Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pondering (Part I) ...

The thing is ... when I am not happy about things, my very being refuses to settle until I have resolved it ... whatever 'it' might mean. 'It' can be someone in my world who upsets me, a situation, a circumstance, a decision, choices, changes, ... you know what I mean.

So somehow after a few (read 'many many') days and some sleepless nights, I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And it isn't another train.

Now these ponderings of mine probably mean nothing to anybody else but me, I find writing helpful.

Did you know it's ok to feel hurt, sad, angry, miserable, depressed, grumpy, bored, hungry, unsettled, directionless, tired, unmotivated, shitty even! Don't need to feel guilty or bad about it because it's all completely normal. And while it isn't a good idea to build a life around one's emotions, it isn't the end of the world when things are awful or hard or complicated.

I am watching friends I love slowly unravel in front of me. My unasked for opinion for this couple is that they have been meeting their needs (one more than the other I suspect) everywhere but in their relationship. Career, business, interests ... and now they are parting.

I like what Jesus said, "Love God, love others". It's selfless this way of loving. Yet in doing this, I believe we actually find our needs to belong, be loved and accepted, nurtured, desired, purposeful and involved in important things get met. Well, that's my understanding anyway.

In my own life, I know I have been trying to make myself feel important through my art work, because lets face it, everyone loves being caught being clever. I love being good at something.
Um, plus I actually do love making stuff.

And I am good at some things. I get feed back that I am a good friend, I am a good mum and wife, I am a good Christian.

Being an at-home mum can be tedious, humdrum and unrewarding a lot of the time. Nobody pays me and rarely are we acknowledged. Who would stay in any other kind of job if that were the case? Would you go to work if you weren't paid and people didn't notice what you did?

So what to do about it? I have been angsting about this out loud and in private for so long now, I've turned into a bit of a misery-guts to those around me. I have also figured I don't flow from one place to another in my life, rather its clunky like changing gears without pushing the clutch in.

Anyway, I have decided to stop looking for my value through my art. Really. And that frees me up to just make art for the pure joy of making stuff. It's why I love art's sister, crafting because it has lots of wonderful purposes and processes - getting stuff, making stuff, sharing stuff, giving stuff, learning stuff, admiring stuff. I realise its why the whole art school venture sucked (along with unhelpful tutors and ridiculous processes, grrrrrr).

It's like going to something that is empty and expecting it to fill me up. Ridiculous.

Meeting my needs will come when I get my head on straight about what is truly important to me and my reason for being alive. The heart of things that matter to Rachelle. And how to integrate that with my reality.

So I am excited because I feel like I am on the cusp of figuring out my dilemna ... read back posts to get the low down. (haha, low)

I just want to say I don't feel hopeless. This is how I get when things aren't working for me. I know I will work through it and be alright but it's always messy even if it is just in my head.

Prayer, talking with my husband, going to church to hear loving and positive messages about life, talking with friends who are well-journeyed, reading, and pondering are my well-worn tools in my toolkit.

Meeting my needs is not the purpose of my life, but in meeting others needs, my needs are inadvertently met - how's that for contrary thinking and yet it's perfectly logical to me. Logic I love and yet lose sight of until the next time I find my world closing in and becoming small and unhappy.

Loving God. Well lots of people don't even like God, church or anything to do with Him. I do. It's ironic how politically incorrect it is to be married and be a Christian. Talk about radical. But it's good for me. I am a nicer, kinder, gentler, more loving woman living a life consciously with God. Not perfect. Not better than others. But I LIKE ME like this.

Loving God. It's an interesting sentence. Not just a sentiment or an emotion. More like an active desire to intimately know God's character, to be so close I can know His heart and live my life in response to what I believe.

In amidst all of this is my purpose. My sense of meaning. It's where I find peace. It would be nice if I knew how all the bits fit together, but that's my journey I guess.

