Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I feel like there is a lot I need to get out but I'm not sure what it all is. I am so utterly and totally exhausted from moving. And so very glad it's over! It's been the hardest job I've ever had to do. Being a single mom and trying to move a pack-ratted two bedroom into a cute little one bedroom is a task of magic for sure. The hardest part (I think) has been the emotional drain of too many opinions around me. I know that we all judge one another. It's automatic. Something is different from our own experience and therefore we think it's "wrong" or should be changed. The unfamiliar makes us uncomfortable. I know that I judge other people and I am trying to learn not to but like I said, it's automatic. We really have to work hard to let go that response. What's just as hard as not judging is being judged and not letting it get to you. In my heart of hearts, I know that what other people think of me is not important. If I start to really care what 'they' think, I'm sunk. It only pushes me further away from myself. I can't fit into the box that others think will be acceptable. I have to be very adamant about being who I am or I'll become just like everyone else. I need to be the strange, crazy, indefinable person I am in order to fulfill my life's purpose. We all have what we consider to be negative or less-desirable qualities or habits. I think (or I hope) we all are aware of the changes we need to make in order to feel healthy and whole. What people don't always realize is that their idea of healthy and whole and someone else's may look totally different. Of course if we're striving for something, we assume it is what anyone would want because we find it so desirable. It's like food, though. If several people go out to dinner together and they all order their favorite meal, each person gets something different. We all have somewhere we're going or someone we're striving to be. I have a very clear picture in my mind of the me I'm becoming. When I get too many friendly suggestions, that picture gets foggy or faded. I start to question the things I value and my methods. I second-guess myself and wonder about the validity of my choices verses what other people would do or think I should do. Meanwhile I'm straying further and further from the path I need to be on to get to the me I want to be. I read recently that often when people give advice, it's something they need to hear themselves. If something about my life bothers someone else, why? It is my life after all. They don't have to deal with it. They have their own life and hopefully they're living it the way they want to. So why give other people grief about their stuff? I feel like I'm wandering in mental circles here but maybe I'll eventually get somewhere with this. Because this is my process. Sometimes I have to let my brain chase its tail for a bit before things become clear. So if it bothers someone that I have so much 'stuff' or I own 'too many books', why? I'm not putting it in their space. It doesn't change the person I am. We do the things we do for a reason. Life is a process and we need different things at different times. There is no clear-cut formula that will work for anyone who tries it. We're all out here on our own doing the best we can with what we're given. We're all in progress. Another Ani DiFranco quote I have to share: * "I am a work in progress dressed in the fabric of a world unfolding offering me intricate patterns of questions rhythms that never come clean and strengths that you still haven't seen." * And what some people would consider a burden or a weakness, to others is a strength. Every obstacle is a teacher, every sticky situation is a classroom. When we spend our time and energy wondering or worrying at someone else and their life, we're not really living our own. I guess the final point is that I need be relentlessly myself. I need to stand up for myself when I don't have the energy to listen to opinions and tell people that. I need to be more sensitive to my own emotional state so that I can protect myself and not become overburdened with guilt or frustration or judgment that is coming from outside me. In the end, I know that I'm on the right track and that's all that counts. I need to make changes in my own time. I will not put myself through changes that other people think will be good for me. Only I know what I need and frankly, even that is guess-work. So if we don't have our own lives figured out, what right do we have to tell others how to live theirs? I guess none at all. I'm going to dig in my heels and live the way I need to and I'm going to think twice the next time I feel like giving someone advice.