Sunday, March 15, 2009

Finding The Answers---Do You Have Them All?

How do you condense one very eventful week into one article and not have it go on and on and on? You start at the beginning of just one day. I am going to start with today, Sunday, March 15, and go backwards. On the surface, my week doesn't look eventful. I was sick with a stomach virus and diarrhea for 3 days. Where was my week eventful? In my mind and heart, I made several important connections this week.

This morning when I opened my emails, one of the first ones that I read was from Lance over at the blog, The Jungle of Life. Every Sunday Lance does a "Sunday Thought For The Day" article. Today's article was the words and a youtube video about the song "Circle of Life" by Sir Elton John. The video is of Sir Elton John singing the song "Circle of Life" while you watch scenes from the making of the movie "The Lion King". You can click on the following link and go watch and listen to the youtube video:
Come back here when you are finished.

Sir Elton John's music was a hit starting in the 1970's when my husband and I were dating and then married. He has always been a favorite of mine, long before he became a knight in England. When "The Lion King" came along, I watched it with my children. I loved it and the song "Circle of Life". Both are so metaphysical in meaning. Thanks Lance, for reminding me of all of these memories today. This was a great way to start a glorious day.

Next, on my morning trip to the bathroom, I read the December 28, 2008 (which was also a Sunday) article (Hey, so I am behind. At least I am finally reading it.) of Daily Word, December 2008, page 42. It says,

"I am grateful for the constant flow of God's blessing in my life.
I welcome this day with a thankful heart. Beginning my morning in this way cultivates an attitude of gratitude not only for special occasions but for every day.
As I arise from a peaceful night, I give thanks to God for rest received and for blessings to come. This sets a positive tone, one that attracts life-enhancing experiences to me.
Sharing a simple 'thank you' with others generates good feelings. My gratefulness is contagious and becomes a positive, attitude-changing influence."

Next, I read this morning's March 15, 2009 Daily Word on page 29. It starts out with the words,
"Trusting in God, I am fulfilled.
When events do not turn out as I planned, I don't let myself become bogged down in disappointment or allow my enthusiasm to wane. In prayer, I bring myself back to center. I turn my perspective around so that I see things in a new way and celebrate the good that is always there for me. . . . ."

"Turning around to face my good, I realize that what might have at first discouraged me will prove to be the dawning of a greater, more fulfilling experience."

I will leave you on your own to gather what the above statements might mean to you personally. If you want to share in the comment section below, you can. I am still sorting through my own stuff right now so am not yet in a place of sharing it with you.

On the past few Wednesday nights, I have gone to an Al-Anon meeting with my friend. When she asked me to go to these meetings with her over a year ago, I didn't realize that I needed the meetings as much as she did. I don't live with an alcoholic. I haven't since I was 19 and left home. What I do live with is myself and my husband. Both of us are adult children of alcoholics. Those patterns of behavior seem to be engrained within both of us and still get activated in times of stress like I wrote about in last week's article "More Patterns of Behavior Means More Awareness" which you can find at:
At this week's Al-Anon meeting which was on the topic of "You are only as sick as your secrets.", I was aware of a part of me that some call "the watcher". A part of me was watching and listening to what was being said and to my reactions to what was being said.

Usually as I am listening to every speaker, I am planning what I will say when it is my turn, rehearsing it in my mind. This time, instead of rehearsing, I touched the part of me that I have been holding back from the group. To a degree, I do this all the time. I think we all do. It is easier for me to do this because of the childhood belief that I need to protect myself from you or you will hurt me. One of my secrets that I got in touch with but haven't shared with the Al-Anon group is that they scare me still. (I haven't shared it because as I was typing the last sentence, I just got it myself. So you can see, I am still figuring out some of the lessons that came at me this week.)

What I did share with the Al-Anon group was that when I came into Al-Anon in 1989, I didn't trust women at all. In my mind, women were more likely to judge me harshly because of the incest than men were. (This was my belief. I don't know if it was true or not but it was my belief.) For awhile, trusting women less than men didn't make sense to me because it was men that sexually abused me. What I said in the meeting was that I thought women would judge me harshly because the women in my childhood were judgmental.

