Give Because You Want To, Not Because You Are a Victim To Their Taking

Giving

Self-Care Tip – Give to others because you want to and have so much to give.

People who live in chaos, generally do because they want it. They are the ones who think you are the best one day and are screaming you down in the next. They pit team-members against each other. Without the team-members knowing what happened they are now distrustful of people they used to trust, feeling suspicious and defensive. The people who live in chaos have their own gravitational force for extremes. Extreme behavior finds them. They are suffering. No doubt, but at the same time, they thrive on this in some way. They choose it. Even so, they don’t know their choices and are ever the victim in any crime scene.

I have seen a few amazing life-stories unfold where these habits were reorganized into friendly behavior. It took years but every time I see these people, knowing where they came from, my mouth is open, my soul lays in splayed humility and I have new hope in the Love that heals us.

Clara was one such as this. I’m not going to tell you all of her story but let you know that now she has woven a net of support around her, people she spends time with, peer groups she attends. She takes her medications and doesn’t change the doses without discussing them first with me. She feels pleasure without having to be at an extreme.

Clara still has some people in her life who haven’t done this for themselves. Who haven’t worked on themselves and become their own friend and she has been tempted to “save” them at times. Clara just told me the other day,

I am not responsible for the fact that she doesn’t have any one else but me.

Clara has been tempted to stop investing in herself to invest more time caring for those who don’t care for themselves. But she didn’t. She maintains her health and investing in herself and she is still living. She gives to others because she has so much to give. Not because she is a victim to their taking. Clara continues to fight for herself and I respect her. I am learning still about doing this for myself and hope you are too. Out.

Questions: Have you ever seen these kinds of miracles in people’s lives around or in you? What was it like? Please tell me your story.

Stigma Can Hack At Us, But We Don’t Have To Lose Our Heads Over It

City of Canterbury budget 2010−2011 072a

Image via Wikipedia

A few days ago we wrote a blog-post entitled “Be A Tall Poppy.”  I had more than one person ask in comments and in person, what the —-! did that mean!

Why a poppy?  Why discriminate against the many other lovely but apparently unapplauded flora of the world?

What does it mean to “be a tall poppy?”

This referenced the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” of Anglosphere nations.  It tells us that culturally people who wear their accomplishments openly and indiscreetly invoke jealousy in others who then correctively cut the “tall poppy’s” down.

No offense to other buds around the globe, but when we say, “Be a tall poppy,” we say be yourself without the “discretion” of hiding your beauty – flaws and desired traits included.

We probably can’t change cultural opinion much if we don’t work with our own feelings of possible social rejection of making these changes in ourselves.  Being a tall poppy means that we will not be reduced by stigma and other forces; we stand tall and live.

In our blog-post Paging A Testimony, Nancy told us about her discomfort with the response of others to the way her improving health demonstrates itself and changes the dynamics of their relationship.  The balance of energy, power and involvement between her and others is in flux.  Her courage of prevailing through can be coined with, “Nancy is a tall poppy.”

Way to go Nancy!  Stand.  Cowing to those negative emotions is the same as cutting the poppy’s head off and stem left short.  Feel the tension, but stand.  Be present with your emotional responses.  Stand tall.

Self-Care Tip #279 – Be present with your emotional responses.  Stand tall.

Love Differently, Love Your Flaws – Be a Tall Poppy

Tall Poppy

Image by Steve Corey via Flickr

To my family and friends, I thought differently.

But since I’ve loved my flaws less harshly, like pointing jeweled fingers;

since I’ve fallen and let myself savor who I was just then, rasping throat from less than gentle sounds, beautifully broken down, a phoenix who was afraid and not afraid to die;

since I’ve been in the same room with myself, my smells, my dying cells, my mistakes and since I’ve loved these things – since then I have loved you.

I thought I was before but this is differently better.

I am loving you when you turn away and miss your opportunity to praise.  I feel myself soften and think how you are mine.

I am loving you when you miss your self-care and come late and forget.

I thought differently before.

I thought I loved you more the other times, but this is.

It is better to see that you will never be who I expected and that you just missed the turn and won’t.

It is better since I have thought more of me.

And although this sounds off; a discordant honk in the culture score around us,

Although this is awkward showing my ankles exposed while I walk amongst tall-poppies, I even love that

and it is not to say I gloat,

just that I won’t run to hide behind my accomplishments

and won’t hide you behind yours.  I love you more because there is more.  This is differently better and I love you.

Self-Care Tip #278 – Be a tall poppy.

Related Posts:

Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea

Paddle away

Image by San Diego Shooter via Flickr

We are doing a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious
  2. Our own Emotional Junk 
  3. Positive Emotions and Behaviors are Contagious Too 
  4. Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea (today’s post) 

Paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean (OP) today brought me to flocks of pelicans, breaking waves and a seal who said hello.  The OP was kicked up into big swells and long-shore currents.  There was all this ocean to connect with using not much more than a paddle.  Where do the waves come from?  The moon?  The wind traveling currents of changing temperature?  And what did I have?  A paddle and a board.

