May Reality

If you can gleam one thing from a “self-help” book that alters your perspective enough to render a change in how you interact with your own self, you’re doing good.

I’m reading “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis. In Chapter 2, The Lie: I’ll Start Tomorrow, she talks about blowing off stuff, not following through with your plans with yourself, breaking promises made to yourself, and how we wouldn’t put up with crap from other people.

It’s true.

If I had a friend who always blew me off, didn’t show up, failed to follow through or rarely keep their word, I would consider them to be unreliable, untrustworthy, irresponsible, etc.

At best, I would let it slide… tell myself that they had good intentions or that’s how they are, people come as is, so if you know how they are, you just know better than to count on them for anything. Once in awhile, they might surprise you by actually doing what they said they’d do.

At worse? Worst case scenario, I’d get tired of it, lose all respect for that person, and have nothing more to do with them.

Here’s what gets me… and it’s a thing many women do. I value being trustworthy and dependable FOR OTHER PEOPLE, not my own self. How many times have I blown off doing what I want to do for me just to be available to do stuff for other people? Postpone my own goals, activities, purchases, wants and desires, whatever because someone else needs something fill-in-the-blank more than I do? We are conditioned, as women, to be caretakers of OTHERS, not our own selves.

Sure, we know that we have to take care of ourselves in order to be able to take care of others, but somehow that gets boiled down to the bare necessity, to get enough rest or whatever. Anything more could be perceived as a self indulgence, which tends to open the can of guilt worms. Who wants to fall into the realm of selfishness?

Perhaps that, in itself, is a lie we tell ourselves.

It’s a harsh reality to realize that if I stepped outside myself and evaluated my friendship with my own self, I might not have anything to do with me. That has to change. I have to start valuing my friendship with myself just as much as I value my friendships with other people. I need to extend the same courtesy to myself that I show to others, give myself the same level of respect and follow through on the intentions I have with and for my own self, be it something I intend to do or whatever.

That change starts now.

Actually, it’s been brewing awhile. On April 24th, I laid everything on the line… told that man exactly how I feel, what I want, and what I need. His response? “Don’t let that woman get to you.” Totally ignored what I want, and absolutely no follow through on what I need to see happen.

That’s okay. I’m woke now.

A shift in perspective alters priorities. Change comes slow, in little ways. It’s pulling yourself off the back burner and lighting a little fire to heat things up. It’s getting out of bed in the morning and heading to the studio with your first cup of coffee. It’s opening the windows of your soul to let a little fresh air rejuvenate your spirit. It’s remembering who you are.

Thanks for reading!

Fear Factors

Once upon a time, an irate mother was up in arms over an elementary school teacher asking her child to read, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

She wanted the teacher fired. How dare she ask her child to read such blasphemy? The book promotes witchcraft and replaces God with a central brain called IT. She was joining an effort to have the book banned from their small, rural Ohio, public school system.

I listened to Four (sisters are labeled in birth order) rant and rave in my kitchen over the evil intent of the author. She bitterly quoted sentence fragments out of context to support why it should be banned, clearly echoing someone else’s opinion.

I asked a simple question: Have you read the book?

Oh no, of course not!

Ye gads… A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite childhood reads! The synchronized ball bouncing struck a rebel cord in my young mind, which lead to a tendency to question – even when I complied – all expectations for conformity.

Ironically, Four still believes the great liar will make her America great again and the little boy who was not allowed to read the book grew up to post racist bull about the Obamas on Facebook.

I have decided to explore how seemingly minor, inconsequential  fear factors play into controlling human behavior for my contribution to the Brooklyn Art Library’s writing project.

Tidbits of drafts may end up here as thoughts twirl down memory lane, gathering topics to write about. Who knows? This little project may be therapeutic.

Thanks for reading!

Pandora’s Box

pandora

Apologies not forthcoming, I opened Pandora’s Box. Inside was this stack of paper.

It was started as a little journal entry when my mind was troubled. I wrote until words stopped flowing, then I boxed it up as a rough draft and put it away.

I opened Pandora’s Box this morning because my mind is troubled once again. The only difference is I am older, maybe a little wiser, and certainly colder. Words that stung years ago cannot make me flinch.

What bothers me is knowing the impact those words have on our parents. It sickens me to the point where I have not slept. I forgot to eat yesterday. Upsetting our parents is what upsets me.

So, who am I protecting by not finishing this book?