Personalizing Gossip; It Starts And Ends With Me

“Crying,” by Galway Kinnell

Crying
Crying only a little bit
is no use. You must cry
until your pillow is soaked!
Then you can get up and laugh.
Then you can jump in the shower
and splash-splash-splash!
Then you can throw open your window
and, “Ha ha! ha ha!”
And if people say, “Hey
what’s going on up there?”
“Ha ha!” sing back, “Happiness
was hiding in the last tear!
I wept it! Ha ha!”

I remembered this poem after visiting my friend Paul’s church when Paul told me that at least three of the people there asked him, in one way or another, if I had a disability. Poor Paul.

I’m pretty sure Paul was embarrassed but aside from that and my own begrudging unfortunate shame response, I have to say it made me laugh a lot. (I work with many labeled “disabled” and respect them. This community comment doesn’t come with the knowing of who is behind a simple word like “disabled.”)

Awesome!

I smiled at Paul’s daughter and she smiled back. What fun laughing with her. Apparently it was just that. My laugh.

Loud and disinhibited. (Laughing more.)

In high school a particular peer thought the same. In movie theaters when something hits that note, I have seen the looks. I have had sufficient opportunities to decide what to do with my laugh.

When weighing the risks and benefits of a “loud and disinhibited laugh,” the laugh has won out for Me. I get so much from it. Such pleasure of claiming that moment, that smile, that air passing through me and the intimacy.

Come join me! – “Ha ha!” sing back

One of the funniest kids I've met while travel...

Image via Wikipedia

It doesn’t mean happiness. For me, it is part of presence. Happy or not happy, and that brings me pleasure.

My sweet friend Paul is a sensitive guy in ways that I am not wired to be. He is so beautiful. I know how he cares about the people around him. I know he respects them and considers their thoughts. It is not so much that he would ever be ashamed of me, abled or disabled. Rather he cares and said these things because in his consideration, perhaps if I was more aware then I would make a different choice about the risks and benefits of my laugh. He doesn’t know that I am informed. I have decided with knowledge.

There is no way he would know this about me. No one could. It was, as always, a statement those church folk made that was mostly about them and not me. That is universal. We all say things that are more about Me than anyone or anything else. It’s friendly to remember this, to Me and them.

“Happiness was hiding in the last tear! I wept it! Ha ha!”

Self-Care Tip: To not personalize what isn’t personal, start and end with Me.

Question: What helps you remember that what people say is about them more than about you? Even when those people think they are talking about you? How do you

Related Articles From FriendtoYourself:

Whenever You Are Unsure, Go Back To “Me” – Self Care as A Reference Point

Church

Image by silent shot via Flickr

I’m back to everything starts and ends with Me.  It is such a delight to spend time in that space that I can’t help myself.  It draws me.  In that space, I find hope for conflicts in my life, a plan I believe in, I am accountable but not destroyed by my mistakes, I am less lonely and more connected to others and to God.  In that space, I am more a part of my life and the lives of others than I ever was in the “lose yourself in service” philosophy I was more familiar with or any other philosophical approaches to quality of life.  But I dont’ know sometimes how to share that with those who are afraid of Me.  I don’t know.

For example, sometimes when I’m in church and see the excellent people around me, I wonder what they would think if they read this blog.  I wonder if I were given the mike, would they be in their seats for long.  I’d want them to be.  I am a teacher and I get a lot out of sharing this message.  I thrive on connection so I’d be blessed that way too.  There’s much more about how that would roll back to Me and I to them.

Self-care is a reference point for me in these questioning times as well.  “What is the friendly thing to do?” I ask myself, “for Me?”  During these times, in any environment that turns me into a bunch of uncertain questions, I go back to “Me.”  That is where God is, my support network, my family, my coping skills, my health, my books and favorite toys.  That is what I call Me; my home.

Questions:  How do you share your self-care with other “cultures”?  Are you afraid?  In what ways have you been effective in doing it?  When you have done this effectively, what did it do for you?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – Whenever you are unsure, go back to Me.

If you’d like to read some more about this, see “Related Articles:”

Everything Starts and Ends With Me
Are You Empowered to Start Everything and End Everything With Me?
Emotions and Behaviors Will Get Better As You Heal.
The Relationship Between God and The Me In Self-Care
Self-Care Works You, Pushes You, Tires You Out Until You Are Happily Spent On Your Friend – You

Self-Care is not unChristian

 

Don’t be afraid of self-care.

Self-care is Christian and scientific.  I have awareness of the culture that frowns on taking bad behavior out of the church and into the laboratory.

A few days ago we talked about self-care not being selfish.  That circuitously brought up the question about how “the church” feels about this blog.

Confusing “the church” with Christianity can be problematic.  I have confused them in the past.

