Friday, June 24, 2011

Murdering the martyred-mother mantra

Listen to this post:

Two epiphanies entered me on the massage table yesterday. Two biggies and all I really expected was for my body to relax, deeply.

The first came as my therapist/counselor was suggesting I think about the "the light" illuminating the darkness. OMG, I internalized, that's all I seem to have wrestled with lately and it's so much work. I'm tired of feeling heavy and then it hit. Conceive of the lightness as transforming the heaviness, not as working on the darkness. BINGO. Uncoincidentally, or maybe not, I began a cleansing diet this week and there's, hopefully, literal lightness there as well. I want summer to be weightless and playful, so this suits me just fine.

When in Bloomington, IN, recently on a writing retreat, I visited the local Quaker meeting for the second time and was compelled to speak, once again. As I uttered the words, responding to another worshipper's ministry about the evil darkness the parents of a missing coed must be facing, I realized that I don't necessarily view darkness as evil. I said something along the lines of:

I live in the darkness
and have realized the
difference of evil darkness and
the darkness of unknowing.
The place I surrender, recognize
I am not in control. There's
only one thing to do: trust.

As those words rolled off my tongue, I recalled that I had spoken about darkness in some context last time. And a kindly Friend approached me afterward, thanking me for my words and also remembering. "I guess I have the space [luxury] to enter the darkness when I am on retreat," I responded.

But now, summer is in swing and I want to enjoy it by putting the hard work aside and basking in the lazier, sunnier days.

And then, in the throes of deep body work and relaxation, a voice called out: "Put yourself first PERIOD." I haven't been in trying to be all things to all people and I burned out big time. I taunt myself into self care under the guise of having the energy to do something for the next person to ask. How out of whack is that?  What is my ego keeping me from? 

Several years ago during a School-of-the-Spirit [a Quaker nurture ministry program] session, I read Jesus' version of the golden rule and understood my version had been: "Do better unto others than yourself." Ego tells me that's selfish and my helper enneagram feeds right into that.

Time to reverse some flawed thinking, which, I believe, flows right into the message of lightness. I'm murdering the martyred-mother mantra, replacing it with the new, improved and lighter to-thine-own-self-be-true slogan.

• What effect can I let this summer have on me?
• What's my conception of "the light?"
• How can I push, refine or redefine that in a manner that's more nurturing?
• What's a negative personal mantra I carry?
• What more beneficial one I can replace it with?

the voicemail
e-mails and
personal encounters
weigh me down

when I feel
the heaviness of
duty dictates that
they come first

when, however,
I come first,
the needs of others
are a joy to hear
and answer

No comments:

Post a Comment