Wednesday, February 13, 2008

growing pains

You know that Anais Nin quote that says "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom." ?
For a long time I didn't have a clue what that meant, and then a couple of months ago I began to understand the philosophy of it, and then today --today I wonder if she didn't mean it quite literally.

Mindfulness is what is on my mind today. Parenting with respect and love and presence and an open mind.

Here it is -
Yesterday (I was quite unaware that my emotions were due to a dreaded physical matter) I was just not happy. I was not miserable - I just had a serious case of ennui. I didn't understand it in the slightest - I was out playing with my husband and children - gallivanting and joyfully seeking - so why on earth couldn't I feel joyful?
At one point (God, I'm such a jack-ass!) After we had been at the farm for probably two hours, and Trev was pretty dang wet almost to his waist as he was playing in the snow all day, we were relatively close to leaving the farm, and he wanted an icecream sandwich. "No, your clothes are soaked, and you'll be cold on the inside and the outside, Bud... it isn't a good idea."
"But Mooooooom! I want an icecream sandwich!!!"
(I should say at this point that this didn't really come out of the blue - for a couple of days I've taken exception -if only in my head- to the way he has expressed himself to me. Not winning me over, if you see what I mean.)
"You never let me do anything!!! No, no, no!, that's all you ever say!" Someone should perhaps take this boy aside and tell him that saying such a thing to a pmsing, radical unschooling Mama who only believes in "yesyesyes!" that this might not be his best choice of words at this particular time. (though I did tell him to stop eating the animal poo snow. sheesh.)
I didn't lose it - though I was feeling really picked on and Put Upon, especially since all I wanted to do this day was to play and be happy with my family.
Because I wasn't in a good space, the whole thing was about me. And how I felt. And what his words meant to me. And how he was unappreciative of me. And how he didn't appreciate the life I give him.
It was totally lame. Because I was even deeper now in my funk, no one (we were now in the truck) was feeling very joyful, now.
I told Eric to stop at a gas station so Trev could go in and buy some skittles, which I had told him he could do, and I dug in my purse for a dollar, and gave one to him and one to Madd.
Trev was still "you're the worst, blah blah blah" and I said something totally lame like "Don't bother saying thank you." and he said "why not?" and I said I was being sarcastic. "Thanks, Mom!", Maddie said upon receiving her dollar. "Welcome, Babe."
I tried to talk to Trev when he was getting out of the truck, "Look, Bud, I want to be friends, and I don't feel like we are, and I wanna fix it." But :/ evidently getting in between a boy and the door to the candy store isn't the best time to Fix This Relationship. So here I was, still feeling not right, and a bit put upon, and trying to find my way to Joy.

I never did fix it yesterday. Though my mood improved.
But eventually I had a thought. I remembered something that the Mama's and I had discussed around a year or two ago - something about how often when you're leaving a place, it's hard to accept it - you want the great things to continue. So often on the way home from, say, Disneyland :), you'll be in the car, and the children will say "Let's stop at Chuck-E-Cheese!!!" and you're like wth? and they're like "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease?" "No way." gah. The nerve! :)

I don't know that's for sure what was happening, but what I thought of was
Here's what happened, Steph. You said and thought that All Things Are Possible Today, and you encouraged everyone to say what it is they wanted to do, and go, and see, and explore, and Little Son wanted an icecream sandwich (one of his favorite things) and you said "but not that." Why??? Why on this day, this day of Fun and Everything, and maybe a Really Great Day (for everyone who is not neurotic) would you pull out the lamo "you don't count" card?

As you can see, clearly I am a jack-ass.

And this, friends, this pain that I feel now, this "I detest this part of me" neurosis (temporary, but neurosis just the same), is why I think it is quite literally much more painful and difficult to remain in this same head rather than to escape it, and evolve into something more.

It has simply got to be better on the other side of this.
Doing the work and avoiding these sort of scenarios can only improve our lives.

I've really got to dig deep into this "I Am Peace" thing.
It's my only hope.
(may sound fatalistic, but it's true.)


Lerend Zonder School said...

Just you reading into this as deep as you did (concerning the "Really Great Day"), is what you were clearly supposed to learn from this conflict.