I love being at home with the kids. If you could see my home right now you would see a sticky bench covered in dishes and leftovers drying on breadplates, toys all over the place, beds unmade, the tv's going (best intentions aside, I cannot amuse three boys 24/7 without help!), I need a shower and change of clothes having fallen asleep on the couch the last few nights (Rich comes and sleeps on the other couch to keep me company) because I fall asleep between duties and stay awake pondering my 'mum-ness and wife-ness' (and Facebook has a little something to do with it while we are being honest, haha). In spite of all of this and the neverending needs my family have, I love it. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. And although my kids don't thank me for taking care of them, don't notice that we go without so they can have things, am constantly tired and yet feel like I get nothing done, I wouldn't be anywhere else. I belong here. This is me. My life.

I found a great blog written by a bunch of Christian mum's. Pleasantly surprised and even relieved to see such good practical advice motivated by a desire to bring value to what we do as mums. Not fruity or irrelevant like some Christian stuff can be, just good old down to earth ideas about running a home. More importantly, running a home WITH A GREAT ATTITUDE. Just what I needed. It's called beautiful work (click to go see http://beautifulwork.wordpress.com/ ). Below, I have shamelessly lifted an excerpt.

So for installment No. 1 here are some super-practical ways you can love and take care of yourself. After all, as my hubby says: “If mama ain’t happy- ain’t nobody happy.” :-)
Set a basket next to your favorite chair with your bible, notebook, pen, glasses, current novel, iPod, etc. Make it as easy as possible for you to take some time for yourself each day-put it all in one place!
In effort to keep within our budget, if I’m the only one that likes a certain item it simply doesn’t get bought. So we’ve started keeping one figure friendly snack in the house that’s just reserved just for me. But remember, keep it stowed away or be ready to share!
Treat yourself to a date. A cheap date. Hit up coffee or frozen yogurt. Do it alone, with your spouse, or a good friend.
Give yourself a pedicure. It’s time well spent, and money well saved!! What woman doesn’t like seeing pretty feet when she looks down!??
Make time to exercise! You’ll feel better, look better, and have way more energy than the days you don’t.
Find a hobby if you don’t have one already. Sewing, cooking, hiking, reading, puzzles, games, scrap booking, crafts, collages, design, biking, painting, writing…we’re all gifted in different ways- so share your talents with others if you can!

Can you see why I like it? Like everything, there's a couple of things that don't fit me, but overall I feel like I stumbled upon a bit of a lifesaver with this one. It's my cup of tea actually. Right down to how to build a satisfying marriage, having a good attitude towards my husband and be a blessing (not a burden) because let's face it, my husband is really really important to me. Not my everything, but pretty darn close. How to clean a house and do a satisfying job with it. Cooking nice meals. It looks appealing which is what tired-ole me needs. Something to motivate me apart from my emotions. Just the idea of setting up a nice space for myself and filling it with stuff I love is kinda motivating once my sick kid returns to school.

On ending this increduously long post, I have reflected on three sayings I have found unhelpful (and can you tell that I've heard them more than once):

"You think too much."

Should I think too little or not at all? Given that I value living a meaningful life and care about others, I think my thinking is just about right. Muddled sometimes, yes, but never too much.

"Get over it."

If I knew what was bothering me, and I knew how to make it better, then I wouldn't be here would I!? There is too much assumption in this piece of advice.

"You talk too much"

Yes I talk a lot. That's what I do. Part of what makes me special and valuable at times to different people. Not always helpful or even particularly interesting, but not a crime either.

These words spoken into my life have often left me feeling insecure, unlikeable and inadequate. And do you know what? They are unhelpful lies. I have no idea why we humans do this to each other. Hurtful words that can burrow deep and cause so insecurities to grow. Know what? I forgive and I am happy to say that I feel more whole for it. I am ok, just the way I am.

Well that's todays ramble. How was your day?

1 comment:

Beautiful Mo said...

Regretably we are none of us perfect and we need to try to always remember not to give others critical opinions such as the ones you are repeatedly experiencing. Its usually an indication of ignorance, imaturity or insensitivity on the other persons part.I love the sound of your voice and love to hear your constant chatter. You are on fire for life and people. You are so valuable. People like you make a difference in others lives. You are a great inspiration & role model as a woman to me. Don't ever change precious one. Keep talking.