Sunday, May 29, 2016

Grace - Instincts and entertainment

Image result for images of mallard ducks crossing highwayI experienced a moment of grace this week that brought tears to my eyes.  I was on my way to work sitting at a light at a really busy intersection.  Two mallard ducks and six ducklings came to the corner and started crossing.  Cars and trucks were flying by and never slowed not one.  When the light finally changed the ducks were across.

It was like they were totally blind to their surrounding and yet they made it across   You could say it was instincts that took them across that busy street but we have all seen ducks that didn't make it.  I think this is why it felt like grace.  For some reason the universe conspired to protect them.

In my own life I have experienced a lot of grace.  When my mind failed me there was something that kept me going or at times kept me still. I always thought I could think my way out of any situation but my mind became my worst enemy and somehow something inside of me was able to see that.

It was hard but I started to ignore the voice that I had relied on my whole life. I started looking for the silence and when I found it I would just stop there for as long as I could.  I trust that part of me now more than ever and whenever I am at a crossroad I trust my instincts over my intellect.

My instincts my failed me like it did the ducks but I guess grace will have to kick like it has so many times before.  I love my mind and the entertainment it has offered me all these years but I have learned that it is mostly just talk and can't always be trusted.

Today I am happy to be free from thinking so much and thinking my thoughts will save me from whatever situation I am trying to run away from. I can be peaceful and know to trust my instincts and when they fail me there is always grace.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Peace - Better than I am today

I have written a couple of post that I lost interest in before I posted them.  I wonder sometimes whether writing here is really what I should be doing anymore.  Whether my words are of any interest to anyone since sometimes they don't even interest me.

I began writing here at a time in my life that was so low that I could barely function.  I had lost everything that I thought was important to me.  I had lost even my core self or so I thought.  It was a time when there was no one to lean on and all the fixes of the past didn't work.

There were times when I didn't think I could go on even one more day.  My mind and body were working against me and I was convinced that I would feel like I did forever. Eight years does seem like forever when you believe you will never feel happy again.

I believe now that the stress of being left again together with the recession and some symptoms of menopause over taxed my body and produced the perfect storm in my brain.  My judgment wasn't good and I faced the situation alone and didn't seek medical advice. I didn't know that the prolong state of crisis that I was in along with the lack of care for myself  was affecting my thinking.

I have spent my whole life thinking I was in control and that I could manage whatever came my way. I had to believe this to survive I learned early that you just have to push on no matter what. My first experience with this was the death of my mother. I taught myself how to deal with the unknown by staying busy doing something every minute to avoid the feelings.

This was my method and it worked pretty well until my husband left.  He was really the only person I let in my world even to this day. We had the same brokenness his mother had also died at eleven too and his father drank to avoid the pain. He had been alone too and we connected in a way that was not healthy but felt safe. When he moved on I withdrew back into my task mode and kept going.

I found Al-Anon and it changed my life.  It helped me first to simplify my thoughts and to focus on the moment.  The slogans "first things first" - "keep it simple" and 'one day at a time" kept me going. I went to meetings everyday and I found people like me.  People who thought too much and felt responsible for everything.

Until then it never occurred to me that my thoughts were hurting me or that my thinking was developed by my own child's mind. Every solution I found including the program was just and extension of my need to control what was happening to me.  It was more of the same feeling I was responsible for every right and wrong thing that happened to me.

Where this long emotional road has brought me is to a final resting place. A place of peace only after realizing their is no solution.  Once I was able to remove all the layers of thoughts the child in me had created to survive I was free. At first I was terrified because I felt so empty without the constant dreaming and scheming going on in my head.

I realized I had to stop searching for the secret to life and happiness.  The warm fussy blanket of protection that would keep bad things from happening to me.  The energy that I spent doing this wasting the actual time I had to be happy.  Nothing bad is happening in this moment and so I can just be happy.  My mind is totally bored with this idea because there is nothing for it to do.

The way I thought was a habit and a way to entertain myself when life was out of control. I had to let it all go to find what I really wanted which was peace. Peace that is available every moment if I choose to acknowledge it.

It has been a long journey to find myself and forgive myself.  I learned a lot and had to un-learn a lot too.  I feel gratefull today not to be trapped by the constant need to be better than I am today.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Triggers - Cunning baffling and powerful

I have let something at work get under my skin. It a circumstance that triggers my past of dealing with the addicted. My perception that those that have addictive personalities use their charm to break on the rules and do what ever they want even if it has a negative affect on other people.

It takes me back to my husband and how everyone thought he was the greatest man on earth.  People would tell me, especially women, how lucky I was that he married me.  He was charming and would say everything that everyone wanted to hear.  In public and in front of friends he was smooth and everyone loved him including me.

I accepted the task of taking care of our lives.  In our private life nothing ever got done unless I did it. He made big promises and little promises and it didn't matter how important they were they were never kept.  He meant it with all his heart when he made them but mostly I think this was instinct a way to smooth things over temporarily and I so wanted to believe him.  A skill I think he developed at a young age living in a house with active alcoholism.

My own sickness was my eagerness to take care of everyone and make things run smoothly.  I did feel lucky that a guy so popular and that everyone loved would be interested in me. The truth was our life together was one crisis after another.  We didn't have the skills to deal with adult problems and he turned to alcohol when he couldn't deal with life.  I turned to managing crisis he created it was full time job.

I spent all my time trying to get him to do what he said he would do.  To shape him into the person I knew he wanted to be. Really he told me that he wanted to do better and provide for me.  When he turned thirty he told me how he was disappointed that he was not further along and couldn't give me the things I deserved.  How could you not love a person like this.  Of course by then he was on his second affair also a part of alcoholism progression.

This relationship made me complete nuts mostly because I thought I could make a difference.  It was obvious that he needed to just do what he promised.  It also made nuts that no one could see how what he was doing was ruining our lives.  He always said and did the right thing in public and his drinking friends thought I was a controlling bitch.  One to me that we didn't belong together.

What does this have to do with work. My co-worker was put in charge or qualifying customers and then passing them on to us. This was a great help at first but over time they have stopped being that interested. They also promised the customer anything and then handed them over to one of us to deliver the reality of our world.  Then the past few months I stopped really getting very many leads. They went on vacation and that week I got so many new customers I couldn't keep up.

What really got me going was they started taking on new customers for themselves.  In my mind a conflict of interest when they are speaking to everyone that comes in the store. No one has a problem with this except me because they have enough referrals and I am still establishing myself.  Also this person comes and goes as they please leaving early, calling regularly and saying their car has broken down and calling in sick.  I think they are working on these other jobs.

I thought to myself "why is this making you so crazy?"  my answer is that someone is coming between me and my ability to take care of myself. I have turned my happiness over to someone else. The part about them getting away with all the other stuff is related to my past. Everyone loves this person and no matter what they do they can do no wrong.  This makes me crazy.

I finally decided to remove the real problem for me.   I told them for my shifts I would take the calls and meet the customers and so far business is booming. Only two shifts. What they are doing outside what affects me is none of my business.  I don't want to spend anymore time thinking about them or what they are getting away with.  This is my past feeling from living with an alcoholic an thinking it was my responsibility to make them do right that takes me straight to crazy.

They are mad at me and as expected turned this around this around to be my problem. They are right is is my problem and I have solved it for myself. When you have lived with a cunning, baffling and powerful disease and recovered you can see things that others can't see.  You also have to ability to step back and see where those feelings are coming from. You can't avoid triggers but you can see them for what they are just ghost from the past. I don't have to give into to crazy.