In one of my books it says the following:

"The chinese symbol for crisis also is the symbol for opportunity. In fact, when a crisis is a conflict, many of us have learned to avoid it, or try to put an immediate stop to it. This attitude can substantially hurt our ability to learn from each other."

Although I'm the first one to beat myself up over something similar to what you guys experienced, I realize that sometimes it takes a conflict to help me see who I am and how I'm choosing to behave, and also what words I'm choosing to use. Some things are in my control (what I say, how I say it and how I respond to my kids), and some things are outside my control (what my kids do/say). From reading your post, you have reflected on this "crisis" so much so that you can pinpoint how you need to change, and that is the ultimate goal. It's an ongoing process, but now that you are consciously aware, you will do better next time.

For the record, you are NOT a jack-ass.

I literally know exactly how you feel, as I've been there myself.


piscesgrrl said...

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm chuckling over here... I've soooo been there. Later, when I'm feeling more sane (or centered, or calm, or hormonally balanced), I'll look back and wonder what the hell my problem was. Remember, we know there is a delicate balance going on at all times, an inner struggle - sometimes two inner struggles working against one another, the one saying "Gah I'm feeling pissy" and the other saying "I know better and can be better" - and of course, there's the whole path-of-growth you're on. And it's all heavy and intense and takes a lot of head- and heart-space.

But what your kid hears? Smack out of the blue, "No, not an ice cream sandwich."

And while you think "wth?" when they request Chuck E Cheese after Disney, they think "wth?" because things are going along nicely, everyone's having fun, mom is awesome and then WHAM, along comes a "No". To them? It's totally random. You can explain the context, but the first thing that registered was the 'no' and that's where they are.

I'm jus sayin.

But consider this - my hormones are just recently back in check - so that's the lens through which I see today. (Lucky me!)

Stephanie S. said...

Provided that I DO learn from it.
I think the thing is -for me- is that I was off in my head, and unable to shift to a place of reasoning and communication, as I usually am. Usually it would go something like "Well, I don't think it's a good idea, Bud - it's cold, and your clothes are wet."
"But I really want one, Mom."
"You sure? Well, I guess we can stop by home on the way and get dry clothes...."
My focus was on "I'm not feeling good and am being mistreated" or even "how am I going to fix ME? (and the way I am feeling)", instead of "How can I fix this situation?"
I was still coming from a place of selfishness, as I couldn't escape the yucky trap in my mind that I had found myself in.
I was choosing that yuck instead of being joyful and peaceful, and couldn't seem to help myself.

That's where the conscious choosing of peace and joy that I've been talking of a lot lately will really help, I think - the more I choose it, and believe it, and recognize it, the more it shall become a part of my every day life, and who I am.
Hopefully I'll have these "I don't like this" episodes less, and "I can choose peace instead of this" more.

Stephanie S. said...

Laura -
"Yup", "Yup", and "Yup."

And of course I didn't take it the wrong way. (I have a semblance of sanity, still.)

I"m thinkin' I should head over to Dave's Nutrition across the street (homeopath and vitamins) and see what they've got for me.
Couldn't hurt, by God! lol

Also - I"m a little frightened that I have two or three days left...

Now I"m off to shower and have a two hour long meditation before I get to meet friends....


Stephanie Ozenne said...

I typed up a big story of Emmett's birthday last week (in which I spent a bunch of time trying to make it special, and he got mad at me), but the computer ate it.

Suffice to say I TOTALLY GET IT. In the middle of my, uh, mess, I knew I was expecting more gratitude and appreciation than he could give me. I was offended and hurt that he got mad at me instead of being indifferent or nice. I know that he can't know "how good he has it" because it's all he knows. But I couldn't snap myself out of it, either. At least it's infrequent.

And you're not a jackass. Or at least if you are, I certainly am too so we can keep each other company. ;)

Stephanie S. said...

Well, if I'm gonna call other people a jack-ass sometimes, then I'd best be ownin' up to bein' one at times, too!

Mel said...

I love to read your blog bc you can so eloquently describe how you feel and what you are thinking-which I have come to realize is the way many women feel and think-and ultimately how I too feel & think sometimes as well. You are inspiring. I have to ask, can anyone be completly altruistic ALL the time?