My mother who was always angry but rarely voiced it. Silence was my mother's weapon of choice. I have attracted people to me with that trait until I learned that their silence wasn't a weapon unless I allowed it to be. I also found out that if I didn't act out their anger, then they were more likely to voice it for themselves. Voicing it makes it possible to deal with the anger. With anger came judgments.

My grandmother and mother were always angry at each other since before I was a child. I could always feel the judgments going back and forth between the two of them without understanding what it was about. I know they loved each other and they were also angry with each other.

I think that I have probably shared the story about one of my maternal aunts telling me that I was going to Hell because I was wearing shorts. I was about 5 or 7 years old at the time. A part of that child must have believed her because that is still a strong memory of mine. She was never one of my favorite aunts. I was afraid of her as a child. As an adult, I felt angry with her for being such a religious fanatic. Now I can see how unhappy she was. I can forgive her.

I can forgive those women in my life who were judgmental and who taught me to be judgmental. For me to fear being judged, some part of me is still judging me or I wouldn't be afraid. I can take this a step further and forgive that judgmental part of myself. She is still a child afraid of being hurt. I can take her into my arms and into my heart and hug her until she doesn't hurt any more. Usually my solar plexus is where I feel all of this. My heart is what feels this and hurts for the little girl. I think that I need to go and just sit with this for awhile.

I hope that by sharing the above process it will help someone else to heal what may still need healing. As you can see, I still don't have it all figured out for myself. Isn't that what this life is all about---finding the answers for yourself?


Lance said...

Hi Patricia,

I want to start with gratitude. A couple of things here. Know that I am filled with gratitude toward you for your very kind words here today. Thank you, so much.

On the same topic - I'm thinking of gratitude as it relates to a very personal talk I will be giving in just over a week - to a group of about 100 people. And it's a bit nerve-racking. So, I will focus on gratitude over the next week - as I rise each day and thank God for that day and the blessings that will come. And just thinking about this, I'm feeling more peace within.

Thank you, as well, for sharing your life story here. I feel more connected - hearing your very honest and heart-spoken words tonight. You are a light on this earth, Patricia. Telling your story is shining a light into someone's darkness, somewhere in this world - that I am sure of.

Patricia Singleton said...

Lance, thank you so much for your words. It is always nice to have someone else think what you are doing is worthwhile. I do believe that being grateful and expressing our gratitude is one of the most life changing things we can do for ourselves and for those that we come in contact with. You do such a wonderful job of doing that on your blog. It is inspiring to the rest of us. I know your upcoming speech will be great.

Giovanna Garcia said...

Hi Patricia

I follow you from Lance's site and I am glad I did. You message is very clear to me, I believe when we are little we look up to the elderly thinking what ever they say is right. The fact is they are not always right and they have issues just like very body else. Sometime they take their issues on the little one. Not becasue they intended to, but it is becasue that is what they know.
Will we ever have all the answer? I don't know, what I know is that we are here to learn our lessons. SO, if I don't have the answer that is because I am right where I should be.
Thank you for sharing.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Patricia Singleton said...

Giovanna, thank you for visiting and I am glad that you enjoyed the article. I now know that my parents did the best that they knew to do at the time. I can't change the past. What I can change and will continue to work on is my reaction to the past.

Liara Covert said...

Your choice to be honest and true to yourself raises energy vibrations. In the process, you bring discomfort and negative energy to the surface. This is part of what is done to learn how to feel and dissolve what no longer serves you. Each comment you make about your perceived ups and downs, learning curves and other experience, reveals you sense progress on a meaningful life journey. Thanks for sharing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Liara, thank you. Until I get honest with myself, nothing can change.

Liara Covert said...

Patricia, different levels of honesty exist. As you raise self-awareness, you unveil levels you had forgotten existed. Integrity is a profound teacher.

Patricia Singleton said...

Liara, I agree with you. There are different levels of honesty. Honesty has always been important to me, maybe because there was so little of it in my family when I was a child and young adult.