Fair Warning: TMI

Continuing with the theme of braving inner frontiers, I thought I would begin to address Muff’s dare of identifying what holds me back. So welcome to the latest chapter in my self-help odyssey.

Before I start admitting my uncomfortable truths, let me mention someone who has great things to say about getting past personal obstacles: Byron Katie. Her work helps people identify and question the beliefs that cause them unhappiness.

The idea of changing your life by changing your mind has been touted by lots of people, some of whom strike me as kooky at best and bogus at worst. But I really like Byron Katie’s work. It is straightforward and practical, and it demands honesty.

So keeping in mind Byron Katie’s work, here are some beliefs that hold me back. Fair warning: you may wish you weren’t eavesdropping on this particular inner dialogue. It is pretty cringeworthy.

It is better to accept something I don’t like (food I don’t like, someone else’s plan for my day, invitations) rather than risk offending someone.

You made your bed; now you have to lie in it. As opposed to just making a new bed. (These are metaphorical beds. I NEVER make my actual bed.)

I have to accept any work that comes my way, or we will end up in the poorhouse. (In reality, we aren’t one project away from the poorhouse. Also, they don’t have poorhouses anymore. I think. Well…maybe I should get back to work.)

I am too old to make a meaningful, lasting change.

I should avoid speaking my mind when it will piss off someone.

I don’t have the right to be happy if it means disappointing someone, especially members of my family.

It is my sacred responsibility to keep the house clean and cook a healthy dinner every night even though I don’t like doing either. (The good news: I regularly fall down on this job. The bad news: I usually feel guilty when I do.)

Lots of money would make everything easier. (This one is just distracting. It might be true, but it makes it hard to keep my eye on the ball, you know?)

My ideas aren’t anything special.

I realize that some of these are ridiculous, but that doesn’t stop them from swaying my choices. Maybe looking at them in the light of day will make it easier to recognize and challenge their influence. Or maybe admitting them here just makes me look pathetic.

I am heading for the wine bottle now. Can you blame me? While I’m drowning in my ridiculousness, consider joining me in this uncomfortable, possibly inappropriate, and certainly poorly chaperoned group therapy session. What ideas hold you back?

And remember, this is all Muff’s fault.

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9 Responses to Fair Warning: TMI

  1. Not cringeworthy. Not ridiculous. Brave! It’s HARD to make yourself vulnerable this way. Well, done! (Chalk that one up to Brené Brown’s work – I’m a half-hearted disciple, feel free to groan.) As for me? I’m afraid of failure and of making people uncomfortable. But, I’m working on it 🙂

  2. notquiteold says:

    I hate to complain or make a scene. I got served a rotten fish at the most exclusive restaurant in town ON MY BIRTHDAY, and i ate half of it, before I told my husband and the waiter.

  3. Muff says:

    Not too much information. It’s a good list. Common theme…don’t put anyone out even if it is at a the expense of yourself…why are “they” more important than “you”?

    Good question to ponder in silence at a retreat.

    Proud of you!

    As Stuart Smally said on SNL, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it! People like me!”

  4. Muff says:

    Oh, sorry, one more thing…if you were to ask the people around you if your ideas were special or not, my guess is that they would vote the former.

    I know you for years. Your ideas are really, really good ones. I believe it, now you have to also.

  5. bigsheepcommunications says:

    You’re speaking for lots of us who were raised with the same sort of crap – that the most important thing in life is being nice, that girls shouldn’t make waves, that food that tastes good is bad and you are bad for eating it…

    But, it’s powerful to put those words down on paper (and even more so to share them with the world), where we can all see just how stupid they are.

    Thanks for the group therapy session. When’s the next meeting?

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