|Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much|
"We workaholics make so many promises that no human being could possibly keep them. That is one of the ways we keep ourselves feeling bad about ourselves."
We want to be liked and we want to please. In a world where it is easy to feel invisible in the crowd, it is flattering when we are asked to be part of something. It doesn't create a problem unless we already have too much on our plates and commit before thinking through one more obligation. Over-committing ourselves can result in being overwhelmed, resenting the situation and the people in it and then feeling bad about ourselves for those very feelings. It is best to see if you can and really want to fulfill a promise before saying yes. Most likely the person requesting your help wouldn't ask if he/she knew it was a strain on you.
"For years I have endeavored to calm an impetuous tide-laboring to make my feelings take an orderly course-it was striving against the stream."
As children we are often taught to be careful with our feelings. Feelings can be irrational, unpredictable, illogical and inappropriate for a situation. We later find that it is not possible to simply suppress some feelings without sacrificing others. When we push down our anger, our joy can go with it. Suppressing feelings leaves them to fester and emerge in other ways, sometimes with destructive results. We do have to control our emotions but we shouldn't just deny to ourselves how we really feel.
"If you haven't forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?"
Part of being human is to make mistakes. Forgiving ourselves doesn't mean we are okay with things we may have done and were later sorry. It just means we are going to get past it and learn from it. People who just cannot accept the fact that they could be in the wrong tend to get caught up in ego and can be very judgmental of others. Having trouble getting past it when they feel wronged by someone could be because they have never reached a stage of forgiveness with themselves.
"Our most important decisions are discovered, not made. We can make the unimportant ones but the major ones require us to wait with the discovery."
Anne Wilson Schaef
It is said that the quality of decisions is directly proportionate to one's patience with his or her not knowing.
Too many times we feel pressured to make up our minds about something before being given ample time to really think about it. We're often made to feel weak if we have trouble making on the spot, snap decisions. Sometimes the reason for that hesitation is just that we don't know the answer yet and just need some more time to ponder. It has nothing to do with being indecisive.
"To be somebody you must last."
Sticking with a situation ''if it's the last thing I do" may sound noble but sometimes it can become obsessive and result in cloudy judgement. We can get so fixated on hanging in there that we may not recognize that sometimes the best thing is to just step out of the situation. Walking away from a project can help one refocus or it may allow someone else to step in. While it is important to persevere, we have to be able to discern when it is best to continue, when it is best to take a break and when to let it go completely.
"You love like a coward. Don't take no steps at all. Just stand around and hope for things to happen outright. Unthankful and unknowing like a hog under an acorn tree. Eating and grunting with your ears hanging over your eyes, and never even looking up to see where the acorns are coming from."
Zora Neale Hurston
In this world there are "leavers" and there are "takers". Zora makes a humorous comparison with hogs but does make a point. We can root around and munch on the goodies around us without ever acknowledging from where they come. With so much abundance it is easy to take it all for granted and not even think about the natural resources or the assembly line of work that made it so available at our fingertips. It is good for the soul to look up, be grateful for the many gifts among us, and give thanks.
"My husband and I have figured out a really good system about the housework: neither one of us does it."
Housework is a good analogy to the busyness of a workaholic. How much of the constant repetitive housework we do is because of our need to keep busy and not because it actually needs to be done? Often, our busyness is a subtle form of procrastination that keeps us away from what we really need to be doing.
I suppose that is true, but in our household, when housework gets done it is because it needs to be done. I don't think I've ever had the time to clean just for something to do. But I have to admit to doing chores to avoid doing something I've been pushing off.
To read the previous weeks' posts:
Week 1 January 1 - January 7
Week 2 January 8 - January 14
Week 3 January 15 - January 21
Week 4 January 22 - January 28
Week 5 January 29 - February 4
Week 6 February 5 - February 11
Week 7 February 12 - February 18
Week 8 February 19 - February 25
Week 9 February 26 - March 4
Week 10 March 5 - March 11
Week 11 March 12 - March 18