Simplify Your Life Week 2: Values

I was looking forward to this because as you can tell, I use many hundreds of words more than I need to.  To say or write anything.  I spew language.  It’s the same inside my head.  I am hoping this exercise will help me to narrow things down to five words which I can remind myself of and really focus on.  As I wrote I changed the order which was funny.  How the pieces fit together.  Number 1 is my real trouble spot…

Photo credit here

Acceptance Other people and negative experiences 

I’m expanding on this point last as I type but I know now that it needs to go straight to the top. Even from a conversation I just had…I always (so far, fingers crossed!) adapt to situations and make the best of it but I have a really, really hard time accepting some things as they are. I am a researcher, a questioner, a wonderer. I analyse, imagine and hypothesise. Makes me a great university student but doesn’t help me get past things I can’t ever change. I’m exhausted just thinking about this.

My pet peeves (insert stronger phrase there) in this regard are:

  • That’s life
  • It happened. Get over it. 
  • That’s the way it is
  • It/I could be worse (I’m well aware of this, as most people are. But saying ‘you could have a terminal disease so get over rape’ just doesn’t wipe it out unfortunately) 

So, in 2012, I really need to learn how to embrace acceptance. Not bad treatment or abuse. But things like the dodgy driver in front of me, that I can’t make someone Dad of the Year by just wishing it, I can’t make Court get through things any faster and in the end, I may not receive the recognition I feel I so desperately need from a legal/responsibility stand point. DAMN IT.

All ideas and tips for tackling this bad boy gratefully accepted… :S

Photo credit here

Mindfulness  To experience each day at a time and focus on the moment I am in

I dabbled in a Mindfulness Course in early 2011 and it was a revelation. But once the course ended, I let it drop off and no longer make time for active mindfulness. I know it would help me to become more grounded and focus on the now instead of all of the what ifs that swim around my confused little (ok, it’s big) head. I have no idea why I ignore it. I know it helps. I know I feel better. It’s silly not to make time!

So, in 2012, I will focus my thoughts on the here and now – experiencing more of the momentary senses rather than flying through the past and the often overwhelming future. The unknown. Eeek. More than just using calming techniques when thoughts simmer, I need to dedicate regular time to reminding myself of the exercises and ideas I learned about. Maybe display them around my home. Set up triggers (the good kind) like I do with quotes all over my walls. As I type these words, I doubt whether I will follow through on this one. I really hope I push myself more than that! I hope completing this challenge kicks me up the butt!

Photo credit here

Honesty  To say what I need to, though another might not like it

I come from an open and honest family. Brutally so. My father was not much for conversation but Mum raised us and it was a rowdy democracy (which bit her on the butt later, hee hee). Sometimes honesty hurts, though, or takes some bravery. My parents and siblings could say anything where as I was always worried about hurting people’s feelings or causing more drama (there was enough!). I can speak up for myself and others in a lot of situations (particularly in public) but I have obviously encountered quite a few big events where being honest is scary and I avoid it to keep the peace. Great for everyone else, but no doubt that explains the crazy waves of guilt and anxiety I experience. And it can only build up and hurt me. I’m super at honestly sharing my love and gratitude and encouragement. Not so hot at honestly asking for a shoulder to cry on or when I need a little support.

So, in 2012, I will focus on facing honesty in my personal relationships before it gets too scary. I will remember that it serves me well in the long run to ‘nip things in the bud’ and it feels better to know that I have expressed myself as clearly as I can. I must also remember that I am modelling behaviour for a little one and I want him to see that I practice what I preach. I can’t control the reaction to my honesty, but that fits in with another value, Acceptance.

