There is No Substitute for Time

In therapy the other day my therapist said to me “You’ve got to stop reading those self-help books.”  I audibly GASPED!  What?!!  I work 12 hour shifts in the middle of the night where the whole world is a sleep and it’s silent as a tomb.  I’d felt rather productive lately, as if I had been making good use of my time cramming one self-help book after another in to my head.  Stop?  Seriously?

“It’s like you’re seeing two therapists” he replied.  He then proceeded to suggest I read some fluff, like romance novels.  Huh?

Now, I do have quite the collection of Danielle Steele novels but for some reason, at that very moment my pompous ass side emerged– and went all “holier than thou” on those frivolous books.  How could they help me?  How could they get me where I wanted to be?

I have been a reading machine lately.  Reading my ass off, and even re-reading self-help books I had read before.  High lighting, doodling in them, journaling about them.  The minute I stopped doing this, and just put them down… took all the fodder for my obsession OUT of my work bag–  I breathed a sigh of relief.  That’s when I realized that was I seriously overloading myself with this crap.  I mean, it’s not crap but everything in moderation and what I was practicing was certainly NOT moderation.

Here I am talking a good line about how I am striving for balance, whilst feverishly working at throwing things OUT of balance, without even realizing it.  I guess what it comes down to is that I would like to be done with this healing process right here and right now.  Sure, I gave myself permission to grieve for as long as it takes, but if I can make it go ANY faster so I can get to the fun stuff up ahead–  then I was determined to do it.

Instead, it seemed I’d been kind of driving myself crazy with all this stuff about relationships and The Ambassador and all that self-help junk–  and then I was shoveling more shit in on top of it.  ( Check out Columbus Cynic’s post about this phenomenon )

Well, I am starting to surrender more and more… and surrendering to TIME simply has to happen.  It is going to take time.  Like it or not, that’s the TRUTH.  As much as I try to look at everyday as a precious gift, and live it to the fullest…  I also need to plan for the future.  I need to do the work now, so the future will be brighter.

Right now, the first phase of my own personal happiness project doesn’t feel very happy.  *snort*.  I want to rush ahead to the fun stuff I see down the road, but I can’t.  The work now is to just be…   To just breathe and work steady and slow.  There is no substitute for time.

This situation also makes me look at that phrase “live life to the fullest” in a different way.  It becomes less about galloping in to the sunset on a new adventure, and more about blooming where you’re planted.  Enjoying all the things you have to do along the way.  That’s life &  I can do that.  I was BORN to do that.

Published in: on June 3, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (16)  
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Calling in “The One”

In the wake of all this Ambassador business, I have started what I’m calling a personal growth project.  I bought a book called Calling In “The One”:  7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. by Katherine Woodward Thomas.  She featured the following quote at the top of one of her chapters, and so far to me it aptly describes her program.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.  –A Course in Miracles

So far, I have moved through 13 “lessons” out of the 49 in the book.  The activities suggested are meditations (if you have a hard time sitting still like that, the author talks about a walking meditation too), lots of journaling, going through your day with awareness of a particular topic and the occasional project…  The collage has been my total favorite.

This course is no foolin’ around kind of self-help.  It’s therapy printed between two covers and a spine.  I have done my chair of personal growth with the help of licensed therapists, etc and I’m telling you– this book is GOOD.  It’s a hell of a lot better than several of the counselors I’ve worked with!

In my opinion a therapist has two main purposes… The first is to let you talk it out.  The second is to guide you toward healing.  That means directing you towards books & activities that will be helpful, and making sure you are asking yourself the right questions.  This book covers the last two very well, and I’m leaning on The Sultry School Teacher for the talking things out.

I have worked with professionals long enough to know what kind of therapy really resonates with me.  For me, even during meditation, I need to speak things out loud.  For me, that is the required activity in order for my head to make a connection with my heart.  So… I’ve been workin’ it.

The book has sent me straight in to sorting out and resolving issues related to my parents, as well as my past relationships.  It’s covered unconscious agreements with yourself and others…  Awareness really is the first step in change.  Once you become aware of an issue or a problem, you can then take action to change it.

It’s been tough.  I have uncovered some issues I didn’t realize I had.  I started with asking myself why I continue to attract unavailable men…  I have come to the conclusion that I have fears, so I am attracting fear.

You see, I remember when my Mom was divorced and dating.  She didn’t date much, really.  She dove head first in to one marriage after another.  I even remember saying “It’s always better when it’s just US, Mom.”  My Mom’s pattern looked something like this…  Meet a controlling type & dive in—>  Begin deferring to him on pretty much everything—>  Fail to protect my sisters and I from abuse the man was doling out—>  finally decide she’s had enough—>  Bail & move us back in with her mother.

My mother changed when in a relationship.  She became this weak-willed woman who put up with too much and didn’t protect her kids.  I don’t want to be that girl…. and I think there was a very real fear inside of me about that.   I did some serious work on it.  The truth is, I am -NOT- my mother.  She dragged us from one bad situation to the next, never stopping to figure out why it was happening or what she could do to make it better.   That’s SO not me.

I also worked on some unconscious agreements I have had with myself and previous partners.  Apparently, I have cast myself in the role of relationship work horse.  I have repeatedly been in relationships with a total imbalance of energy.  I give too much and don’t expect enough in return.

So, those are some of the things I’ve been working through.  It has left me with a perpetual emotional hangover.  Some days, I do feel excited.  I realize I am becoming aware of things affecting me and I’m making change… but mostly I feel hazy and hung over.

I’d love to charge through it and get it done, but I just can’t.  It’s exhausting.  It’s so much to absorb and I need time to marinate… but I can see it working.  It feels like a seed that’s starting to sprout.

Published in: on April 8, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (12)  
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