Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I don't even recognize myself this month. I don't think I've ever been this relaxed. Ever. I'm looking at the world through completely different eyes these days and I like what I see. I don't feel frantic and worried and afraid that I've missed the boat I was supposed to be sailing on.

Life is about making choices and living with those decisions. Sometimes we make the wrong ones and have to live with those consequences. Other times we change our ways and end up with better, healthier outcomes. That's the place I'm in right now. I've overhauled certain aspects of my personality, the parts that were driving me with a whip and torrents of abuse when I tried to slow down and stopped producing big results.

I've slowly dismantled that taskmaster. I hated her, but felt I had to please her or I wasn't acceptable to anyone. In standing up for myself and my nuclear family this year, I found a way to silence her demands and recognize which parts of me were broken and damaged and needed to be repaired.

Identifying what isn't working is an agonizing procedure. We feel useless and panic that nothing at all is going right in our lives. But then we get past that, and on the other side of the rough and rocky path we discover a babbling brook, peaceful and serene, and sunshine illuminating fresh blue sky.

We are not bound by our childhood patterns in adulthood. There is room to change and improve on the skills we developed in order to survive in our families. There are better ways of being, but we must be brave enough to face the terrifying nature of change. The process of facing what doesn't work is deeply disconcerting because it challenges everything we think we know, but in facing it and not running away, we find out there is more to know about ourselves and about the world.

I really didn't understand before this year that my value is in who I am, not in what I do. I couldn't properly relax before this because of the guilt and the fear that was dictating my every decision and action. Now I see that giving to my husband, my kids, my family members and my friends is not time wasted because I'm not producing something measurable and more valuable, but rather time invested. I'm worth the time, and so are the people in my life.

Puttering in my house is good for my soul. Crossing items from my to-do list in a reasonable fashion gives me a fuzzy sense of well-being, and I'm not competing with myself anymore to do a record number of things in a 24 hour period. I'm absorbing the experience of being alive in a completely new way, and reading for the joy of it, and watching movies and feeling no guilt at all.

I'm not writing like I was months ago, but I understand now that I have lots of time for that. The work I'm doing on myself in this season is much more important, and it will inform what I have to say later on. I've reconnected with myself, and therefore with my husband and my kids in a way that I wasn't able to before, because the damaged part of who I am was held back from them. I still feel vulnerable, and not altogether ready to offer up this tender part of my personality, but unsure is better than brittle and unavailable, and I can only work with the parts of me that are in the light at this given moment.

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