we’ve all heard that thing that if something
really bugs you in someone else
that’s because it’s mirroring your own stuff
to work out. right?
i’ve always hated that.
cause i don’t think it’s true.
sometimes there just some stuff that’s obnoxious
and it doesn’t have to be about any more than that.
i bet it’s SOMETIMES true.
i’d buy that.
i bet it’s sometimes true in ways that we wouldn’t
even notice if we didn’t really look.
i’d totally buy that as well.
and obviously, it’s not all obnoxious stuff.
it can be something that bothers us in all kindsa different ways.
so check this out – this was quite a discovery for myself!
a friend was having some body pain problems
and before long, i started to get uncomfortable with some of it.
it seemed to be so much really run by fear –
i could see how much fear was a part of it all.
i could see how much fear was controlling them,
and how much worse the fear was making it all.
i could see how self centered fear was making them.
i could see it clearly, and it was making me crazy.
until one morning as i was walking, i realized that
while i don’t think i have the same problems with body pains,
i TOTALLY have the same problems with emotional pains.
i mean EXACTLY.
i thought of all i had witnessed watching this friend go
thru the pain and the fear of the pain…and i thought –
ohmygosh that’s just what i do when i’ve got some big
emotional thing goin’ on.
i could say a sentence about how they were dealing with
their body pain, and i could flip it right on myself
of when i had a big emotional hurt inside me.
it fit EXACTLY.
well isn’t that interesting?
besides compassion and understanding and humbleness setting in?
i could see what was really getting in their way and what they
need to do to get by it, and then FLIP THAT ON ME AS WELL!
i mean HA!
so maybe i understand a little more about that mirroring idea
and what it means. and maybe i’ll dig a little deeper from now
on and do more flipping and looking from different angles.
and maybe i’ll be grateful for the lessons gleaned.
cause right now, it’s pretty darn awesome to see so clearly
what a handicap my fear is and what i can do about it.
after i wrote yesterday’s post –
‘people trapping words’ –
about what OTHER people say to us
that makes us feel trapped –
i had a thought – a loud thought –
WHAT ABOUT THE WORDS WE USE ON OURSELVES?
what about the words WE trap OURSELVES with?!
there’s all the obvious ones, right?
actually, all the ones listed yesterday –
‘i hate to tell you…’
and many more…
and then throw in all the lovely ones that
we save just for ourselves –
shall i go on?
nah….we get the idea.
what if we started thinking of those as trap words?
okay, that’s good.
but i’m thinking too obvious.
we already know those are no-no words for ourselves, right?
a lotta times we use them anyway,
sometimes we catch ’em and stop.
and yes, let’s keep working on stopping!
but how about the not so obvious ones?
the ones that trap us in different ways?
the fear ones that keep us hanging on to things we need
to let go of?
the assumptions that keep our inner doors closed so we
don’t grow and expand like we’re meant to?
those are some pretty big traps.
fear words and assumption words –
what are those?
let’s start paying attention to see what they are.
fear words that come to mind right off –
i’m too scared.
i don’t belong.
i can’t fit in.
it will hurt.
that kinda thing, right?
maybe we can think about it and come up with less obvious ones.
then assumption words – that feels harder.
i can only think of the obvious right now –
i get it.
they don’t like
those all keep us from expanding, don’t they?
maybe we should really start paying attention to those too.
and then when we hear them we can just call them for
what they are – ‘people trapping words!’
and i think probably more helpful is using our own names –
‘terri trappng words.’
the power of words.
i really think it’s something big to pay attention to.
in answering an email to a friend,
i wanted to respond to some squirming i could
feel her doing. she was squirming in response to
something someone had said to her.
i told her that it was just a ‘people trapping word.’
and that did it –
a whole new phrase was born for me.
‘people trapping words.’
that works, doesn’t it?
i like it.
the people trapping word she got flung at her was ‘judgmental.’
and that sucks.
i’m thinking you gotta be kinda judgmental just to call
someone that! but somehow that person gets excused and
we’re left wondering if we’re doing something wrong.
it traps us.
fills us with self doubt or guilt.
that’s an especially tricky one cause, in all honesty,
you HAVE to make judgments to get thru life. we do it all
day all the time.
absolutely there’s an unhealthy way to do it.
there’s also a very healthy way to use judgments.
so that one gets tricky and the self doubt sets in fast.
and we find ourselves in the doubt trap once again.
i tried to think of any other words i knew.
and i thought back to a conversation i just had.
the person was leaning towards not saying what he needed
to say because he didn’t want to ‘complain.’
ahhhhhh that’s a good one.
stop your complaining.
you always complain.
and that could be true, and that’s not good.
but! what if you need to say the way something is?
and it’s not a good something.
but you need to talk about it to help the situation out.
that’s not complaining.
yet, someone can easily throw that word at you and trap you!
then as i was pondering all this,
josh posted a really beautiful note on facebook about someone’s
dad who told his son what he ‘should have’ done with his life.
josh was reminding us all to cut that kinda thing out – in a very gracious way.
i saw the ‘should have’ and thought AHA! there’s another!
and then i thought of one (a phrase) someone uses on me –
‘i hate to tell you this…but…’
um…i never once got the feeling she hated to tell me any of the stuff
she told me.
and every single time she finished that sentence,
it felt like a trap landed on me.