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Conviction  In my own beliefs, not letting other people pressure me into questioning myself

I feel so strongly about a lot of things both public and private. Along with Honesty, Mum always encouraged passion in ideas and beliefs. She would fight to the death about her view on anything, to the point of crushing the opponent. She’s pretty dogged! Mum is black and white – no bloody grey here! My mind looks for grey – 800 shades of it. I always play devil’s advocate and try to place myself in the shoes of someone else. This is probably good in that it allows more empathy and understanding at times but I would go as far as to say that I drown in it. I allow it to envelop me to the point where I can look around and think, ‘Where am I? Was I right? Are they right? Should I back down? Aaaaarrrggghhhh..!’ Sounds fun, yeah? I knew it was at critical status when a counsellor said, “Why the hell did you just say you can understand why your abuser thought that way? You don’t have to be SO FAIR. You don’t have to understand them!” My response was surprise. I’ve always tried to determine how other people tick – especially if they seem crazy to me. I thought it would help me gain Acceptance. But in reality it can weaken conviction in my own beliefs and make me question my own sanity. That really doesn’t help and sends my anxiety levels through the roof.

So, in 2012, I will seek a more stable middle ground. I hope that I can maintain my empathy and flexibility to think about another’s point of view. I need to also tame it, though, so that I don’t lose my own point of view and question myself out of existence! (also, note to self; most people don’t try to see things from my POV, so I should calm down)

Photo credit here

Bravery  To stand up for myself, look after myself

Hmm, being brave. To me that means doing things that scare you or trying something new despite the urge to cut and run or stay at home. I know I’ve been brave in regards to Court and the investigations (though it feels more like anger inside so I never really feel brave, it’s what they tell me) but I haven’t been standing up for myself as a mother and a woman. To let it all out – as a single parent I have struggled to create a family for my child which is the best it can be. As all mothers do, single or married. I guess I imagine that couples at least start out sort of on the same page but that was not the case in my situation. I have spent the last two years trying to weave some magic for my baby in a land where magic just doesn’t exist. Sigh. Events over Christmas have seen my grand plan unravel and I’m pretty disappointed about it. This is also connected strongly with Acceptance. I’ve ignored a lot and said yes when inside I was screaming no (gee, that way of saying it just creeped me out) to keep other people on side and avoid fighting. I think I turned into a bit of a martyr thinking that I could sacrifice myself if the others were not willing to meet me half way. It was worth the hard slog for my bubba to try but it’s time (literally, tonight) to admit my energy would be better spent moving forward in another way.  I gave it my best shot.

So, for the rest of 2012, I will focus on being brave enough to put my personal needs forward as a priority. I cannot put myself last on the list and still expect to maintain the strength and confidence I need to be a super mama and start a new chapter in my life as a woman. No more self-denial and guilt overload. Bad habits.  Return to Number 1…

4 thoughts on “Simplify Your Life Week 2: Values

    • Thanks, Deb 🙂 I need to print out the key words and put them all around to keep my focus. Maybe write them up my arm…! It has already made it easier to do a couple of tough things I was anxious about. Moved through the anxiety by reminding myself that I was acting in line with my values and it helped me feel more confident. I survived (ha!) and I feel better that I didn’t cave in to appease the meanies. Big tick.

  1. One foot in front of another, its the only way any of us gets there.
    I had signs and quotes stuck up around the house for a long time. I listened to meditation & hypnotherapy cds a lot.
    A friend reminded me just this week that Ekhardt Tolle is worth a read whenever you need a nudge to just live in the “now”
    You write so well, by the way. Heartbreakingly well.

  2. Hi 🙂 Thanks for your comment.
    It’s extremely reassuring to hear that other people have used the same tools to help. I used to hide the quotes or feel like a bit of a dork when someone saw them. Maybe because I’ve heard a snigger or two before but when I think about who did make fun – well, I needn’t be ashamed at all! I like to think I have an over-active, analytical brain (but this may be putting a positive slant on some crazy). It’s tiring, so many thoughts and feelings, the intensity. You know what I mean? But I am sure that I would rather be worn out from too much feeling than oblivious to life due to lack of it…and I remind myself of that when I really just need mental quiet.
    PS You last words there. I can’t tell you what that means to me. Thank. You.

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