Thursday, January 8, 2009

Slogging through

This personal growth stuff is a drag sometimes, lemme tell ya. I keep growing, and then I am happy at my progress, and then dontcha know, I find out that no matter how much I have grown, I have more, and more, and's exhausting.

I had a productive meeting with my spiritual advisor this morning. I'd missed her, as we had a long break over the holidays. Thanks (I think I want to thank him, and not kick him ) to David Markham at UU a Way of Life for turning me on to a book on Borderlines which my sister sent me, I have been having a huge paradigm shift, which incidentially, is related to a lot of stuff I was already working on as part of the paradigm shift of having a ministerial vocation.

I was really, really pissed off that nobody ever put a name to what she is before. Not who she is, but what she is. One thing that I struggle with in some of my relationships, especially with my children, and with people I have a hard time dealing with, I am really good at underreaction. Now I know why. So in addition to working on judgement vs. judgmentalism, I'm also working on accessing true compassion when I'm triggered by what I see as ingenuine drama in a situation. And I'm working on accessing compassion for my parents, both of them. I'd already been working on it, but now I have a different paradigm from which to work with.

I swear, I whipped through that book in two days, and I think I underlined most of the introductory chapters, and most of the three sections that described my mother and father, and was relieved to see that I had already accomplished most of the coping mechanisms described. And I was also able to shed new light on the progression of my mother's illness in her behavior and in her relationships to my sister and I, and the rest of her family. I'll never know what caused it...I have my suspicions, but no proof.

But here I am, with a new piece of the puzzle, trying to figure out where it goes, but knowing that because there are mysterious connections in the world, the feedback I've recently been given about compassion and judgment are connected to me being given the gift of knowing that there is a word for what ails my mother, and that my sister and I are not alone, or crazy.

I also had a really good talk with my advisor about my thoughts on abortion, and how it relates to the first principal, and how that is a conflict for some; and about the ethics of euthanasia - both animal and human. And about dealing with death and pastoral care and ... well, we had a really great hour that crammed a lot of stuff into it.

And today has been a blur - no hot water because the propane ran out, cold, snowy, two trips to the city, nothing to make for dinner...I'm heading to get the hot shower I deserve, then to do the dishes from yesterday, and finally to sit down with a cuppa hot cocoa and snuggle with my husband when he gets home! Lucky for him, he's been the recipient of most of my compassionate practice in recent months ;)

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