‘people trap words!’
these kinda names for things help me.
it helps me deal with the feelings that come up when these words come up.
years ago, when i heard the phrase ‘dream stealers’ –
i was over the moon thrilled.
we all know them!! and now i could watch for them easier
and stay away from them. all because of the phrase.
it heleped with my awareness.
and now, with this new concept, when i get to feelin’ trapped,
i can look for the word(s) that maybe brought that feeling on.
i think that takes some distancing and maybe distancing a little
is just enough to help me get back out of the trap
and to keep on moving.
it has been a topic on my tongue for probably what
seems like a year to anyone near me. i’m betting tho,
it’s just been a few weeks. but it seems to be the topic
that i carry with me wherever i go. and yeah, i’ve
written about it here as well. but since i’m harping,
i figure i’ll come back and do a little harping here too!
it started out as a tool for me to ‘put down the fight.’
(which was some inner struggle i’ve carried for years.)
not knowing how to put that down – like what the heck does
that mean?? – i decided to focus on picking up the healthy choices.
over and over again.
it gave me something to DO.
and to pay attention to.
and to think about.
i’ve been talkin’ to several young women who are searching,
and to each one, i keep nudging them to pay attention to
their choices. put down the unhealthy choices, beliefs,
habits, whatevers. and pick up the healthy stuff.
and darn if that’s not a pain in the neck.
cause if you really commit to it, it affects a lot.
okay, i guess it affects everything.
so you’re carrying around some belief that doesn’t do
you any good. let’s grab one a whole lot of us can relate to –
‘who i am isn’t valuable enough. i have to DO something to
make my being in a relationship with me worthwhile. i have
to BE a certain way.’
that’s a good one, huh? figure a lot of us can nod in recognition
to that thought.
how the heck do you put that down?
i don’t know!
but…something that is helping me out here is the picking
up the healthy choices.
so…if i have a problem with my partner, and normally i would
just slide it under the rug because i don’t want to make waves
and i want to BE a certain something, (because you know, i have
to to keep his love) -this new outlook says that i can put that
belief down by choosing a healthy choice.
like…um…….maybe actually going and telling my partner
what my problem is. go figure.
and the strength that you might need to do that could be a lot –
but by summoning it, you’re somehow telling your insides that
you really do believe there’s a different truth for you.
i think that’s so cool.
so, okay, what if you do something that upsets you because
you feel kinda stupid about it and you’re afraid that someone
won’t think you’re valuable enough to keep around because of it?
that you’re not dependable, or you’re not so bright, or whatever
it is you think you just showed them.
are you really not dependable? are you really not so bright?
and you know that.
but this fear brings up this shame that overwhelms you.
i’m thinking it’s time to turn to the healthy choices.
which could be a million things –
maybe a pep talk with yourself where you really see who you are
and you see that it’s fear saying this untrue stuff.
or maybe it’s taking a day to be gentle with yourself and
showing yourself compassion. maybe it’s listing all the
good things about yourself and reading them out loud to you.
i don’t know what it is. but you can grab something.
and you can do it.
and i think it’s in the act of doing it that the changes start
happening. and even before that -it’s in the awareness that
you want to make healthy choices and you’re paying attention
to some of the unhealthy stuff you tell yourself – that’s a
really fertile place for healing to begin. ya know?
i am sold on this technique.
i’ve been working it.
haven’t always liked it.
it’s been a pain in the neck more than once.
pushed me out of my comfort zone more than i want to be pushed,
and really seems to already be making a difference.
i’m definitely in on this plan.
and if we were having coffee together right now,
i’m sure it would work its way into the conversation!
i absolutely love the word ‘integrity.’
i thought i understood what it was,
but because of some thoughts running thru my head,
i went and looked up the definition.
1. the quality of being honest and having strong
moral principles; moral uprightness.
