Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Struggle for Good? Good Struggle?

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
M. Scott Peck

I am currently reading The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck and am coming to terms with some facets of my personality I have never really acknowedged before. I believe I have a "giving-up neurosis." When I try to understand "why" I am stumped. I had a very supportive and loving family. I had a mother who was my best friend and was there for me, almost to her own exclusion. I did not doubt that I was securely loved. So, what might my "traumatic injury" be?

Then I started thinking about the moves. The sheer number of times I moved and left friends, sitters, teachers, neighbors, etc. Could it be that by moving on over ten times throughout my childhood caused me to have a problem with letting go? I'm sure it's possible. To a child, is a move where everything past is gone, never to be seen again, any different than a death?

Then I think about how I parent my child who has a personality like my own: Liam. He is overwhelming in his need for constant engagement. I am firm with him and forced to say things to him that a parent hopes to never have to say to their child. Things like, "Son, I am doing my own thing, you do your own thing and no, I do not want to hear about it." or "Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, please, please, please stop talking and go away." It's just too much.

When I think of how I was treated, it's not ever badly, but there was certainly a desperate need for escape on my mother's part at times. She would "conveniently" need to do laundry on the other end of the house and spirit quietly away while I was otherwise engaged. I'm sure she, like me, prayed that an engaging show would come on TV. Anything for a break.

Could that have had an impact? Maybe, the key is not to know WHY the problem exists, but to just know that it does. Maybe the thing on which I need to work is the letting go. I cannot tenaciously hold fast to everything or I will drown...like a hot air balloon, trying desperately to float, some baggage must be released.

And so I conclude with another Peck quote....one that seems to wrap it all up nicely with a bow...

“We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."”

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