It’s been a war, a battle and I lay my down my swords. I am tired. A life of fighting to stand upright has worn me out. I want to live in peace and mostly I do except when that ‘little girl’ takes over. And she recently did, pouting for two days, not talking to my partner, not even my sons. And though it didn’t seem like a choice, it’s a choice.
The pain hurts so much I fall back on my earlier defenses, way back to when I was a girl, adolescent, teen, young women, and even now, later middle age…pouting. I’ll show you. You hurt me? Well take this. I won’t talk or even look at you.
But the person hurt most is myself. Although I think I also hurt my husband deeply by my behavior which only makes me feel worse. How does one let those around her know that she expects better treatment when for all the time they’ve known her she hasn’t expected it? I have changed but others don’t notice. And I’m not easing them gently into new patterns of interacting with me.
My latest project made me realize, there is beauty inside fluttering to escape. Though April has been harder than all of winter, the Bejeweled Butterfly is proof than more than seriousness or ‘life and death’ situations reside inside. I have fun and laughter and life. My little studio is a conduit to that place deep down below all the other stuff, a straight path to the soul. I love to see what comes up and out. There’s beauty and love, caring and compassion, for myself and others.
I try not to beat myself up for my two days of pouting and retreating from my most beloved ones. When my ‘little girl’ takes over, it cause more grief and pain. How could it not? She is stuck there. And I need to guide her with love and tenderness. ‘No, that’s not OK, Come on, we will do it this way,’ the voice of a 62 year old woman in control. I tell her, ‘Go back to sleep,’ that is not worth worrying about. (Doesn’t always work, but I’m making progress. I still watch middle of the night programs while I wait for a sleep aid to work, checking the blogging world during the hour it takes to become effective)
So I work at moving past what I call unacceptable behavior. During my laps in the meadow I remember, it’s being a wife, friend, mother and grand-mother that counts, how to the best at all of those, that’s what matters. Not how I am treated, but how I treat others. Because when I lay my head down on my pillow at night, it’s how I responded to stimuli throughout my day. Did I do so with grace and kindness? That also includes giving myself the right to have angry feelings and expressing them, but in a way others can hear it without being leveled. And erecting boundaries, but ones that still allow sunshine, breeze and safe interactions. It’s about living with my opinion of me and how I act, not what others think about me or how others act. I don’t control that, I control only me, or try to.