Being Sensitive With YOU
The morphing of Week 10….because that is how this goes!
Being a week dedicated to focussing on how to find ways to be sensitive to the closest people around me, it is understandable why many of my own goals were not attained this week, like being able to complete 2 posts, instead of just this one. Last week I wrote of the Christmas tidal wave that came crashing into town. So why not incorporate that into my icon this week, of Being Sensitive with YOU!
Here are 2 table coverings that mum used to decorate for Christmas as my reminders for Week 10. Because gift giving was her language of love, for every holiday, not just Christmas, she gave presents to my brother and me, but Christmas was the pinnacle holiday, where gifts were inexcusably extreme on the spoiling gauge…except for that one year I desperately wanted roller skates….and instead got a skate box, cleverly weighted with hardcover books to make it feel like it could be roller skates, but really, it was an earring tree….I want to say maybe my brother had more to do with that gift, than my mum. 🙂 That is how to keep little AJ humble, folks.
I love getting ready for Christmas. It brings back many vivid and joyful memories of growing up near a small town, on a small farm, skating, skiing, carolling, visiting….all part of non-busy ‘busyness’, going on through the winter. Maybe as a kid, it did not seem so busy because I was not the one working, baking, cooking, planning, driving, buying, to make it all happen. But as a grownup I realize, Christmas doubles my normal amount of busy. Combine that, with an acute awareness of other people’s needs this week, and I see why I have only been able to create one bit of the quiet/alone space which allows me to write.
Something from last week struck an unfinished chord, so I decided to continue to mull it over into this week, to see where else it might take me. It is the idea of wanting to emotionally punish others who I feel have offended me. This was revealed when I intensified my sensitivity on how my feelings were being affected in any given situation. And how many times a day did those feeling occur? More than I care to admit!
I am offended when a colleague does not share an equal sized greeting, to my own cheery and generous, ‘hello’. I am offended when my kids do not appreciate finer acts of service performed for them by 2 loving parents on every given day, and listen to them clamber for an opposite kind of life that would not include these acts. I am offended when a server at a coffee or grocery counter avoids eye contact, staring directly into their register as they process my order. I am offended when my hubby teases me about things that I believe actually bother him, to which he explains is only about having some fun.
Punish them! These offenses cannot go unanswered. I must act emotionally cold, distant, mean, rude, so they know what wrongs have occurred and only after they have been adequately deprived of my approval, shall I be vindicated. The only trouble with this practice is, ‘vindication’ often looks like muttering through a slow-motion workday that drags on in bitterness; stirring a big pot of tension at the family supper table for everyone to try and slice through while we eat in awkward silence; ignoring the ‘always kiss my goodnight’ motto hanging above our bed, grunting out a flat, ‘love you’ before rolling as far as the mattress will allow me to lie without falling off….I have to ask….who is getting punished in this?
It actually feels more like punishment for myself. I do not enjoy my day, I do not enjoy time with my family, I do not get a good nights rest. Most of the time when I look back at a scene that was meant to enlighten someone else to their offense, I end up looking like the one who has offended…. half-crazed…. petty…. immature…. and that is putting it nicely! I am sure there have been other terms used to describe me when I display this kind of behaviour.
I used this ’emotional punishment’ concept as a backdrop when approaching the people in my inner circle, as I explored how to be Sensitive to YOU.
Many opportunities to practice came up this week:
#1) Hubby and I are still reeling from having one less teen in the house. As parents, it seems a typical response when kids leave to adventure into their independent lives, to fear for ourselves and wonder how we will cope in their absence. When they leave prematurely to embrace terrors we try to protect them from, our fears are for them and how they will cope in our absence.
#2) A close family member seems to be avoiding an emotional request I made of them, either not willing or not able to fulfill it.
#3) One teen is critically sarcastic to me. I wonder who that comes from….can I just blame the ex, please?….HaHa….nope. UGH! The zingers sting!
#4) I said last week I was not going to mope about little things that seemed offensive, was going to be less sensitive when people were just being people. And I have stuck to it….no verbal venting from me this week, literally biting my lips, cheeks and tongue….cannot finish a meal without ‘re-biting’ a previously inflicted wound.
*A chance to repay the support given to me when I did not have hope, could not see light, did not bear my weight…which is the BIGGEST way in which I have been able to be sensitive this week. Trusting the ones I love enough, to let them take all the withdrawals they need from our joint ’emotional bank’ account, knowing they will deposit again someday when they have the wellness and strength to do so.
*Letting people come through on their timeline, not mine. Emotions and relationships are not on deadlines. Just because I am focussed on the potential time left to create the best life I can envision, does not mean everyone else is or needs to be. In a way, I am fortunate to have been given an opportunity to realize how precious time can be, perhaps not possible if mum were still living.
*I get it. Teens go through their phases. Even though I have proof in my adult aged children, that shows it will not last forever, it takes mucho effort to continue to believe, the phases upon us now, too shall pass. Look further back, AJ. You were once just as critical and sarcastic to dear mum, and see how that has turned out….an entire year of blogging dedicated to her!
*When my tongue stops flapping, my legs start moving. If I cannot verbally vent, then I must physically release my inner tensions, without the biting sores that occur from eating while stressed. I made a deal with myself that if I complained out loud this week, I would have to do an extra workout. Effective! I feel a bit sad for my brain, being tricked so well by this kind of arrangement, but if it works….the wins are for ME, YOU, and really, anyone who chances upon my tamed tongue.