2. the state of being whole and undivided.
both of those seemed to be perfect food for thought
ever since i started out on this journey of finding
the ‘real’ in my life, i realized being ‘honest’ really
had so many more layers than i had previously thought about.
and i think one of the trickiest layers is the one about
being honest with yourself.
that’s really hard to do.
cause we know so many ways to trick ourselves without
our even knowing it. so trying to be honest thru that
can be quite a challenge.
so that’s the first part of the definition.
and then, my gosh, as if that’s not hard enough,
how do you truly, for real, get strong moral principles?
i mean ones that are real and deep – and HONEST.
don’t just assume you have them.
if you just nod and keep going, that’s a good place
to stop and look.
maybe whenever we find ourselves nodding that we have
something down and are ready to keep going, maybe those
are the places we need to stop and look and run things
thru our honest filters.
i think those are the places we just assume.
and i’m thinking we’re assuming our darn lives away.
i don’t think i EVER woulda said ‘listening’ was part
of anyone’s strong moral principles. it just never woulda
come to mind.
and now, i am thinking that you can’t even begin to have
honesty, or anything else without listening.
for me, listening is the opposite of assuming.
and that includes listening to yourself.
my insides are churned up today.
i think the control freak in me is gnashin’ her teeth
and wanting to take a bite out of the world and rearrange it.
and so it’s got me thinking….
how does integrity fit in?
how does terri have integrity and follow what’s right for her,
and listen – truly listen – to those who have completely different
truths…and somehow find the honesty inside her that’s hiding
behind all the top layer stuff. how do i take this churning and
really see what’s going on around me? and in me?
and if i can…..if i can hold other’s pain and see what drives
them…if i can accept opposite ways of finding life, if i can
accept those who never do want to find what i think of as important,
if i can bear witness to people journeying their paths in the
ways that they choose to do so, and stand strong in what’s right
for me, and love those around me at the same time…if i can see
what’s driving me and steering me, if i can hold this all as the
process of growing that we all go thru…and if i can hold it
with understanding and compassion…
well then…maybe i get the second definition –
the state of being whole and undivided.
i got a long ways to go.
but i think i’m in a practice patch.
and i need to get over myself, and learn a thing or two here.
and so i roll up my sleeves…
take a deep breath…
and head out with the intention of listening.
you know how it goes –
you say something you totally mean,
and then the universe comes and decides
to see how total is totally.
just how much do you REALLY mean it, terri?!
so – what i had said that i totally meant was this-
and i quote –
“the most exciting journey of our life
takes place right inside us.
we are unique and beautiful.
there’s no cooler place to travel.”
and then…wait for it….
and i didn’t even have to wait long.
one of the things i struggle with most in my life
showed up in my face.
inner travel wasn’t looking so good.
i was feelin’ sick to my stomach.
i took to mowing the lawn and thinking.
and it occurred to me pretty quickly –
okay, girl, you’ve been doin’ all this inner work
and thinking…..here’s test material.
this is stuff that throws you big time.
run it thru your latest thoughts and see what you come up with.
was pretty tickled with how quick i came up with this!~
i got nothing.
except a sick stomach.
but then i got this –
i used my new phrase -‘that’s the nature of…’
and so i filled it in with the people who are
involved, who truly, to the best of my understanding
are very unhealthy. to the point i’d say ‘diseased.’
so i thought of them and the things they do and i thought –
‘that’s the nature of disease.’
and by golly, i could feel some sense of calm come over me.
i gotta be clear on this –
it is in NO WAY excusing anyone for the things they do.
but somehow, that i really don’t get, it gives me space,
and maybe the distance to understand? i don’t know.
i just know i felt a difference inside me.
i had been literally feeling sick to my stomach,
and i thought – you feel sick, because it is sick.
that’s the nature of disease.
again – some sense of calm.
it’s just the way it is.
then i thought about it and what do you do with disease?
if you can’t help, if you can’t fix it, if you can’t do
anything positive in the situation – well, you step away.
you turn and walk away and go to something healthy, yes?
and so today, my plan is to ‘walk away.’
and what walking away really means is instead of thinking
about the nature of disease, i am going to embrace the nature
of healthy. gonna start there as that feels right.
then move on to embrace the nature of terri –
which is the nature of you as well –
ohmygosh, i can’t even type it without grinning.
and i repeat –
“the most exciting journey of our life
takes place right inside us.
we are unique and beautiful.
there’s no cooler place to travel.”
talkin’ to a friend yesterday.
she’d been doin’ a lot of thinking
and what she decided from all that thinking
was she didn’t know a darn thing!
i applauded her on that one.
i love that.
i’m pretty sure that the one thing i know
is that i don’t know.
and i’m pretty sure that’s important.
seems like every time i feel like i made some kinda
stride somewhere, a little flap lifts up and i see
that there’s about 10,000 flaps i didn’t know existed
inviting me further in and reminding me that i don’t know yet.
and i think that helps in the looking.
cause maybe if you know, you stop looking and you miss
all those flaps lifting up inviting you down further into new areas…
it really can be like one big detective adventure, can’t it?
you look for clues, you try to figure stuff out,
the plot changes on you, and you grab another lead and head another way…
all taking you further and further into getting to know yourself.
(and thru all those little flaps!)