One More Honest Way To Say, It Starts and Ends With Me

Hi! I am feelin so good today. At present: joi...

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Self-Care Tip #150 – Be honest about why you don’t like them.  Be a friend to yourself.

Today I spent with my in-laws and my own parents:  a blend of the Philippines, farm-white middle America, and Lebanese superstar.  It was tense at first but was, despite my husband’s and my paranoia (based on preformed something-or-other) nice.

When I look around at my family, I see their good features all the while remembering their not-so-good bits.  Depending on my state of mental health, the good is more apparent than the bad, or vice-a-versa.  It depends on Me.  When I am feeling confident, loved, and am doing what I like to do in life, their fabulous selves seem like the people who came to visit.  Not the ones I “walked out” on X-number of times before.  I’m sure it goes both ways, even if they haven’t typed it up for the world to read.

All of us do form opinions about each other.  You, me, or any other connection do.  We all have some level of judgment about who is holding the other side of the string.

See, I like people more when I am doing well.  Is that so unbelievable?  Well sometimes, yes.  It is more unbelievable than we first think.  It would be more believable to say, rather, that I like people more when they are nice.  Or I like people more when they do good things.  That is easily believable.

When we have opinions about people who are less than lovely, this little epiphany is there to help:  We like others more when we like ourselves more.  Introspection is useful if we know what we’re looking for.  Using this handy-dandy epiphany-tool, we might be able to get inside ourselves and see that how we feel about others is about “Me.”  It feels like we don’t like someone because they are a baddy.  But the truth is, we aren’t feeling so good about our own selves at the time.

Inversely, we might be able to do the same for others.  When they behave negatively, pull out your epiphany tool.  (It comes in many colors.  Mine is pink.)  We can remember, “Quisas!  They don’t like themselves so much now.”

What this little epiphany-tool patent banks for us is the ability to own our feelings in one more honest way.  Feeling good in life starts and ends with “Me.”  Isn’t that refreshing!?  Ah.  Sigh.  Relief.  At least we have a place to start and finish.  Me.

My mom, sweet Mom, tucked into her car about to leave today, was swelling with joy about my melting body-fat.  It was a little overwhelming for her, dear thing, and she reacted by throwing out her “gift.”

When you get to the size you want to be, I’m going to take you shopping!

I’m not going to get into all the history of my mom (whom I do love to no end) and me as it relates our “compatibility” in the arena of fashion (very little of which I naturally have) nor shopping.

I said,

Mom, just take care of yourself.  You are the best gift I could ever want from you.”

And she is.  This healthy part of Mom is.  She, that has fought so hard all these years to be healthy, is a treasure without a number.  I just want her.  And I can say that because I feel pretty good right now.  She’s always been a treasure, even when I didn’t appreciate her enough and wasn’t using my pink-epiphany-tool.  When I think of the parts of our history that are less warm and fuzzy, I think, “That’s how things go.”  And it rolls and ripples through to the space where angels fly.  A place big enough for our good and bad parts.

It all starts and ends with Me.

Question:  When is it hard to see your own role in how you feel?  Please tell me your story.

The Paradox

On my mind today are the unfortunate kids I have seen in clinic. One in particular whom I have treated for several years. I now realize the horror of his situation. I’m angry at myself because I have treated him for this long and didn’t realize till last week in clinic that he was being trafficked. I now understand that other kids I work with are also. He’s suffering emotional neglect in his home. It looks like his family despises him. Last week I told his Mom that I wouldn’t see them again in clinic if she didn’t go to parenting classes. I’ve also been recommending regularly that he go to a group home until things get better. I finally heard the reason that for years, she has refused. She said, “If he goes to a group home, we’re going to be homeless.” Ouch. She and hers are living on the government support they get for “taking care” of him.

Upset, I told my husband about this form of child trafficking and he said he’s seen something similar in his profession. Whole families become homeless once their mother (government supported), dies. They don’t want her to die. It’s not the same though similar. It would be more similar if they were neglecting or abusing their mother while “taking care” of her through the dying process. That probably happens too in other families.

To make matters more complicated, I found out from my nurse, that now the government requires the families to pay part of the group home placement to offset the costs. And if CPS is called, they just ignore it. She cited one case when CPS was called 13 times, each time stating that there was insufficient evidence. Apparently the funding to CPS has also been cut down significantly.

Today in my son’s church school after collecting offering, the teacher prayed, “May this money go to help all the children who need You around the world.” I found my prayers were for these people. A handful of coins and dollars to help. And prayer.

My husband‘s friend, Emilio Russ, quit his work a couple of years ago and went to the Philippines to fight child trafficking. He started a home and school for those prostituted and enslaved kids – “My Refuge House.” When he came back with his pregnant wife and 3 kids, he didn’t have a job. But they were uncomplaining and loud mouthed with praise and hope. Many months later, my husband’s friend has a job and those kids in the Philippines still have their home and school. Wow!

Madeline L’Engle, says that we’ve forgotten how to walk on water. I’ve seen skeeters do it and I don’t think it’s that many steps away from me being able to do it. But I’ve forgotten how somehow.

“Madeleine L’Engle understands that real art is only created when the artist gets out of the way and allows himself to be worked through, which, paradoxically, requires work on the artist’s part.”

AIDAN GRANO

These states of horrible suffering call for something amazing to happen. All great work, even on our own selves allows for what I call magic. Magic of letting go, but at the same time giving all your passion and muscle. I am angry at myself for not seeing what is around me. I think in this case, that is the beginning or maybe the continuation of something magical in me. I plan on getting my water feet yet.

Self Care Tip #15 – Embrace the paradox. Be a friend to yourself.