Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Should Factor

           It’s a funny old world. I came to the shop with the intentions of writing this blog; however, when I got to the shop I realized that I had left my notes at home.  So here I was thinking I was a step ahead and now I get to wing it.  Guess that’s spirits way of telling me I don’t always have to have everything written out ahead of time and no cheating for me.  This week’s subject is one near and dear to my heart. It’s something that has come up repeatedly in the last couple of months, rearing its head again and again, making me focus and find my center more times than I can count.  From the way it sounds, this thing is something huge, but in reality it’s really something very small.  Just one little word, the word should.
            In the last couple of months the word should has come up repeatedly.  For me that’s a sign to pay attention.  I started looking at the word should, and the ways that it was being presented to me.  The clearest example occurred to me on a trip to Minnesota.  My dear friend announced at dinner that she was pregnant with her second child.  I was thrilled for her, but I felt something inside me slip out of alignment.  I excused myself from the table and went back into our hotel room.  Once there I burst into tears.  I called my mother and sobbingly told her about my friend’s good fortune.  My mother, bless her heart, told me that if I was that upset and I wanted children that badly to go ahead and have kids.  She reminded me that I have been married for nearly seven years, and I wasn’t getting any younger.  I hung up with her, but I didn’t feel any better. If anything I felt worse.  In a frantic effort to calm myself, totally ineffectively I might add, I called a friend.  I had just started to explain the situation to her, when there was a knock on the hotel room door.  Of course, it was my pregnant friend.  I ended up having to explain the situation to her.  I told her that I had no idea why I was so upset though I was overjoyed that she was having another baby. 

            That night I lay in bed and took the time to try and dig deep.  I wanted to know why I felt the way that I did.  Why was I crying?  Why did I have this terrible sinking feeling in my chest?  Did I really want a baby that bad?  It was one of those moments when I had to get honest with myself.  I went through things for awhile and came to a couple of conclusions, all of which had to do with should.  First off, I felt like I should want to have kids because I was thirty one.  Shouldn’t my maternal instincts have kicked in by now? What happened to that ticking clock?  I wondered if mine was broken.  Second, I felt I should have kids because my husband and I have been married for nearly seven years. Third, I should have kids because I wasn’t getting any younger and now was as good a time as any. 

            As I look at each one of these shoulds I realized that these were things that had been projected onto me, either from family or society.  They were not my personal truths and when I tried to make them my truths I fell out of alignment.  As I struggled to make these shoulds, my I Am’s, I lost myself.  I realized that night that I had to find my own truth, not just about having children, but about everything in my life.  I needed to start looking around to see where the word should had sneaked into my life and been converted into my own false truth.

            I realized that I simply did not want to have children right now.  At first I felt bad.  Shouldn’t I want to have kids?  That question made me see just how much that word pops up.  Sometimes you don’t even see it.  The implied should, as I call it.  You might hear or think a statement like “That’s not the way mother did things.”  In other words, you should not do it that way; you should do it this way.    Or “Christmas is a time to be with family.”  Translation:  You should be with your family on Christmas.  Here’s one:  “There’s never a good time to have children, you just have to do it.”  In other words: You should have children before you are too old, or your ovaries might dry up. 

            Once I realized the word should was so ingrained in my life I started asking questions.  The main question I now ask a should statement is why?  Why should I?  Another good question is: Is this my truth or is this something someone or society is projecting onto me?  This is a tough pattern to break, but it’s important beyond words for each of us to claim our personal truths. This is a clearing process, one that doesn’t happen overnight.  What came home to me though is looking at whether I am going to follow someone else’s truth or my own?  How can anyone else know what is best for me?  I can ask my friends and family for advice, I can look at society to see what might possibly work or possible outcomes, but ultimately the decision is and has to be mine.  Believe me when I say that emotion plays a huge part in this, it’s learning to balance those emotions and stay centered that’s the key.  Let me give you a little example.

