Friday, August 28, 2009

Norma Rae meets Snow White

I started out this process, this blogging idea, to help strengthen my purpose and give me a voice in my crazy life. I'm not one to air my troubles or my foibles to any passersby - until now. I want to turn my adversity into someone elses strength. To have felt all the pain of poverty, hopelessness - doing shit jobs in order to feed myself and my kids. I am truly a woman that subscribed to the Mother Teresa/Snow White/Norma Rae sort of ideology that Pain is Truth and the Truth is supposed to set us free, right?
I want to be in a position that anything I do, whether it's tend animals or work with kids on free lunch programs or educate women to fend for themselves....any of these things I want to go above my level of fear-based life and Turn it. I made a decision to turn every bloody gram of my existence over to the care of God as I understand him, and as long as He knows that I'm okay not being perfect, and he doesn't mind me saying fuck here and there, this is a good place for me to start.
When I bought into the whole Self-Help phase of my life a few years ago, I was really looking for a "something" to Save me. A book to save me? No, I was searching for a way to process pain of loss, deal with an illness I felt I had no control of, and I thought these inanimate objects could deliver me gently and give me all that I needed. I also entertained the idea of some good samaritan scooping me out of my garbage with their golden shovel. But the thing about those kinds of wishes, the shovels very quickly turn into double edged swords and pierce you in the ass . You can never truly find an easier and softer way out of your funk. If you go the direction of abandoning who you are to follow someone else's plan to fix you, you will be thrown you into an even bigger and stinkier vat of crap, dealing with their knight-in-shining-armor issues on top of your own garbage.
One can never really be saved by another. If you don't truly own your situation, taking responsiblity and blaming only you for getting yourself in your mess, it will never be yours to give away. You will forever blame the ex-spouse, family member, 8th grade geometry teacher for your problems. It stinks to admit failure. It sucks having to start again, but if you can see the situation far ahead, you have the unfortunate duty of handing this life you've built down to your children when you leave this world. If this turmoil and pain of unfinished emotional baggage is the legacy you want them to have, you may re-think Defeat and deal with your problems while you're still living.
Imagine giving your children something tangible. Each facet of your life, both good and bad, is in the form of a beautiful cashmere sweater, stinky pair of socks - individual pieces of emotional fabric. As a parent, you have the rare opportunity of putting these figurative pieces of your own Josephs' Coat in a nice unassuming hamper and hand them over to your children. When you die, your children finish the work you've started. This gives you closure and they, in turn, inherit the traits, flaws and wisdom that you instilled in them while you were living. As a parent, you make a choice to force these innocent creatures, who will soon have their own hampers of crap to deal with, to sort through and process your crap - because your business in this world is done. Who better to receive your emotional hand-me-downs than your own blood?
If I have the chance, and I do - I would take what I learned from my adversity and show them a peaceful existence of strength, courage and creativity to add to their familial resume. The last thing I want to do is have them learn that carrying a load of bad stuff is ok behavior. " did it, so I guess it's okay. " Wrong. Step Back from the Vat of Hot Lava. I think Recovery for me has nothing even to do with alcohol or food or shopping or...whatever flavor-of-the-month I'm obsessing about at the moment. These things have only been a fog that has kept me from seeing a means to an end. I have chosen to lift this veil and actually live on Life's terms. It's true and right and hard as hell, but this is what I signed up for, so Let's Go.

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