When my brother started talking evolution, I felt cold and clammy suddenly.  After my mini-panic attack, he told me about reading the entire works of Darwin and I had another mini-panic attack.  “There’s no way evolution didn’t happen.  There’s just too much evidence supporting it.”  I was confused.

It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t have to be worried about differences between me, science and God.  Funny that my comfort level grew with this as I realized how little I knew.  In fact, my joy expanded, when I realized I would spend all eternity growing my knowledge.  That is a lot of everything that just won’t fit into any box I can think of.

iwantthatpainting.com/Why-does-it-always-rain-on-me.html

Now when something crashes through a pet-paradigm, I remember that it’s ok.  (Down fear!  Get down anxiety!  Heal dogs!)  I may see a different reality.  Parts of me may become changed by that knowledge, trauma, death of a dear one.  Becoming changed and different is ok.  Because God is the same.  God already knows whatever about evolution, or that the world is round.  He knows that we try to turn medical symptoms into something spiritual, like depressed mood.  He knows it and He’s still here.  He is the prototype of presence.  Now that people can look into the brain and say where feelings and behaviors come from, we can get past that and on to the next revelation.  So what if it is medicalized.  Science and spirituality are not exclusive of each other.

So is self-care Christian or scientific?  Things aren’t that binary.  Self-care is both.

Self-Care Tip #84 – Don’t be afraid of self-care.  Be a friend to yourself.

Connect With Others to Get Friendly With Yourself

Self-Care Tip #81 – Connect with others.  Be a friend to yourself.

So you have bought into the famous, “You are not alone” stock.  After 2 months on psychotropics (medications for emotional illness,) you finally have an interest in people.  You are at least a little motivated and less afraid of things that move.  You don’t feel like you are the reason for original sin and more often than not, you think happiness might be more than what shopping can offer.  What is this strange and unfamiliar sensation?  And what to do with it?

It is time to connect.  Many of us get to the point where we no longer want to hide, we don’t hate ourselves, and we don’t hate others.  We get to the place of showing our under-belly just a little to the big wide world and are shocked that the only thing we feel is the wind as everyone is rushing by!  Just when we start wanting what we spent so much time hiding from, we seem to have forgotten how to connect with others.

It is no secret.  America is culturally impoverished.  We have little of cobblestone streets to meander down, dressed in clean clothes after a days work, checking up on neighbors and gossip.  We have few degrees of activity between full throttle and dead/no heart beat.   Come now!  How to connect in a world where our parents expected us to pay rent when we turned 18years old?

If you find yourself in something of this situation try on one of these basic tools and see what fits.  You can’t expect them all to.  So if you strike out a few times, keep on!

1.  Volunteer – for example, and in no particular order…

2.  Meetup.com – an awesome site to find people interested in what you are interested in.  e.g. book clubs, skiing, small business, Italian

3.  Support groups

4.  Write!  Although this at first thought may appear isolating, it is not necessarily.

  • Blog!  🙂
  • Journal

5.  Toastmasters

There is so much more.  Please let me know your thoughts and I’ll keep adding to this list!

Self-Care Tip #81 – Connect with others.  Be a friend to yourself.

Down With Guilt!

Down with guilt, I say!  Let that mighty tree be felled and burnt and each season that brings up new creepers into life again – let them be taken down!  Guilt!  How many times it has weakened us.  A sickness, that ebbs the energy and confuses the mind.  Often unrelated to deed or intent, in comes the uninvited guest.  As in Mansfield Park, guilt is our own Henry Crawford courting Fanny Price.  He may dress well – in church attire, in a business suit, or in a child who thinks she should spend more time with grandma.

Like lucifer’s apple, guilt brings knowledge that can’t be trusted.  Swallow it and you’ll be looking for fig leaves.  See if any good will come of guilt.  I dare you.  See when you plant it, what will grow.  See when you hide it, how you are tethered.  Let it educate you and notice that you grow smaller.

Today a friend asked me how things were.  I remembered yesterdays.  Wonderful with sunny emotions.  A collection of connected moments.  I wanted to say something about them.  I was looking in at a shop window.  Chocolates on the shelves behind the glass.  But remembering today, I was denied.

I yelled from my darkened face.  And then I yelled again.  That was the morning.  Then the kids went to school and I went to work.  What a way to walk.  I thought of this and out popped:

I yelled at the kids which I hated, but I don’t hate myself.

It even surprised me.  Saying that to my friend, let me realize that today wasn’t an all-or-none parenting moment.  Many earlier days that began much the same weren’t so forgiving.  And because I didn’t forgive myself so easy, I didn’t forgive others so easy.  The anger chases it’s ratty tail, you know until Guilt tires him out.

Because I didn’t spend the day guilty, the afternoon and evening had a chance.  Down with guilt!  Up with new chances!  Hooray!

Self Care Tip #68 – Take the new chance!  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  How have new chances redeemed you?  Please tell me your story.