May 28, 2010
Becoming the Kite: My June Challenge
If you've spent any time reading this blog, you've probably noticed that I talk about myself probably more than is polite or healthy, and so I have to say a big fat THANK YOU if you've kept reading. Now I'm going to talk about myself just a little bit more, and then I promise to stop-- at least for a spell.
June holds the day my dad died, and then two seconds later it's Father's Day which wasn't even an easy day when my dad was alive. Last year I decided to surround myself with loving friendship on my dad's death day, and I planned to do that again this year, but there have been a few technical difficulties.
When I told my mom that the party plans are postponed she said, "But what are you going to do for yourself? How are you going to get through the day?"
I'm not sure about that yet, but I think I know how to get through the month.
I read a little blurb in O Magazine (just can't stop myself) where Jane Lynch (from Glee and almost every other show ever aired) talks about being a newly recovering alcoholic. She went to an AA meeting where her sponsor was crying in the corner, and Jane thought, "What did I do wrong?" and then she realized she hadn't done anything wrong; her sponsor's sadness had nothing to do with her. Her entire life she had been blaming herself for other people's unhappiness, and while others were gathered around her sponsor, consoling her, Jane was just standing there worrying about herself. Her self blame had allowed her to create a wall so that she never had to reach out to anyone.
If I'd had a light bulb floating above my head in that moment, it would have exploded.
I could offer examples of how this is also true for me, but I think you should just take my word for it.
At the UU church on Sunday, Rev. Leaf Seligman told the children a story about Martha and Jimmy, who liked to play together every day until the grown ups built a wall separating the land and their homes. The children missed each other very much, and then one day Martha flew a kite over the wall with a message: "Hi Jimmy. I miss you." When Jimmy found the kite, he wrote back: "Hi Martha. I miss you, too." Pretty soon all of the children were flying kites across the wall to their friends, and the sky was filled with colors.
Leaf ended the story by saying, "So boys and girls, the lesson for you is: Be the kite; don't be the wall." I took it as a sign.
So here's my plan: I'm going to be the kite over my own wall. I'm going to pretend that I don't believe everyone is annoyed or angry with me, because my therapist says we can make our brains believe something by pretending to believe it. So if you are having hostile feelings toward me, I'm just going to trust that you will tell me when you're ready and go about my business.
And Part B of my plan is to get my face out of the mirror and into the sunlight. I'll spend the month of June paying attention to other people instead of myself and writing about their brilliant ways. Aha!
The fine print here is that I'm long on ideas and short on follow up, so I may need a swift kick in the ass every so often. Feel free.