            I felt that I needed to spend Christmas in solitude.  The problem:  my husband was home on his two week R&R during this time period.  Had it just been a matter of explaining to my mother that I would not be available for Christmas it wouldn’t have been so bad, but having to tell your husband who has just come back from overseas is a little tougher.  I did speak with him and there was a lot of emotion involved.  Obviously, he wanted me to come with him to his family home.  It would be difficult for him to explain my absence to his family.  Not to mention we only had two weeks together and we would miss four days of that time.  I was so torn.  I cried, begged for guidance, and changed my mind a million times.  In the end, it looked like I would be unable to follow through on my plans and so I decided to go with my husband, while setting some boundaries to achieve the peace and stillness I was looking for.  Turns out the universe had different plans.  The same day I decided to go, a friend mentioned that she just wanted a quiet Christmas.  It gave me hope.  As my husband and I drove back to my mother’s house that night I could feel two distinct emotions.  The first was dread.  I did not want to revisit the subject of us spending Christmas apart.  It had caused so much stress already.  The other emotion was mix of hope and joy.  I felt lighthearted.  I knew this was the right choice for me, the choice that was for my highest good.  My issue was that I didn’t want to hurt my husband’s feelings. 
            After another ten minutes of driving and a sign from my guides, I decided to talk to him about it.  My husband, god bless him, was receptive to what I had to say.  He explained that if this was what I truly needed to do than go and do it.  So I did just that and had a wonderful time.  Yet, it was hard for me to break from the emotions until the decision was made, until I was fully willing to follow my truth.  I made the decision to stand in my I Am, rather than I should.  I hope that each of you is able to break away from the sneaky shoulds, and find your personal truth.  Thanks for stopping by and see you next week. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Introduction: It's Just Not that Serious

I decided that I should write an introduction for all you people that might be reading this that don’t share a tasty beverage with me on Thursday nights.  That first line is all that’s left of four revisions of this introduction.  I spent way too much time concerned with grammar, then I did with simply writing.  Writing is my passion.  I think about writing when I wake up in the morning, think about writing all day, and dream about writing at night.  At what I consider the turn of this year, or the New Year, I decided that enough was enough.  The only person standing in my way was/is me.  That’s it chica, just you.  Yes, I am talking to myself, you’ll get used to that. 
            The reason I even considered writing a blog is because I am tired of writing and then sticking that writing in the back of a drawer, or a random shoebox, never to see it again. I even got tired of writing, what was the point?  Not to mention the obvious fact that I tend to beat my writing to death with all the mental criticism.  A couple of months ago I felt, and heard, a push to start writing again.  I resisted that idea due to the afore mentioned issues.  What was the point?  Turns out I forgot something simple, yet incredibly profound.  I write for the joy of writing.  I had been smashing my writing, trying to live up to some code of standards that doesn’t exist and perfect my writing before I ever stepped into the spotlight.  As a good friend of mine said, “Stop bullshitting and just write.”  I can’t say thank you enough for those words.  They were exactly what I needed to hear.  I also want to thank my friends that suggested I start this blog.  You're awesome!
            This blog is my spotlight of vulnerability.  This is the moment when I make the choice to move forward, instead of remaining in the same stuck pattern of fear.  To most people, writing a blog and then posting it (a critical step that took me nearly three weeks), is probably not a big deal.  For me, it’s stepping of the edge of a precipice.  I figure I will either crash and burn, or figure out how to use these wings of mine.  This blog is also my creative birthing ground.  There will be lots of good stuff in here.  It could be story ideas, excerpts from one of the books I am working on, or just a thought for the day.  Hopefully it will all be fun, as that is the point of me writing. 
            I have found that if I give myself the vague goals like, I’ll try to post on here often, nothing will happen.  I need deadlines.  So here we go.  I will post at least once a week to this blog.   Ah, there it is.  That means one week from today there will be something new for you to read.  You just might want to stop by and check it out.  For anyone who might be nervous that your name will end up floating into my blog page, have no fear.  All names will be changed to protect the not so innocent.  I have to admit that I already have the next post written, so that might be cheating a little, but I thought it sets me up for success, so why not.  I truly hope you enjoy what you read here and I look forward to reading you comments.  If you don’t like what you read, well to quote another good friend of mine, it sucks to be you!  See you next week!