Lighten Up

I had another revelation today. Also on the way to take P to school. It wasn't so much a revelation as it was a notion I'd read somewhere that popped back into my head suggesting that it required deeper exploration.

All the books, blogs, articles I read drive the same points home. Obviously, because everything I read, see or hear gets filtered through my crazy colander of experiences. The holes let the same stuff drain through while the solid pieces catch anything my subconscious deems to be important. Imagining my mind as a colander makes me laugh because it reminds me of my dad's fondness for saying, "You need that like you need a hole in your head" about various and sundry things. But now that I think about it, I could use a few more holes in my head so that more stuff could slide through rather than cluttering my mind.

This illogical imagery--like most things in my life--brings me to The Four Agreements. Specifically the second: Don't take anything personally. This one is my nemesis. I do an excellent job of helping other people not to take things personally. I have long discussions with my kids when people do mean stuff it's usually because of some hurt inside them and no reflection on us. I'm even doing a better job of not getting my own feelings hurt as much, but I still have this one habit I need to work on...

When something happens and I strain it through my personal colander of experiences, often, I think what comes out the other side is...right or true or good or whatever positive self-righteous adjective you'd care to insert here.

A few of my friends and I even jokingly say, "Oh if everyone were only as perfect as us." But I'm realizing more and more, that sometimes, I actually do impose my own feelings about what's right or true or good onto other people. Often against their will. Like I'm perfect or something. I feel like an asshole right now. Thanks to this amazing article my fabulous and brilliant friend Molly posted, I'm gonna stay with this feeling. Oh, and I'm also gonna share it with you. Because...."Omigosh this is so disgusting. Taste It." Right? Well, something like that.

I'm not going to name specific examples of my doing or having done this because then I'd have to draw on a bunch of personal stories and my friends would start texting me like, "Was that me?" And then it would be a whole to-do of I'm sorry's and crying and I love you's, which is so awesome and one of my favorite things ever, but we have baseball every night this week so there's no time.

BUUUUUUTTTT, I can use my husband for an example because that poor guy is all to often on the business end of my crazy but shockingly knows I'm this much of an asshole and loves me anyway, God bless his patient soul. He's a prize of epic proportions.

So, when we were first married, he used to tell me, "Lighten up." That's it. He didn't mean anything by it except that I should stop taking myself, the situation, life, whatever so seriously. However, I filtered that phrase through a lifetime of seeing the destructive path carved by being critical, perfect, fake and uptight and was doing my best to be a lighthearted, free-spirited fairy princess. So, I didn't hear, "Lighten up." I heard, "You have completely failed and become everything you tried so hard not to be." That was 20 years ago, but it's still a relevant example. Also, that phrase has long been banned from our house.

That's just one of thousands of examples and only the tip of the iceberg really, but do you get it? So, my girlfriend then tells me that her husband told HER to lighten up, and I'm all, "Oh. No. He. Didn't," (cause I immediately get ghetto--I can say that cause I am straight up from the ghetto) and now I'm projecting my own experiences onto her situation whether or not she had any negative connotations associated with the phrase, "Lighten up." She does NOW.

Whew, I'm glad I worked through that. Aren't you delighted you came along? I only shared it because a few of you profess to share a compartment with me on the crazy train so I thought it might resonate. Also, if I've strained your experiences through my crazy colander...I'm really, truly sorry.  I'm a work in progress. We all are. Peace...

1 comment:

  1. What about just doing the Tighten Up?


Mary Swan-Bell 2012. Theme images by merrymoonmary. Powered by Blogger.