January 19, 2012

Gifts from the FOO

There is a Buddhist practice, which has been popularized as  being "grateful for everyone."  When I first read about it being applied to problem people, I thought of my mom, and  I  laughed and laughed. It did not matter that I was in a public place reading this. 

There is power even in what I receive from a "bad" example. For one,  a bad example shows me what not to do. It also show me what I am capable of at MY most dysfunctional.

Allow me to express  gratitude for a few of my own "inherited" or "learned"  character assets.   

For I have many traits, learned from dealing with my family of origin,  that are double edged. 

 I can really persevere on things that others would say are impossible. However in persevering very closely on tough things, I am often guilty of neglecting other day-to-day things that would really nurture me. That's the way it is. I am still grateful for my perseverance. Tell me "It can't be done," and I am likely to at least make a map of how to do it.

Because my parents were not the best at teaching practical tasks (my mom taught me to peel potatoes by giving me a dull paring knife and then telling me how inadequate my work was and chasing me from the kitchen), I taught myself most things. Some things, like tying my shoes, I did so "difficult" as to quite wrong,  so I had to relearn them later. That used to frustrate me no end, so that I would inwardly curse my best efforts. I am a lot kinder about re-do's,  thanks to learning how to knit a few years back.  Today,  I am the one in my knitting group who will tear out rows of knitting when necessary, in near-complete serenity. I tell folks the practice teaches me non-attachment!

To my credit, I also use the back-key a lot on the computer. Because I am prone to doing things wrong the first time,   I think about doing a thing, several times, before doing. My particular character type--is to fly into action as soon as I get a vision. That way of doing things often must deal with trial and error. So, trial and error has been my teacher, even if there is a good u-tube on something, I don't see it straightaway.

Because my childhood was so fraught with Catch-22's, I unfortunately became very Eeyore-like in my thinking.  I would moan inwardly, just like Eeyore, over how awful things were. And they really were at my house growing up. But the Eeyore attitude got to smelling bad after awhile, so  I learned to trust my gut and speak up. If I got a slap, I knew I was on the right track!  If I had not been willing to pay the consequences, I would be a very timid girl. 

Perhaps, as a result of being slapped around, I got humiliation mixed up with humble.  I was disdainful about acceptance and was not going to be humiliated into putting up with crap (which is what I thought humility was about). When I left home my first way direct way of coping with negative things, was to get mad and rail at the Catch-22's in my life, thinking that was power. But it was just Eeyore gone amok.  

Once I learned to observe where Eeyore was hiding, and was patient, I was able to get that part of me to laugh. Now,  when faced with Catch-22's, I am lighter on my feet. I allow myself to think just long enough to come up with the simplest, least painful solution. Then I act!  

Perhaps that is a bit like one of those promises coming true: the one about resolving a problem intuitively that would have baffled us?

1 comment:

  1. Smitty, that sounds like a rough beginning in life. Childhood shapes what is to come. I am working on not reacting but taking action instead. Some days are better than others. I reacted to a situation with my FIL last week that was a huge slip for me. But I am moving on. It is done. Learning from what I do in every situation.


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