01 February 2009

Refueling Stop

This has been moving at a pretty fast clip, largely because I've been putting words to things that have finally come close enough to the surface for me to articulate. Doing that is a crucial part of the process. It's necessary to deepen my understanding, because it's in verbalizing these things that I'll really come to grips with the subtleties and details.

This is one of the situations in which details definitely matter.

In the last two days I've hit the mother lode, except that it's about equally the father lode. [sorry CZ, couldn't resist]. I'm looking again at FOO patterns, associated with the expression and acting out of anger, what was modeled for me vs. what was expected from me. Am also looking at the cultural matrix, the 'temper of the times' [sorry again CZ] when I was a child, a teen, a young adult, and at workplace cultures I have experienced.

This is jampacked, and it's taking a while to sort out major components.

I still have the strong sense that I'm going to continue to make progress.

I also have a 'token', if you will, of what lies ahead. In the past several days I've had an inordinate number of extremely frustrating, annoying, bothersome things to deal with. Nearly nonstop petty hassles at work, nearly nonstop 'petites miseres' outside of work. Lots of sand in the gears, very little forward motion on things that have to move forward.

Normally I come home from a siege like this, and either spend an hour walking or working out, or a few minutes punching a pillow - to offload the 'fight-or-flight' that accumulates at times like this, so it won't cause problems elsewhere. This stuff 'comes out sideways' if you let it accumulate; that much, I already knew.

Strangely, it hasn't been accumulating.

Even more strangely, I've been watching the 'stuff' as it goes by. Just as with the pity, just as with the 'Karpan Rescue' impulses. Watching and tagging, like some kind of emotional naturalist doing field studies.

Hey, look at that, there goes a Five-Crested Gratuitous Snipe. Look at it preening! Wow, here's a Three-Toed Inconvenient Delay. Poor thing looks like it's asleep on its feet. And there's a Slithering Innuendo. Out there, coming closer, a stampeding herd of Inappropriate Demands... yikes, they're heading straight at me... quick, up the canyon wall, hang on as they thunder past. And if they stop right under me and start milling around, waiting for me to come down, then drop a corral around them quick!

There's a difference; I'm tagging things that are on the outside, which seems to be instrumental in keeping them outside. Which, after all, is where they belong.
Isn't it interesting that appropriate labeling is such a key component of boundary setting -- and isn't it interesting how relentlessly we are taught that we should not label - as an absolute. With no hint that there are times and ways in which it is not only appropriate, but essential. What a nifty way to prevent someone from learning to set boundaries!
And with that, I'm off for a refueling stop. Catch some rest, kick back, then get a cup of coffee and start in again.

Back soon, God willing.


Blogger CZBZ said...

Perhaps it’s 12-step work that prepares us for fearless and honest self-examination?

My first meeting at Alanon was eye-opening.

Competent, wise, and respected people revealed intimate struggles without worrying about their impact on others. The fact that we ‘others’ were not allowed to intervene with soothing comments like, ‘ay, yer a swell person’, made the speaker’s self-revelations even more difficult to tolerate. I felt a need to DO something to help and stop them from saying things that made me uncomfortable.

The gem retrieved from their public digging? That ‘I’ was uncomfortable with their digging----it had little to do with them or their process.

Then I learned something else after witnessing people dive in head-first and rise to the surface of the cave with golden nuggets in their hands: this inner journey was THEIR inner journey, not mine. Rescuing them carried with it the innuendo that they were incapable of rescuing themselves.

I learned to trust the process.

People, who cannot face reality, don’t. Their psyche protects them far better than I. If they’re ready to dig a little deeper, they will. If they aren’t, they won’t.

Maybe each excavation increases our capacity to dig even deeper the next time? I know for myself that my ability to tolerate my misbehavior is far beyond where I was seven years ago. And the stuff I’m hauling out of the deep, dark cave is priceless now. I may look like a wreck with mud clinging to my shoes and chunks of dirt rimming my fingernails, but that’s okay. At least in cyberspace, people aren’t privy to our appearance.

Trust in the process. The fearful won’t dig; they peer into the pit and wring their hands over other people’s foolishness.

But hey, we share the gold with ‘em anyways.



03 February, 2009 16:18  
Blogger Stormchild said...

CZ, you have captured the dynamics of "the Village" with absolute accuracy.

I'm very glad that here, in the relative comfort of a blog, I've received support, encouragement, and kind expressions of concern.

This has had an unexpected dividend: it's helped me put "the Village" fully into the rearview mirror, emotionally, which is where it belongs. [And objects in mirror are much much smaller than they appeared when they were in front.]

It's all helped. Every comment here, from every person who has offered their thoughts.

Thank you!

03 February, 2009 20:57  
Anonymous Meg said...

You will have to excuse me, but I came from a religious cult which not only reprimanded those who didn't make public confessions, but engendered the frantic desire to find things to confess in order to be part of the 'in' crowd. Confessions were then used against the confessee, to blackmail, control and character assassinate once that person had left. It was a terrible place. We were there for nearly 20 years.

I have had to rediscover my boundaries, my integrity and my natural discretion (I was always quiet and unlikely to share personal things before the cult).

So, for me to see Stormchild suddenly making these confessions has given me some very uncomfortable feelings indeed. Not because I am uncomfortable with being honest and straightforward, because I now see honesty, integrity and authenticity as my guiding mantra, but because I was concerned that she thought she somehow 'had' to do it.

I am also learning how important it is to not be a bystander, and to stand up for someone, or to say what I think if something seems off kilter. I have always been a loyal friend, but not always free to share my concerns with others, because I would get sneers and abuse back.

The internet makes it difficult to truly know somebody unless they tell you who they are, and sometimes the person you think they are, suddenly changes.

These have been the things which have propelled me to comment.

04 February, 2009 04:25  
Blogger Stormchild said...

Meg, I see what you are saying, and I do understand.

You want me to be careful, not push ideas and insights too far or too fast, not get caught in the moment and take risks that can't be reversed.

CZ wants me to be careful too, and not miss a key opportunity for growth and insight.

I am wending my way along the narrow path between both of those very legitimate and genuine risks. So far, so good.

I am going to ask, now, for people to have enough confidence in me to believe that I am capable of doing this, and to believe that I am telling the truth when I say the following:

The process unfolding here is exactly the same process by which I have arrived at every one of the insights, and every bit of the understanding, that I have posted on this blog for two years now, and counting.

The only difference - absolutely the only difference! - is that in this case, I am 'liveblogging the process' as it unfolds, and in all other previous cases, I have been blogging the end product.

This is the selfsame process I have gone through, over and over, on my path to becoming the person who blogs here. The insights, the remembering, the thought process, the emotional process, the creativity. All of it exactly the same.

The only difference is, this time it's visible from the beginning, and from the inside out.

The best thing that anyone can do for me, from this point forward, is to offer prayers for my safe journey and safe arrival.

That's something I need, something that I cannot do for myself. I can pray for myself, of course, but prayers from others have special power. And I appreciate any and all such prayers, from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks - blessings - peace.

04 February, 2009 19:58  

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