Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day Six

Well, I don't know if it was the stomach flu or what, but I have been feeling reflective today. I now will pause for a few moments to allow you the opportunity to debark this train. Okay. Last call for the non-reflective...

So, for those who did not run frantically to the closest exit, I began thinking of all the many slights (perceived and otherwise) that I allow to slow me on the way to my goals. How often do I run the scenarios in my head? So in my effort to better live these next 300-odd days (and beyond), I considered how to let go of these less than productive thoughts. Memory is a funny thing. It's like developing a photo without actually looking at the image. We blow up one portion (usually the part that hurt) and we minimize other portions. If we could then see the "photo" objectively, we might be better able to see how we have distorted our own memory.

Without benefit of seeing the photo more accurately, maybe I can photoshop them. If I can look at myself (and the other party) through a kinder lens, be a little more forgiving, well, maybe the picture will be more in focus. Learn the lesson and lose the junk. If that doesn't work, maybe I can simply find the delete button. :-)


Traci said...

Nice photography analogy... I think I might know where you gleamed it. Personally I think I only have the delete button, at least it's the biggest button (...and it's shiny), as you probably are already aware... I am proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Self reflection is always hard. Keep up the good work and don't let the details get you down.

ChiaLynn said...

I don't know if this will help you, but it did me - I pulled it out of The Artist's Way (which I think is a wonderful book, despite having mixed feelings about the 12-steppiness of it).

If you haven't read it, the core of the method is the morning pages - three handwritten pages, every day (and I think you know me well enough to know that I do NOT do them every day :P), freewritten. The point is to pour a lot of the toxic sludge clogging up your brain out onto the paper (or the screen - I do mine as a single, single-spaced page in OpenOffice). At the beginning, she gives you assignments for your pages, and some of them involve digging into those stored memories - the ones that really mess you up when you try something new - so you can process them and move on.

I won't say it's magic, but it's helped me to forgive a lot of people who (mostly unintentionally) harmed me along the way, and by forgiving them, release their power over me. (Damn, I sound like a hippie sometimes, don't I?) And if I can't forgive them, I can still say they don't get to talk to me anymore.

One example: I had an EVIL (did I say evil? Because she really was evil) gymnastics teacher in elementary school, whose response to my physical difficulty with certain activities (like cartwheels, and touching my toes) was to threaten, rather than help, me. The day I let myself really revisit what she'd done to me, and express my feelings about it, just to myself, I finished up by going into the backyard and doing a cartwheel - perfectly. And then laughing maniacally and probably scaring the neighbors. But damnit - after almost 30 years, that ghost doesn't live inside my head anymore.

Traci said...

Wow guys, thanks. This is exactly why I began this blog was so I'd have a place to ask the questions of my life and others could share the lessons they learned on their path. Your comments matter a lot to me. Thank you for stepping out to share with me.

P.S. ChiaLynn -- You and hippie -- two words I would never have expected to see in a sentence. :-)