Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day - Making Peace

Happy Fathers Day 2010!  An odd holiday to get a shout out from me since my dad left much to be desired.  I  really enjoyed reading all the tributes to the fathers on Twitter and some of my favorite Bloggers gave me big grins with the tributes to their dads.  I also saw a lot of pain, anger and bitterness (clothed in sarcasm) flowing on my Twitter timeline, too.  I know some people have legitimate reason to be angry at their fathers (if you've read any of my previous postings, you know I know).  But I had to let it go.
I made peace with my dad's shortcomings years ago.  I will never forget the night.   I was trying to make sense out of my crazy emotional life.  I had read Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet G. Woititz.  I was doing a lot of introspection about my childhood, my failed marriage and the total loser I picked to live with after hubby.   My dad had been deceased for a few years at the time but I thought of him constantly.  I wrote a letter to my dad.  I poured out all my anger at him and said some things that needed to be said.  I also put myself in his shoes and I cried -- hard -- for my daddy.  I didn't excuse any of his behavior with his family but I made peace with him.  I needed to make that peace for my own sanity. 

My wish for this Fathers Day is for those who have or had less than perfect dads (you know who you are) to make peace with your father.   Whether your dad was the absent dad, the drunk dad, or the abusive dad, find some way to make peace.  I know your pain and I'm not encouraging you to dismiss it, but you've got to work through it and release it.  It's not enough to stuff it down, you've got to let it go.  I know the desire to have a dad you can turn to for guidance when the world is kicking your ass.  For you young ladies, I know the desire of wanting to be daddy's little girl, the one man you know will always love you and support you, to cherish you.   I really do get it.  I could write a book about it - seriously.

For your own sanity and emotional health you have got to find a way to make peace.  Your relationship with your father may not change but speaking from experience, I know you will find a peace in your soul.  Now I can speak of my father as a statement of fact -- without that heart wrenching pain that used to consume me.  I wish I had taken the opportunity to make peace while he was still alive but I'm so very thankful I was able to make peace anyway.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Try Humming - You'll Like It

This has been a tough week.  The grandchild has an ear infection and went from her mommy to me all week -- of course in the middle of the night -- so I haven't had a solid night of sleep.  A financial situation is coming to a head and the brother I thought was going to be able to help me can't.  Oh yeah, I got another reject letter on the job front (the job I have is still stressful as hell).   Then So You Think You Can Dance pissed me off last night by switching up a winning formula and dragging it out Idol style (Gamma doesn't like her TV messed with unless you're improving it).  Nothing major in the overall scheme of things but enough little irritants to have me a little more stressed than usual.

For some reason I thought of my Granny (now deceased).  Granny used to sit in her rocker and hum quietly to herself for hours on end.  She'd just sit there, quietly humming as she gently rocked back and forth, always at peace.  Hands folded on her lap.  No matter what was going on around her, she seemed so a peace when she sat and hummed.  So I tried it.

The house was quiet, the dog was sleeping and Peanut and Mommy hadn't got home yet.  I sat in my recliner, no TV, no radio, no noise at all.  I rocked and hummed quietly.  Calmness flowed through my spirit.  My blood pressure dropped,  I'm sure.  Things didn't seem so overwhelming.  I thoroughly understood what Granny got from rocking and humming.  I even hummed the same non-tune she used to hum. 

These days what my Granny did would be called some form of meditation that would cost me $45 a class.  I'm thankful that I was able to witness Granny in action.  I'm thankful that for some reason I thought of her today.  I'm thankful I had a rocker to sit in.  And I'm thankful I experienced the power of the hum.

Now, to get ready for So You Think You Can Dance.  If I get too upset over this all stars change, I'll just sit and hum.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Aaack - I'm a Hoarder!

Well my weekend soul-searching session was filled with plenty of tears, anger, and enough would-have-could-have-should-haves to cover everyone for a few years.  Alas, I'm no closer to knowing which path to pursue.  I feel like my granddaughter -- I want to do it all!   I realized I'm going to need some help with this part of the process so I'm trying to work in the budget a few sessions with a Life Coach.  I think I would benefit greatly from an objective viewpoint and some assistance with goal-setting, building an action plan and being accountable to someone other than myself right now.      

What the hell does a Life Coach have to do with hoarding? 

If you follow me on Twitter, you know or will soon know that I'm a huge fan of the show Hoarders on A&E.  It's a show about people who literally hold onto stuff.  No matter how unhealthy their homes become they cannot, and a lot of times, will not part with their stuff.  The stuff can be literally destroying their lives, relationships, and careers.  Yet, even with the help of experts, they have a hard time letting go of the stuff.  Their junk and filth is familiar and comfortable to them no matter how disgusting it is to everyone around them (and us looking in).  A lot of them are embarrassed to have "outsiders" visit and see the real them.  The anxiety they experience when experts try to help them make their homes habitable again is very real.  You can see it in their faces.  To us voyeurs looking in through the camera, it's crazy-looking to say the least.   Just throw the crap on the 800-Got-Junk truck is what we're thinking. 

Well, I realized I'm an emotional hoarder.  Some of the habits and coping mechanisms I learned as a child are extremely unhealthy for me as an adult.  Yet, I can't make the leap to get rid of the stuff.  I understand it on an intellectual level.  I've read enough self-help books and been to enough therapists to understand how I got that way (I could probably set up a boot-leg therapy service -- hey another path?)  Yet, I can't seem to toss it on the 1-800-Got-Emotional-Junk truck for them to haul off.

I see the low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and that little bitty (or humongous depending on your P-O-V) need to control everything and I want to throw it on the truck so bad and have it hauled away for good.  Like the Hoarders on TV, I recognize how destructive it is, how self-defeating it is, how it gets in the way of me moving from one part of the house (i.e. my spirit) to another yet I can't seem to put it on the truck and get rid of it.  I can rationalize every piece of emotional junk and give it a pretty important place in my life ... I never know when I might need to use it again (that's that constant chaos thing I'm good at).   Truth of the matter is, it's all stuff that can be hauled off.  It's only going to keep getting in the way and keep building up until I'm figuratively buried in it. 

That's what I want a Life Coach to help me with.    I don't want to rehash why I'm holding on to the stuff, I want someone to help me toss it on the truck.  I could probably do it by myself with time but I've learned from Hoarders, that it's so much easier when the 1-800-Got-Junk trucks roll up and haul it all away at once. 

Some of the Hoarders are ready for the big clean up.  They're tired of the mess but just aren't sure how to go about cleaning it up.  That's when the professional organizer and clean up crew can really handle some business.  The Hoarder just need a push in the right direction -- help with setting the goal.  They need someone to help them break the mess down into manageable sections -- tough work regardless but somewhat easier as they have a game plan for getting it cleared.  That's what I need now.  A push (and some encouragement until I build up my confidence).   If I can find a Life Coach that will help me break down this emotional-hoarding mess into easier to manage pieces -- pieces I can't see right now through all the clutter -- then it will be money well spent.