High chair tyrants

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think this is what I mean when I post about bargaining. We fall through all the levels, all the layers of it. One day we awaken to ourselves again. We realize how alone we have been, shutting out so many things and choosing suffering instead. In a way, we are (I am) throwing a little temper tantrum instead of accepting what is.


    What is lost.

    There is a certain amount of anger in that, for me. (I meant eyeless rage. Ahem.) But beneath that is the hurt. And beneath that is...me. I am still here.

    Well, how do you like that.

    Only now, I am not ashamed that I don't have a mother or a sister. I still have a little numb about where my kids have taken their lives, and a little hard breathing place at the heart of it. Okay, so that was a lie. I know better than to feel shame over these true things now, or to allow myself to go spinning off into that place I cannot stand up from over what has happened to my family.

    A choice for me, then.

    I would so much rather have been able to show off and be successful.

    I am considering this at some length. I mean, I know the answer is me. I am still stuck on "kinder". Maybe listening to KFCD without strict attention to detail is not how to do this.

    I love the way things unfold for us, here on the site.

    I need to pay attention.

    "my care, kindness, and devotion...and respect"

    I think there is a time for us to do that. A time when the loss is fresh. It is a marker for us, as we go through it, to admit there has been a loss.

    To face that is a big step.

    We want to rush through it, to get through it, to not be the person with that loss as part of who she is. One day, there is compassion for ourselves. That is when we realize how often we hate or are ashamed of or desert ourselves in other ways. It took me such a long time to question whether it was appropriate to desert myself like that. It took longer still to realize those feelings were the punished feelings from when I was little. Broken is when it would stop. Or broken is when I would stop knowing about whatever came next. But if my abuser was wrong to do what happened in the first place, if it was wrong to treat me that way to start with, then treating myself that way now had no validity.

    That was huge.

    That was where "kinder" to myself came in.

    In my life, I have been fanatic about kindness, about not hurting others and etc. Who knew how twisted that was, how it twisted around those initial hurtings.

    And then, we get very honest. We become curious about our selves. About who we are. It feels like coming home.

    We can (I can, anyway) only get there through going naked. No defenses. That is a very hard thing. Our defenses are so automatic we feel out of balance without them. But if we just sit with those times, just see, we survive them. Soon, we become hungry for that feeling, for that level of real.

    Real is not something I was allowed. That is what is meant by breaking someone's spirit. Only the abuser's reality matters. Certainly, it matters more than the reality of the abused.

    But so far I have not seen a time when I automatically do not defend, with humor or with mind chatter, or with those negative messages that play on KFCD. (It's a matter of degree ~ there is laughter, there is making sense of the situation...and there is performing, shielding, creating the experience instead of being present to ourselves within it.)

    I think that is what acceptance is. I think that is what I am coming in to: Being present to myself within whatever it is that is happening.

    I don't know what I mean by that.

    I am not there yet.

    But I am going there.

    Like Nahn Tat ??? (the Vietnamese monk) said, when asked about anger and shame and the negatives we all are coping with: "It is a practice."

    How we will create ourselves is a practice. We learn to cherish ourselves enough to be patient with our failings, to be gentle with ourselves when we succeed in something, instead of being greedy for more of that "famous" feeling.

    Maybe that is what it means, to have an internal locus of control.


    I do that, Copa. When new layers are breaking open, I only want soft, honest, clean, cotton clothing on me. Simple things. Denim; lots of white.

    Bare feet.

    But I am such a hussy with brightly polished toe nails. Echo, are you reading along?


  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This was a good thread to bring back. I am reading through all of it again. I had forgotten to take R. Rohr seriously, and had put Joel Osteen aside, too.

    I am glad to be back in this space.

  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Another amazing post by RR today...wanted to share it with you all. I love defining contemplation---something I want to learn to do more of---as "a long loving look at the real." Just sitting with this definition is well, amazing. If you aren't a Christian or are agnostic or atheist, there is still a lot of "stuff" here for consideration and growth. Like they say in Al-Anon, your Higher Power can be a doorknob---don't let that get the way of your own growth as a healthy person. I also love the idea that the only "thing I need to be saved from...is myself." I am so often my own worst enemy. Corralling ME is my greatest challenge in life. I hope you can mine the gems here as I am doing, in your own way and interpretation.


