OK, I think the whole Father's Day thing has brought up some stuff in me that needs to be released. I don't have any happy memories of Father's Day Past and always had a confusing and troubled relationship with both my bio father and my step father. I'm certain I transferred plenty of that confusion and trouble into my relationships with all the men in my life, too.
In the past, I've just treated Father's Day with a sense of obligation - find a gift and card and try not to tell the truth about what I really felt. I did the very same thing with my Mom. I remember many years of standing in front of dozens of cards, reading all of them to find the one that wasn't an obvious message of sappy love and devotion I didn't feel. "To the BEST Dad", "I want to be just like you, Mom", all sentiments that were not in my heart. I wanted to be a little honest - I loved them, but didn't feel any love for them for many years. I was just too angry at them for all of the things they did or didn't do as parents. I held their failings against them, never understanding how that played itself out in my life.
I carried my wound around like a weapon to use against me. I lived in a perpetual state of the victim - embracing my role. I accepted, mostly quietly, all of the abuse that I felt was heaped upon me by those who could sense my cooperation in that dynamic. I may as well have written an ad and posted in on Craig's List! "Looking for someone to punish? Well, here I am! Believe me, you don't punish me nearly as harshly as I punish myself - I'm the Mistress of Self-Abuse. I'm such a coward, I'll never tell you to stop. When I can't tolerate your behavior, I'll leave - until then, pile it on because I'm here to take it."
Gratefully, those days are mostly gone. But something is lurking around underneath and it's been poked by Father's Day. Painful memories have peeked up and asked me to take notice of them - shine some light on them and clean house again. This time it's not a complete disaster - it's not epic in its proportions - these are gentle nudges, not catastrophic shoves off cliffs into a free falling sense of impending doom. I'm able to feel them and see them for what they are: history. I can move through them as if lifting a veil that shadows my wholeness. I can walk through them with a sense of safety because I know my wounds no longer define me - they're not who I am - I don't feel hostage to them any more. So I can reach this Father's Day itch and scratch it feeling relieved that it hasn't de-railed me for more than a momentary lapse of remembering - a reflection on the pond of my life that fades quickly. Gratefully gone...
Monday, June 7, 2010
The countdown began today. On Saturday, June 12th I'm participating in my neighborhood garage sale. There are at least 75 homes scheduled to have sales. That's a lot of stuff people are trying to sell! I have more stuff to sell than space to display it.
Because of some financial decisions, I'm divesting myself of many years of accumulated stuff - downsizing, simplifying, clearing, cleaning, making room for new energy to enter my life. I have been doing my release processes - it's just stuff - nothing I need to live a happy, fulfilled life. I've done my mental inventory and have a good idea of what I want to keep and what I'm letting go. Since I don't need it, it's part of the energetic balance I'm working with - recycle, re-use, re-purpose. Move things along to those who want or need them and voila! I'm ready to expand my amazing life even more - beyond what I imagined possible at any other time of my life. There's only one problem with that - expand how? beyond where? imagined what? What is my vision for my future? What do I really want? No cliches, no magical thinking, no fairy tale - what the heck do I see for myself in my future? How can I ask for what I want from the Universe when I haven't clearly defined it for myself?
So, even though the countdown has begun for the physical task of sorting, clearing, stacking, deciding, releasing, selling my stuff, an even more important countdown has been ignored. I'm pretty sure what I want is to clear out some things so I can take a deep breath and see some progress before I can make this real. I'm such a great planner, that so far it's been a challenging intellectual exercise - including, (promise not to laugh) an excel spreadsheet. I have mentally (and sometimes emotionally) let go of so much, but am resistant to jumping in and actually doing it.
My daughter is a great purger - she is relentless about donating or selling what she no longer needs. At a garage sale, when I hesitate to sell something for a teeny tiny fraction of what I paid for it, she says, "the idea is to get rid of it, isn't it?" which snaps me out of my reverie about when I bought it, what I paid for it, what it meant/means to me. Surely the buyer can see the VALUE of this precious item that they're offering a pittance for, can't they? What this has taught me is to be much more judicious about my purchases, because if I don't need it, I certainly don't want to be torn over how much I paid for it when I either give it away or sell it at a yard sale. Now I have to get rid of so many things I wasn't judicious about purchasing and be OK with not only letting them go, but waving good bye with love - no regrets - release them to another's care.
The closer it gets to the garage sale day, the more shaken I become at the thought of having to do this unpleasant task. When I was talking about this to a friend, she suggested that I shift my attitude from dread to excitement about how I'm building my new life. I'm still working on that...