Defending Observed

GavelI was sharing with my sister this past week that I recently had to turn down two requests from two different friends which were about a week apart. The first request was asked at a time which I did not have my calendar with me nor could I remember what was going on during the date that my presence would been needed. The actual event was going to be fun, but I just didn’t know if I could be present for it. I was asked to think about it and after a couple of days and a review of my schedule, I returned my answer via the written word. I was not able to assist as I was back to back all that week and the next with scheduled activities, trips out of town and guests coming into town. Squeezing something more into my schedule would not be beneficial. I have been aware lately of not practicing self-care which includes saying no when I need to. I made sure I got back to my friend in a timely manner so they could make other arrangements and I wished them well.

The second request came in via text asking if I could assist in allowing someone to stay the night as they were going to be in town late and needed to remain in town through the next day. This was not an emergency and therefore, I needed to say no. There were other situations occurring for which I needed and wanted to take care of and to say yes would have derailed taking care of what I had already promised myself.

Declining the first request was hard because I felt like I needed to defend myself. I felt I needed to list why I was not able to assist. I actually found myself getting angry. I paused and asked my Higher Self… why am I defending me? I am not on trial. What is this defending about? It wasn’t about the person who asked for my assistance, it was about the belief that my reason wasn’t good enough and I had to convince myself that it was, that I was important enough. I didn’t want my friend to be disappointed, but that was not my responsibility either.

The second request was a bit easier as what needed my attention was right in my face when the ask came to me. I was in the midst of person concerns and I needed the freedom and space to continue on with the work. So, I said no without feeling the need to defend my reasons and I also was not in a space to share with my friend what was going on.  My reasons for self-care do not need to be validated by others in order for them to be important to me nor for me to feel accepted. When the time is appropriate, I share what is going on with my close friends. That is what we do. But if my motive to share is to feel their approval and acceptance, then something else is going on, some hidden belief needs to be revealed.

A couple days past by and I was considering this whole topic. I write every morning on www.750words.com to do a brain dump of what needs to be cleared. Sometimes I get an idea for my blog, sometimes just crap comes out and other times… I clear a road block. This was the latter. I learned to defend myself long ago when I was accused in the fourth grade of doing something which I didn’t do. It wasn’t just not being believed as I tried to defend myself, it was the events that followed that day because I was not believed. I was not believed for years and was told that I could not be trusted. I was always being asked why I chose to do this or that and my reasons I gave were not met with approval. I could have always done better or chose differently. From that, I learned to give an account for why I do what I do. I learned to think ahead and think twice before making a decision. I learned to build a defense before I even did anything wrong. I needed to be accepted and trusted. I wanted to be counted on because I learned that was important. I wanted to be important. Ahhhh Haaaa!! As I pressed forward and continued to ask my Higher Self to show me why I was on the defense when I say “no” to someone, the answer was revealed. I didn’t want to be disapproved of any more. I wanted to be counted on even if that meant putting my self-care aside and the big observation was… that 8 year old little girl needed to know that she was believed and loved and trusted.

So after sharing this all with my sister, she gave me a quote with a twist; “If you’re not pissing someone off, you probably aren’t doing self-care.” Meaning, I am not always going to please everyone. I am not always going to say yes and I may not always give a reason as to why I am unable to assist. I am learning more about saying yes to me and finding where I need to put myself first for the sake of my healing journey.

By the way, some of the things I did learn as I was growing up have become valuable tools for living. I learned to think ahead and think twice before making a decision. I learned how to be someone that can be counted on even when it is difficult.

As a side note, as I was looking up the original quote that my sister gave me, I found this interesting read: http://oliveremberton.com/2014/if-youre-not-pissing-someone-off-you-probably-arent-doing-anything-important/

The Defense Rests,

Sue

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Authenticity Observed

I have been watching a few people close to me, in multiple areas of my life, go through changes of their own. There is shock and adjustment. There is grief and the reaching out to their own families in times of diagnosis. There is great care being given about work and future concerns of retirement as well as the day to day doings and the attempts to be with the moment, in how it is, and wondering what is next… what is the yet to be?

