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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

On Improvement



 I feel as if I am constantly on a quest to be better. From being a child pouring over my aunt's teen magazine and my mother's women's magazines to ordering fun little books like "14 Days to a Whole New You," from the book form in junior high, I have always wanted to do better.

As a child, conquering my temper was my main area of focus. Oh, I could get mad. It still flares from time to time, particularly when one of the kids are making gigantic messes on a day when my body is already just done. Or when the person I am trying to have a discussion/argument with is refusing to be logical-or bringing up past arguments. Then I will find myself on the edge (you know, the place where the F word abounds). 

One thing that amuses me is how in my 20s and 30s and early 40s I always saw myself as the good guy. Yes, I was too prideful and could get bitchy when my pride was attacked, but my expectations for others were rather high, perhaps impossible. My fear of rejection was so great, I couldn't just relax. I was ever vigilant, ever worried.  And there is some reason behind that-people do exclude and people do talk about other people-even friends, and that sucks. But somehow, you just have to suck it up, and keep moving on. The problem is I don't know how to be open and vulnerable to people and still be detached and self-protective. And I guess you can't. If you want to be open to people, you have to just accept you are going to be disappointed and hurt. You are going to have to pick yourself up, talk about it, and forgive. I can understand that intellectually. But emotionally, there is always this wall that barricades me from the pain faster than I can see it happening. I don't want to detach so easily, but I do understand and accept that this wall once served an important purpose in my life. 

We won't drag all that out here. Let's just say, I don't feel I have reached the previous year's goal word of "connection." 

To me, connection would be having someone to call when I needed to talk (besides my poor daughter), someone to walk with, someone to see movies with. Or several someones. And I am not there. Of course, I have real, pressing daily responsibilities which preclude just being able to go do things, and I am weirdly perfectionistic about my home (which means, I won't let people in, unless it is just so), so...it just may not be my season for that, but it doesn't stop the yearning. 

Anyway, improvement. I feel I have shown growth over the past few years. I feel angry that lessons which should have been learned early were not-but what can you do with that? I mean, it is what it is, right? I need to talk and identify feelings more with my kids, so they don't have to figure so much out on their own-not to make my life easier-but to make theirs easier.

But you want to know a secret? Nature is there. She is coiled up in the pit of your stomach, and no matter how much you learn to tame your pride, and how much you struggle to keep your eyes open and be honest with yourself, she is always ready to strike. Maybe the real truth isn't that I don't trust others. Maybe it is that I don't trust myself. 

There is an argument that people don't change-not really. And whenever I feel the flare begin to flame in my belly, I understand this. Our nature is always with us, always awaiting its chance to strike, tear apart, and build itself up. Our higher self must remain ever-vigilant, ever aware of this impending destruction. Our higher self must calmly hold the reins, guiding us ever-onward and upward. It isn't an easy fight, and it is one I have poured my soul into through my prayer journals (but wait, there's more!)

And so, we keep moving forward. I have my journals begging for growth, peace, clarity, wisdom. God DOES answer prayers-but the path he leads you on is not the path of least resistance. To the external eye, it may seem as nothing is happening. To the seeker however, the path is present and difficult and real. 

Let's finish up with up with a little Oceans, shall we?

I long to be in the mountains.


 

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