed to set myself up against all the women of history who fought for women's rights. So instead of a man in 2008 – John became a represenatative of all the men who take for granted the women in their lives, I was a representative of all the women who have fought for equal rights and our relationship was suddenly a battlefield of righteousness. When he left a dish on the table, suddenly I was back at my grandparent's house for Thanksgiving wondering why the boys were off playing while the girls were dutifully in the kitchen washing up. When he requested a glass of milk, I would look at him with contempt thinking that he had 2 perfectly good legs to get his own damn glass of milk, when he would do something impulsive, I was of course the wounded martyr always sacrificing for her family. The weight of the PAST – and boy it wasn't just my past that I was throwing in there – I had history inside of the relationship! It became very crowded. There's a big difference when a request for a glass of milk is just a nice thing to do for a fellow human being rather than some historical precedent that I need to beat out of this man I married. I think sometimes when we stop to think about it – we're not even fighting our fights – but the fights of our mothers, our grandmothers and the founding mothers of our world. I'm sure there are better ways to honor these women than fighting over a glass of milk.

So the past five days have been remarkable. And now, inspired by Rowena, when I feel my crankiness emerging, I can now give myself a 35 minute timeout (a minute for every year!) so I can get centered and rejoin my world more powerfully. Another thing – very simple – that has worked remarkably well for me this past week has been consciously enclosing things that I'm worried, stressed, or obsessing over into a box in my mind. I sit and visualize the thing I'm obsessing about (yesterday it was Ginny's health – I had convinced myself, for no rational reason, that she had died) and then I box it up – I covered all sides and I place it on the shelf. I was amazed the first time I did it of the physical relief I felt the second the cover went on. And it wasn't like I needed to use willpower to simply force it out of my head. The box can live there for as long as it needs to and maybe I'll do a cleaning once a month of the old boxes that I don't need anymore.

Patty's Challenge: What can you box up that you don't need to be spending time or energy on right now? Visualize placing it in a box (I was using a nice crate with a latch on it) and making sure all the sides are covered and placing it on a shelf.

Love to you,


P.S. I've shared one of my favorite authors with you – Sanaya Roman. Go to her website – you can download a series of 3-7 minute meditations from Orin for free. That is what I did during my timeout yesterday and it quickly shifted my energy.

1 comment:

Rowena said...

thanks for the shout out. I tell you, the whole time out thing was like a light went off in my head. I wish I had the opportunity for a time out this morning. I needed it.

I also have an issue with the getting a glass of milk thing. I mean, I just think it's ridiculous. You have two legs, go get your own milk.

I have to consciously remember that it is nice to do nice things for people/S.