    Shared Identity

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Francis spent much of his time praying in solitude in nature. He practiced contemplation, or "a long loving look at the real," which allowed him to see in a new way. Seeing from a pair of glasses beyond our own is what I call "participative seeing." This is the new self that can say excitedly with Paul, "I live no longer, not 'I' but it is Christ now living in me" (Galatians 2:20). In the truest sense, I am that which I am seeking. This primal communion communicates spaciousness, joy, and a quiet contentment. It is not anxious, because the essential gap between me and everything else has already been overcome. I am at home in a sacred and benevolent universe, and I do not need to prove myself to anybody, nor do I need to be "right," nor do others have to agree with me.

    A mature believer, of course, knows that it is impossible not to be connected to the Source, or to be "on the Vine," as Jesus says. But most people are not consciously there yet. They are not "saved" from themselves, which is the only thing we really need to be saved from. They do not yet live out of their objective, totally given, and unearned identity, "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). This is what saints like Francis and Clare allowed, enjoyed, and "fell into." It is always a falling! For most of us, our own deepest identity is still well hidden from us. We are all "Sleeping Beauty" waiting for the redemptive kiss. Religion's primary and irreplaceable job is to bring this foundational truth of our shared identity in God to full and grateful consciousness. This is the only true meaning of holiness.

    The irony is that this "holiness" is actually our "first nature"; yet we made it into such a contest that it did not even become most people's "second nature." This core identity in Christ was made into a worthiness contest at which almost no one wins and so most do not even try or give up early. Francis and Clare totally undermined this contest by rejoicing in their ordinariness and seeming unworthiness--which I believe is the core freedom of the Gospel itself, the ultimate coup d'etat of the soul. Now losers are the real winners, and that includes just about everybody.
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Ah...so this is how I used to think. Alcoholism (my ex-husband) was bad, I was good. Drug addiction (my son) was bad, I was good. Living on the street was bad, living in a house was good. We have to correct the "bad" and make it "good." Translate: I have to correct all of the bad in my life and in the lives of those close to me...let them know how to make it all "good." And that is where I started to go wrong.

    It is what it is. It's both-and. Maybe, just maybe, some people need or are supposed to have a different path than mine! Imagine that! (lol).

    Changing my thinking...led to changing my behavior...led to a much happier life. This is a framework for changing our thinking here. A tool. Take what you like and leave the rest.

    Growing into Contemplative Seeing
    Monday, June 29, 2015
    Dualistic thinking is the well-practiced pattern of knowing most things by comparison. And for some reason, once you compare or label things (that is, "judge" them), you almost always conclude that one is good and the other is less good or even bad. In the first half of life, this provides ego boundaries and clear goals, which creates a nice clean "provisional personality." But it is not close to the full picture that we call truth.

    Dualistic thinking works only for a while to get us started, but if we are honest, it stops being helpful in most real-life situations. It is fine for teenagers to think that there is some moral or "supernatural" superiority to their chosen baseball team, their army, their ethnic group, or even their religion or gender; but one hopes that later in life they learn that such polarity is just an agreed-upon game. Your frame should grow larger as you move toward the Big Picture in which one God creates all and loves all, both Dodgers and Yankees, blacks and whites, Palestinians and Jews, gays and straights, Americans and Afghanis.

    Non-dualistic thinking or both-and thinking is the benchmark of our growth into the second half of life. This more calm and contemplative seeing does not appear suddenly, but grows almost unconsciously over many years of conflict, confusion, healing, broadening, loving, and forgiving reality. It emerges gradually as we learn to "incorporate the negative," learn from what we used to exclude, or, as Jesus put it, "forgive our enemies" both within and without.

    You no longer need to divide the field of every moment between up and down, totally right or totally wrong, for or against. It just is what it is. This inner calm allows you to confront what must be confronted with even greater clarity and incisiveness. This stance is not at all passivity. It is, in fact, the essential link between true contemplation and skillful action. The big difference is that your small and petty self is now out of the way, and if God wants to use you or love you, which God always does, God's chances are far better now!

    Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,
    pp. 146-148
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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This boggled my mind for a minute.

    Very nice, COM.

    Thank you.