Thursday, November 04, 2004

What I Want!

I could start by saying that I moved out of my four bedroom home into a two bedroom apartment with my two daughters and that although it felt good to follow through and become "independent," I was embarrassed and felt punished when we walked in to begin unloading the UHaul truck and it stank to high heaven from previous pet refuse deposited on the carpet, and how I thought that I was handling it reasonably well by not telling anyone who might judge me or feel pity on me (parents/other family and friends who can give off those vibes from time to time)and by saying, "Something cool might come out of this because it's unexpected," but then I pretty much had a meltdown the night that they finally sent someone to clean it and he left it wetter than normal to let the enzymes work only I'd had to shut the windows and when we came back it stunk so bad again I thought my life was ruined, but I'd rather talk about something else.

What I'd really like to talk about is the release I felt the day after the meltdown, when the carpet was almost dry and it was cool enough to open the windows and I got some things on my neverending to-do list accomplished without much trouble, and when I realized that not telling people was a sign that I was walking around with shame. Now, I did tell some people, but I judged who would respond to the current situation of my life in a positive way. I didn't allow supportive friends and family to be supportive. I isolated myself in shame and played pretty all by myself, which didn't work because the whole time I was thinking that something cool might happen I was clenching my jaw thinking, "It'd better, or I won't be able to call anyone and say anything nice about my apartment!"

I edited my life experience for rated G audiences. I said, "If I secretly can't handle the fact that my carpet reeks, through no fault of my own other than that I am trusting and when they said the carpet was wet and we shouldn't walk on it the day we stood in the doorway to get the keys from the cleaning people and I smelled a musty smell with the smell of cleaners, I didn't worry that it might still smell the next day when we showed up with the truck because I'd specifically talked to the management representative about what they considered to be 'used' carpeting because they rob you by charging you an extra $50 a month for new carpet." Mind you, I hate carpet to begin with, but for 50 bucks a month, they should put hardwood flooring in it for me!!!

So, what I was saying was that I wasn't really preferring something different, I was demanding it in my head while paying lipservice to the preferring part. I even thought, well, I am doing something about it because I don't like it, but it's cool because I'm waiting for my miracle.

So what did I learn? I believe that I truly did think that something cool could come out of it, but I didn't acknowledge that I had set the bar and the time frame for the coolness that was to result from the inconvenience. Apparently, I had a cool spiritual lesson coming my way. The funny thing is that it took the meltdown for me to see it, so I have to remember that it is through living imperfectly that I come to understand peaceful perfection more clearly.

It's not really learning the hard way, as I've always thought it to be, it's just learning. I learn by doing and no matter how many books I read that tell me that if I am on a spiritual journey, lessons will come that will teach me what I need to know, I still have to learn that through experience. So now, instead of saying that something "cool" may happen, I might just start to think that the cool is's the process of perceiving the threat to what I want so desperately.

In recognizing that I demanded that I move into a clean-smelling apartment, even though the carpet was not new, I had perhaps set myself up for this very lesson. Perhaps even the question about how bad they let the carpets get before changing them alerted the spiritual lesson angels and sent them scurrying to put me in an apartment where my ideas of clean/new versus dirty/old carpet were in opposition to the management company's ideas. And that gut feeling...that little voice that said "Make sure you go see your actual apartment BEFORE you move in because it would be ludicrous not to!"...that little voice knew what was ahead and I was intimidated. So now I am on the level I have reached through much hands-on learning...I am asking for what I want after I get what I don't want.

But, don't get me wrong; I asked for this apartment. I just left out the carpet. I settled for used carpet because I trusted someone I didn't know. And the signs were there. I did know that this person was sneaky because of a few other things she said. I knew that she was the type to pit people against each other. My radar was just running low at that moment of change in my life. I would much rather have a smelly carpet that can ultimately be "fixed" and have everything that this particular complex offers me than be anywhere else with new carpet.

Normally I would think that the carpet is a sign that I can't have everything because I'm just not good enough. Ok, so I thought it. I thought it a whole lot the day I lost my temper about the carpet. When I just wrote that, I started to write "when I lost control...". How revealing. So I was controlling my response to the carpet--a situation beyond my control at that point--and lost it. I want to believe that what I want is ok. I don't want to cry every day when I drive to work 25 miles away because my children leave after I do and walk to school alone (right around the corner!) but have no phone to call me and nobody to turn to in this new place yet. It's so so so so so all about control.

When I started reading The Handbook to Higher Consciousness--really the condensed recap in the workbook--I recognized myself immediately in the Power-related separation emotions. I wonder if I am on my own right now because my husband and I battled for power and control and I ultimately wanted to win, or if I'm right in thinking that I wanted to STOP battling and admit the struggle, but he just wouldn't see himself in it. He kept calling it "your baggage." That's what my first husband said in different words: I love you, but you have a problem. Yeah...well, without going into all of that...suffice it to say that I don't want to live that life any more. It doesn't work and I want to grow and change and the relationship was not allowing for that growth and change.

Way down deep I've been hating myself for not believing that I can take care of myself. It's just something I want to do for myself. It's no longer about he said/she said. It's all about building a life on my personal preferences as opposed to allowing my circumstances to stifle every creative urge in me.

Now I expect I will start to learn the difference between trying to control the uncontrollable and being in control of my life...that phrase that just means that I make choices as opposed to being tossed hither and yon because I have no idea what to do with myself other than to latch on to someone who wants to do the controlling for me. I'm guessing there may be a bold line and a fine line to this lesson. I would prefer that this learning be joyous recognition more often than tearful realization. :)

© Nicole J. Williams, 2005, all rights reserved

1 comment:

Camellia said...

As always, reading about your process is enlightening. Ben Carson, the surgeon, says the way to learn is to read many books on the same subject. Reading where you are on this journey and looking at the map you are drafting is another very perceptive book on life. Thanks, Donna