September 29, 2013

Don't Process With The Lid Off

Have you ever inadvertently turned on the blender or food processor without the lid on?
Yep, you know what happens-stuff flies everywhere!
And it's a mess to clean up!

Well, I have found that I have that ability to have that same effect on people and situations. 

If I have started the "sorting" process with all the ingredients of what is upsetting me,
and added an assortment of pent up emotional spices , 
mixed with liquid tears, 
and maybe an addition of optional frustration and fear,
and do not put the lid on first,
before I push pulse, 
I. Make. A. Huge. Mess!

At least one that I am ashamed to claim came from my kitchen of personal recipes.

With processing,  just like with baking, if I try to rush things because I am impatient
or I try to "adjust the recipe" to how I am used to, usually doing it to please another,
I am headed for failure in some form or another.

This happened to me a few months ago.
Something had shown up unexpectedly in my life that threw my emotions and logical thinking for a loop (well, more like a tangle).
It needed my full attention and I had more processing to go through than a Lunch-able does. 

The trouble happened  when I involved others before I had a full understanding of what had upset me and what I needed to do to work through the pain.
Because I was not even clear myself what I was going through, I could not very effectively communicate to those around me where I was at or what I felt and needed.
Let's just say "Cinderellaaaa" was playing softly in the background as I scrubbed the floor on my knees cleaning up my mess.
(Now I will never get to the ball...)

"Working through" may have meant writing through it, 
going on a "talk/walk", 
talking it through with a trusted confidant,
or seeing a professional,
or a combination of them all depending on the difficulty of the "recipe",
(BEFORE I tried talking to whom I really needed to.)

When that is done in order, and the temperature (emotionally calm), 
and timing (when people aren't rushed or stressed) 
are correctly in place then we can take off the lid and dole out and serve what we prepared for the betterment of ourselves and those around us.
We can then share what upset us, what we need, and how we will change what needs changing if anything does.

So, although it is extremely important and even vital to process, everyone will feel much better if you do it with the lid on! 
(Then maybe we won't be late for the ball!)

"How much has to be explored and discarded before reaching the naked flesh of feeling."  ~Claude Debussy


September 22, 2013

Look In The Bottom Of The Bag!

My friend had given me a gift bag for my birthday.
I peeked in the top and said, "Uumm, chocolate!  My favorite!!  I can even smell it!"

But her young daughter wasn't satisfied that I had found the real gift, the best part yet. 
She said, "Look in the bottom of the bag!  See it?!  Look in the bottom!"

And there it was. 
The real gift!
A party blower!  

Only a child would have the sense to know what is more important than chocolate.
Celebrating life, laughing over simple things, enjoying the moment, and not worrying about looking foolish while doing it.
And although it may have a short shelf life, that while it lasts it creates long lasting memories.

Lately I have been handed some 'life' gift bags.
What I thought was most important on top can't compare to what is yet to be discovered.
And what appeared to be the "bottom" of some aspects of my life is where the greatest gift is just waiting to yet be uncovered.

I need this lesson right now.
I needed a reminder to celebrate the life I have now with those I love now.
To enjoy the simple things in life while I can, no matter how short that time may be.

That sometimes you have to look past what appears to be the best part, to find what "really" matters, even if you have to wait until you hit bottom.

"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip."  ~Author Unknown


September 15, 2013

The Heart Ride Home

Even trips to Disneyland eventually have to end.

The park closes.
The lights go dim, the noise subsides and the rides stop.
The fun, the adventure, the escape from reality comes to a close and the people are left to go back to their lives-outside of fantasy land.

Remember my Heart Ride?
Well, white horses don't always take us where we want to go.
Wise, experienced, mature ones, take us where we need to go.
Where we really belong.

The unsuspecting invite that had swooped me out of my routine, into another realm, and onto an unexpected white horse had changed my life.

Although it was as limited as a short "vacation" it had done what vacations are meant to do.

It had given me exposure to new experiences and rejuvenated my passion for daily life again.
And as with good vacations, it was cut way too short.
It also brought a familiar comfort from being in a place and with people who were part of my life, even though many years before.

You know, how sometimes you just yearn for an environment that you are well acquainted with where there is no need to be anyone else except who you you really are?
Well, that had happened for me.
It was a fun, wonderful place to be if only for a bit.

The "ride" exposed the rider and ridee to each other in ways that equaled those "back in time" romantic movies.
Feelings that had been dormant for years and had never totally disappeared, emerged from hibernation.
And yet like I had said, so had the changes we had each made as adults.

Those changes were clear reminders that yes, castles and occupants do indeed look different at mid-life than they did at eighteen and that expectations and dreams for those occupants change too.

It ended up not being a permanent place of residence for us.
But in the end, I believe, that good ol' Walt was onto something after all when he envisioned a place to imagine & experience dreams coming true if only for a short horse ride.  Because through all this I learned that sometimes a happily-ever-after ending, is only the beginning. 

September 11, 2013

You Ruined My Happy Life!

Although I was being reprehended from the back seat there was no problem hearing with clarity, "You ruined my happy life!"

I had taken my youngster away from her friends house with the a forehand understanding that we would only be able to visit for a short amount of time.
Somewhere between the school where the promise was made and the coveted place of departure, memory loss had set in.

Although she was able to stay and visit twice the amount of previously agreed upon time, her life was now ruined and I was the culprit.

What had started out to be an act of fun spontaneity had now turned into a future topic for her one-day-I-will-need-to-be-in-therapy session.

As I fought off any feelings of guilt (which by the way is a zillion times easier to do when it isn't your child), I reflected how even as adults, we can allow a single disapproving experience to "ruin our happy lives".

Have you ever done that?
Let the rain ruin the picnic and forget that you are in company with people you love?
Focus on the one disappointing report card grade and miss the child's love of learning?
Show disapproval to a spouse for not getting "it" (whatever that "it" is) right and forget that numerous people yearn just to have a companion? 

Well, I could have been a multiple-unhappy-life-reincarnated you-name-it I have done this so much.

When I viewed the melodramatic display from the rear view mirror, I could see the comical nature of it all.  
Why then is it so hard to see when it is me blowing things so far out of proportion that it appears I used explosives?
Why am I the exception to ridiculousness? 

Small people often teach large lessons.

So next time you might be thinking your happy life is ruined, stop and count your blessings instead.

"Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles." ~Maltbie D. Babcock  

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