Saturday, June 24, 2017

Meanness - Put upon us.

A friend told us a story of his childhood last night during dinner.  How he had gotten a small plant as a boy and he was so thrilled he put it in the window and fussed over it everyday. One day he came home and it was gone. His mother didn't tell him where but he saw it later in the window of a neighbors house. She had given it away.

I said this was meanness of the worst kind from the most important person in a child's life. It made me want to cry these things that shape us forever. As a boy "don't get too attached to anything" or worse "Mom doesn't want me to be happy".  His mother was abandoned by her own mentally ill mother and dropped off at an orphanage only to visited periodically to rub salt in the wound. The nuns finally ask her to quit coming.

We all have experienced something that has shaped us in ways we don't even see.  We just think this is the way we are and I think it is the little messages or big messages of how unimportant we are to the people that were suppose to love us that does the most damage. We decide whether we are worthy of love from those moments.

We don't get to pick our parents. My own parents were loving for the most part even with the whippings my mother gave me. I was definitely a wild child and a handful but I felt totally loved. The school wanted to medicate me (this was the 70's)  She was strict but we were happy and she encouraged us to push our limits even as girls. This is why both my sister and I can do the work of 3 people on an off day.

The worst ideas that were planted in me came from my step mother,  Her jealously and immaturity over the relationship I had with my dad made her a the worst kind of mean. I was no match for her at 12 an easy target for her constant manipulation and mean comments about me. I think because my father didn't stand up for me I believed the things she said were true.  I didn't feel worthy I was worthy of love and I wasn't worth fighting for this is the belief has shaped my life. I have chosen the same kind of people over and over the kind of people that didn't value me.

I have finally learned to value myself and not look for any kind of validation from the outside. I understand that even with my stepmother she was damaged herself. Dumped by the love of her life just before meeting my dad. When I saw her recently after all these years she was still talking about it. The trap was familiar to me "not good enough" even though my dad worshipped her.

The story of my friend really touched me and I feel tears in my eyes now. He has a good relationship with his mother now and accepts her limitations.  What choice does he have if he wants to move on.

I think those of us working on what holds us back are lucky that we can recognize how we came to believe what we believe now.  What shaped us and how we can see that those ideas don't have to be permanent.  Just another person's sickness put upon us.  They didn't know.  It was about them not about us.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dealing with the now - Destination Happiness

This morning I have had a few things swirling around in my head.  This isn't unusual it is the second day of two days off and I have been alone.  Because it is Monday there is some underlying stream of consciousness telling me I could go to the office or work here at home.

This good versus evil has plagued me since I started working Saturdays 14 years ago. Now that I only work every other Saturday I only have to deal with it every other week.  I know in my heart that I will not work today.  It isn't good for the spirit even if you love your job to not take a break.  Time away from the sameness a chance to work on some of those other circuits in the brain that us workaholics neglect.

Of course my usual go to activity is watching TV but this weekend I did not give in and decided to work on a few indoor projects. The treasures I bought from the thrift store needed to be rehabbed. This kind of day makes me feel like my old self the task oriented person I was before I decided there was something wrong with me or at least before I cared so much.

It is hard to find peace especially if you have an analytical mind. The idea that there must be a solution for what ever suffering you are currently experiencing.  Your mind constantly searching for a way out of what you perceive as unhappiness.

I watched a program on the life of Buddha last night. It made me think this suffering is the ultimate unsolvable problem and has been going on a long time. That humans have trying to find a solution for it since the beginning. The Buddha at first thought starving himself was the answer but when this brought him only more suffering  he found that abandoning the search and accepting what is in front of you is the only solution. Nirvana wanting what you have in this moment.

I am not saying that we can't change our circumstances and that we should give up but in each moment we can see that this is but a moment and we are already here so we can just live it. Knowing that it will change and when does even if it is the best we can imagine that moment will pass too.

The minds idea of  "destination happiness"  robs us of today and for me I blamed myself when the happiness passed.  I thought that when I had it I must have been doing something right and when I was unhappy and lonely I must be doing something wrong or worse that there was something wrong with me. Right?

Life is not complicated we are complicated.  Life is a string of events that we sometimes can't control and it is our thoughts about these events that decide what we do and how we feel next. Feeling sadness or fear isn't the problem it is idea that some how we can escape these feelings that makes us lose time and miss the moments we have now. Moments we can not get back.

I want to be happy.  Even that statement is a future statement I think this is what the message of the Buddha was just be where you are and know that there is nothing wrong with you. You are just living and experiencing what all humans have experienced. Life.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I am still dead

My last post I mention a former friend that I ran into in the nursery department at Lowes well last night I was told he is getting married this weekend. This made me sad today and triggered a lot of feelings about what I have lost or more importantly who I have lost along the way.

I try hard not to indulge in these thoughts except when I come here. It takes me down the road that I am somehow I am the only person that feels sad and that has suffered loss. It makes me wallow in the idea that something is wrong with me that I am mostly alone. Everyone feels sadness and most people don't get what they want in life.

I think to wallow in the "I am not enough" mind song is something we have to fight.

Today I drowned my sorrow with shopping.  I bought more plants and went to a few antique stores looking for containers for my new plants. It was a good distraction but tonight I am facing the feelings of being left out and telling myself stories about how great my life was when I was part of the group. Even though that group doesn't even exist anymore.

These are just stories and it wasn't so great a lot of the time.  Life is just like that.  I use to believe that there was a destination happiness. With the right person - with the right job - finishing the next project - all those things would bring me permanent happiness. They did bring me many moments of happiness but now I know that life is one day at a time and you just have to work with what is in front of you. Don't visit the past too often or imagine a fantasy future just be where you are now.

I know I am not the person I was before. I can't play the part I use to in hopes that I would be loved by the people I loved. I have only trusted a few people with my heart and it hasn't worked out so good for me. I think I want something that doesn't exist I want to feel safe.

So this is my sad tale for today. Giving into the feelings of loss and accepting that this is my life.  I am not unique in my suffering. In fact my life is good and I am content most of time. Even though I may be dead to the people in my past tomorrow I will face another day and play with my new plants.