Our body is about like that.  There is this huge amount of unconscious self that we are connected to but not in a direct sensory way.  Our emotions, touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight; our spiritual quotient, emotional quotient, intellectual quotients – these are a pinch of what make us who we are.  These are our summarily interpretive lens for the world.  They steer our choices and shape our understanding of reality.  They are our “paddle and board” in an ocean of biology.

Even though the things we have a direct sense of, a direct connection with and thereby implying control of is not the majority of what makes us who we are, it is such a privilege to actively engage in it.  It is what makes our life worth living.

When we think of where behaviors and emotions come from, we think of many paradigms.  But that pinch, that bit of the great enormous creation we are that we are conscious of is such a pleasure and wonder.  To not engage with it fully as we are free to do is an unqualified loss.  It is to be without board and paddle at sea.

This is not to say that we are to ignore the great majority of our biology that is otherwise who we are.  Any surfer knows better.

Self-Care Tip #270 – Do all that you can with the amount of direct awareness you are given and relish the experience.

We Are Unique

Waiting room of Nanjing railway station

Image via Wikipedia

We are unique, but it is not our suffering that makes us unique.

What Comes To Me From Others Is a Gift

DSC_0065

Image by krystal.pritchett via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #246 – Take care of yourself and expect that what comes from others is a gift.

Do you ever ask,

Why does drama follow me?!

It is just darn hard taking care of ourselves (including taking psychotropic medication.)  Much of the rest of the world has difficulty with it too.  Despite our best efforts to go towards what is friendly, we might decide that choosing the company of un-self-cared-for loved ones is more friendly to ourselves than cutting them off.  That is our choice.  If we want them in our lives, we are not able to just take the bits that are friendly.

Some of us are more dramatically affected by this than others.  Wonder about why that is.  I’m wondering if it has to do with our different perspectives of who will take care of us.

Feeling like someone else is going to take care of Me is a trap.  Expecting someone else to find us for love, to expect leadership, to follow without accounting for our steps, to decide without knowing we decided, thinking someone else decided for us – these are traps.

Drama-icon

Image via Wikipedia

What do we expect other people to be for us?  We will interpret the drama we encounter differently when we are our own leader.  If we take care of ourselves and if we come in a state of readiness then we can offer more of these gifts and visa versa.  Gifts are free and as free of agenda as our flawed selves can give.

We embrace our emotional self, our thinking self, our judgmental self, our sensory self, embrace and live ourselves up most fully, and we are most friendly when we do it with the freedom our lives were designed for.

Drama will always come up as long as we think that someone is worth being in our lives.  We will remember that we chose them and can choose quantity of time, the volume, the reception and the degree of connection.  We can choose freely what we will do or not do with them and live and die surrounded inside of ourselves and outside of ourselves by the connections we fought hard for.

Questions:  Why do you think drama is in your life from the perspective of self-care?  Since you’ve been more in tune to being a friend to yourself, has anything happened to the drama in your life?  Please tell me your story.

Choosing Connections – Take The Good and Take Care of Yourself

Beit Nir, a kibbutz in Israel.

Image via Wikipedia

Self-Care Tip#228 – If we choose to have someone in our lives, if we choose that it is better for us than not, than take what is good and leave the rest.

We’ve all seen them, or been them at some point through life.  Those walk-outs.  Either choice, leave or stay, takes immense courage to do well.

Tonight however, I’m thinking about the courageous who stayed.  Those who stay despite the stink in life.  Those who stay when there are bad choices by “the other” that spill over and touch us.

We choose to stay in the relationship but do we have to choose to suffer with them?

Mandy comes to mind.  Her mom was old and disinhibited.  She said inappropriate things and had mood swings.  In their past together, Mandy’s mom was younger but had still said many hurtful things and done hurtful things.  However Mandy stayed connected because she wanted her mom in her life.  Many said,

I just choose to have her.  I don’t worry, as much as I can, about the things Mom does that I don’t like.  I take care of myself now.  I stay emotionally as safe as possible but still be present in her life and let Mom be present in mine.  As long as I want her.  As long as I know I’m safe.

Mandy was like a mini version of the kibbutz I remembered visiting in Israel many years ago.  The kibbutz’s members worked a thrifty irrigation system, had interdependent living combined with separateness in a romantic setting – something green and amazing in the middle of very dry hot and otherwise empty sands.  I wanted, even then, to bring their irrigation secrets home, which brilliantly used, not misused, precious water.  They lived in something that looked close to “plenty” in a place that seemed barren of natural resources.

But memories of the kibbutz in and out through the years brought questions too about connection.  What would be enough to turn our choices to resemble theirs?  Maybe at least some of the hardships many of them have suffered.  Maybe something like abuse or terrorism would make me “walk” out on the connections my community or an individual offered.  Others may also do it for temperament reasons but extroverted temperaments would never choose that unless they felt they had to choose to be walk-outs.

Why did Mandy do it – connectedness, interdependence combined with separateness?  She chose to.  She used but didn’t misuse her mother.  For Mandy, misusing Mom would have held Mom responsible for how Mandy felt.  Mandy preserved her precious connection with Mom by taking care of her Me, her own feelings, and her connections.

Questions:  How have you stayed connected to the one(s) you love?  When they made negative choices, how did you stay safe but still connected?  Please tell me your story.