I listen, observe and know that each of us is doing the best we can. We are not covering it up and being pretty about it. Life can be messy. Then my beloved shares this picture and quote by Teal Swan on her Facebook page, and it summed up how I was feeling and what I was observing in the people around me.

Authentic

I sat with this image and read Teal Swan’s words over again and its message for me was revealed: In the journey of being aware and thus, becoming authentic, the stuff that one travels through churns and dislodges what has masked our true selves like plaque. It takes work. It takes surrender. It takes opening the heart and soul and body to feel again and that feeling or those feelings are not all about puppies, blue skies and rose gardens. It is about growing and becoming. It is about opening to something that we are being lead to… that voice of our higher Self that says “you ARE” and we respond to it with “I AM.”

Observing the Churn,

Sue

To Flail is Human, But There is a Reason

StopWhy did I flail and get all upset when he honked his horn at me on the corner? Traffic was still going by in both directions. We did not have the right of way. They did not have a stop sign and yet he honked! How rude!!! I flailed my arms up above the seats faster than my thoughts. I looked at him in the rear view mirror and then pointed in both directions of the cars coming into view as if he could see me. He did and he raised his hands with palms towards me in some apologetic jester. I was not softened by it. My heart and mind were reeling. “Duh!!! The person in front of you is stopped for a reason,” I thought out loud. When the traffic cleared I made my left turn. He did, too. I got a bit ahead as I didn’t want him near me.

Grief has an edge to it and accentuates my feelings; shortening my reaction times or rather, I forget to hit the pause button and breathe for 10 seconds before I react.  And on that corner, at that stop sign yesterday, I didn’t remember this… I just flailed my arms and expressed indignant feelings for another mile as I drove toward the highway.

Flailing as I did, I learned less than an hour later, was about my need to know I was OK. That I had not done anything wrong and to be accused of such, by the honk of the horn, was to be questioned… was to tell me that I was not in the right place.

Thank goodness I was on my way to my practitioner session. At first I wasn’t going to share this little scene as there were other things I wanted to talk about. But over half way through our session, I shared about the encounter on the corner. She asked me about the flailing and what I thought it was about for me. I paused and said, “I’m not sure, but I knew traffic was coming and I couldn’t go… I wasn’t doing anything wrong.” Ah… the nugget of truth… I needed to know I was OK, that nothing was or is wrong in the bigger picture. The little girl inside me needed to feel safe and assured… not accused and pushed. It wasn’t about the blue truck behind me and his inappropriate honking as one would initially observe, it was about trying to do my best during this time of my life and feeling that I am OK in the midst of much change and shifting emotions. I needed to just hold my heart and say, “Your OK. Nothing is wrong, you haven’t done anything wrong.” His honking wasn’t about me, but my reactions to his honking were and in that I learned what was needed. I am OK right where I am and as I heard this, I teared up. Funny how we do that when the truth of our being is revealed.

Observation Expressed,

Sue

What’s It All About?

SF.via.Ferry.Window

My beliefs can be jaded by how I observe my surroundings or by the stories I tell myself regarding what I see or perceive to be real. I must take the time to find out what is really going on or at least hold lightly in my mind and heart the current events so that I don’t go down a rabbit hole of false conjectures.

This picture, which I took on a ferry from Larkspur to San Francisco, is a good example. The window is covered by the spray of the waves, not rain. The sky seems gray, but only because it is early morning in San Francisco and the fog burned off  shortly after my arrival. This image brings me joy because I remember the kind of day I had in the City by the Bay. To some though, it may conjure different feelings.

So here’s what it’s about… the stories about taking the time to notice not just what I see and sense, but observing my raw reactions to the experiences and writing about them; drawing you in to observe and to share your own responses.