still working my way through byron katie's book. "i need your love -- is that true??". taking it slow & really internalizing her words & working through all of the exercises. posting what really hits home with me here, for others who may well benefit & for future reference for myself...;)
"Minding Your Manners" (page 40)
"...politeness & tact are supposed to be about consideration for others. but notice how often they are really about trying to control the impression that you make...
...when you're being polite, are you living the part or just playing it?? the difference to notice here is the difference it makes to you.
for example, many people find it difficult to receive a kind remark or gift. the focus on reciprocating right away, even with a thank-you, can keep you from fully receiving...
when you feel real gratitude it shows without effort. whether or not anyone notices is up to them. but if they do, they receive a much bigger gift, not small words & gestures, but gratitude itself. people become very open in the presence of gratitude. soon they want to give you everything. things get out of control & love appears.
you can see this clearly with a hug. you don't experience the hug you are getting if you are trying to hug back. trying to hug back refuses the gift. when you really receive it, you feel the arms around you, you feel the body, you feel the love inside you. the receiving is the giving. it's the most genuine thing you can give back."
this one is huge for me, as i am one of those who has had a hard time receiving any sorts of gifts/remarks/etc without trying to settle up first thing. i say 'who has had' because i have changed dramatically in this department. mainly since my pregnancy with our last child, our daughter, evyn.
with our boys (x3) my pregnancies were life as usual, aside from a growing belly & a larger appetite. i didn't have to change a thing, other than the size pants i wore. ;) but activity & responsibility wise everything was life as usual. with evyn, however, everything changed. i went into preterm labor with her @ 5months & ended up spending a night in the emergency room with our midwife trying desperately to figure out what was going on. in the end, despite running every test that she could think of, we couldn't figure out what was going on. so, i was discharged & told more or less to 'keep it chill'.
i kept having pains & severe ones @ that. i had to really manage how much i took on each day & with 3 young children, a husband who works second shift & homeschooling, my plate was more or less full to begin with. up until this point, all of my mom friends had referred to me as "super mom, but now i couldn't even walk our dog without taking 2 or 3 breaks.
it was insanely frustrating, as i was used to being the one in charge & now my body was & i had NO choice but to listen or else risk losing this pregnancy. but for all the aggravation, i learned a lot about myself.
i learned that i was a control freak, a perfectionist, constantly pushing my limits, which brought about mad amounts of stress. i learned that sleep was my friend & that things would fall into place without my having to be 'the one' to do it all.
i learned to let go & to breath & to enjoy. i learned that it was 'ok' to sit down & that i didn't always have to be doing something productive.
i had to rest more, which meant that some things i had previously considered 'mandatory' had to get scratched of my list altogether. AND i learned that no one hated me for not doing them (as i had previously thought that they would).
this was a big wake up call, on so many different levels.
i had to learn to ask for help, something that i was absolutely horrible @ doing (pride & ego, you know?? ;). i learned that people didn't look down on me or think any less of me because of it.
if was, in what byron calls, 'the state of gratitude'. i could feel the love around me & it wasn't because of anything i was doing. it was simply because i was loved.
granted things got slightly back to normal after ev was born, once we settled into our new rhythm as a family of 6. but some things remained as they were -- i no longer stress about things as much. i do what i can & i know that that is enough.
i have gotten better @ asking for help, though i could probably be better still. i constantly work on balance & no longer try to control everything. we each do the best we can with what we have & where we are each moment & as i tell our children (& remind myself as well) our best is all we can do.