Monday, October 6, 2008

A New Perspective on Vulnerability

It's funny....for how long I've been seeing T, I still get anxious when I feel like I don't have a pressing topic to discuss with her. I went Sat morning and talked about how fantastic vacation was. How I really let down this time and enjoyed it more than any of the previous 4 times we've gone to this same house. It was difficult the first morning to really let go of anxiety about being "productive". Sitting on the front porch in the morning, drinking coffee and letting DD wander around sprinkling seeds for the animals, I kept fighting the urge to jump up and DO something: take a shower, cook something, plan something. But I knew I needed to squash that urge. The second morning was easier and by the third morning, I was perfectly content to let the day unfold in whatever manner that felt good. I am fairly sure in the past 10 days, I've slept the equivalent of a typical month for me. It felt fantastic!

So, T and I talked about simple ways to bring a little of that mindset into everyday life. Even if just conjuring the full image of my vacation morning ritual, from the feel of the chilly air to the smell and taste of my pumpkin coffee and the sounds of nature. She advised me to tell myself each morning at the office "I have all the time to accomplish everything I need to do today" and says I will be pleasantly surprised at the difference it makes. I think I've mentioned that once vacation was over, work is going to get really intense with a huge project I'm spear-heading in addition to my regular work. So I'm going to try to begin each morning with some breathing, imagery and that statement.

I told T that I felt a shift in my feelings about my Mom this past week. I talked to her almost every day while away. We communicated alot through text and picture messages. You know, my Mom is actually pretty funny. And she loves her granddaughter more than life itself. She's a good Grandma. And I have to say she's a good Mom at this point in time. She's as good as she can be. While I was away, I admitted to myself that I love her. I haven't been able to feel or say that in a really long time. I guess it was the "letting down" of being away that let me get in touch with that. Yes, she's got shortcomings and I know she'll never be all that I would hope my Mom could be. But accepting her where she's at and knowing she does all she possibly can for DD and me....well, I appreciate that. And I guess it's part of loving someone....accepting their "flaws" and choosing to love them anyway. By holding out the expectations of her becoming the Mom I fantasize about, I make sure that she always fails me and that I'm always disappointed.

I said to T that it was really scary to let my guard down and open up to the vulnerability. Wise, wise T asked "What if keeping your guard UP actually was the thing holding you in the place of vulnerability?" As I pondered that thought, it began to make perfect sense. By keeping my guard up, I keep alive the belief that I need to be protected. I keep alive the pain of the past. I live with a constant fear and feelings of impending danger. By letting it down, I can actually access my true strength. I can live in the present, tune into reality, set healthy boundaries. Yes, indeed.....the old question about the wall/fence....does it serve to keep other people out, or merely exist to lock myself inside? Time to let the guard down and trust myself to take care of Me in a realistic and present day world. I need not haul that enormous wall of protection around with me everywhere I go anymore.


Enola said...

Wow! That stuff with your mom is intense. I'm curious to see how it goes in the weeks to come.

I'm learning to relax too. To sleep when baby sleeps and prioritizing what I absolutely have to do - I simply can't do it all. Glad you got some relaxation!

Maia said...

Totally. Right on. That last paragraph just really resonated with me.

Marj aka Thriver said...

This sounds very healthy. Good for you!