Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Edith Bunker

I swear I have got to start writing things down that I read or hear so that I can identify where these fascinating things come from. I'm fairly sure that I heard this on t.v.: The character of Edith Bunker in "All in the Family" was developed based on what God would do in each of the situations she was in.

Wow. What a concept. I watched one re-run in the middle of the night with this concept in mind and it fit like a glove. All she ever says is "Oh, Archie" when he's at his worst. She might follow up with reminding him of what a loving person would do instead of what he's doing. She does the same thing with Gloria and Mike. She just encourages and loves everybody no matter how ugly they're acting. Even when people try to run over her, she doesn't really allow it but doesn't exactly fight back either. She just returns their attempts to control her with hugs and kisses. Very interesting. Now I'm tempted to buy the DVDs so I can watch "God" in the person of Edith Bunker as conceptualized by situation comedy writers.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Love is Like War: Easy to Begin, Hard to Stop

The above is a fortune I got in a fortune cookie from Pei Wei's yesterday. Hmmm. So true. I've had that experience time and again. Particularly with falling in love and then finding out that there's something or things about the other person that are totally unacceptable but not being able to stop being in love. Extremely annoying and life changing.

Go or stay? Go or stay? Go or stay? Constant internal conflict. The only sensible solution is to go and grit one's teeth and tolerate the pain of leaving someone very much loved but not unconditionally. It's especially important to do it when being with the person is not healthy for you. It's not good for them to be with someone who finds things about them unacceptable. I think this dilemma is commonly called being "between a rock and a hard place." Sucks.

And then, of course, is the situation I'm in now where I love someone totally and he's dead. Sucks. Can't really figure out how to love someone who's dead. It seems to require his presence. I know it helps a little to send him love wherever he is, hoping that he will receive it. Notice I didn't say it helps much. At a recent women's retreat I attended, we made "God Boxes." This is a technique for "accepting the things I cannot change" from the Serenity Prayer. When you run across something painful that you cannot change, you write it down and put it in the God Box as a symbolic way to teaching yourself to allow God to work on it. I made a God Box to put messages to people who aren't able to receive my love in the usual way and let God deliver them. I don't know if this will help or not but it's worth a try.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm Back

I really hate these periods where I don't want to write but I know if I don't I will quit altogether because I've lost the momentum.

So.... I'm home recovering from surgery on the 10th. It went well for a change and I'm feeling okay. I got to go home less than 24 hours later which was wonderful. I'm not crazy about having to be quiet and inside for so long but I'm doing okay with it. The last time I had surgery, "Six Feet Under" was running on some cable channel and I watched most of the episodes. It was the best series I've seen in forever. I swear I'd buy DVDs of it if that was available. But this time there's absolutely nothing on tv to watch. Even Dr. Phil seems to have turned into Jerry Springer. So, I might as well give some thought to my blog.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Clean Out

Well, today was the appointed day for me to bag up Ron's clothes. I decided that I was not going to postpone it even one more time. Today is the anniversary of the wreck which makes it a good day for clearing out the closet. I've cleared out quite a few other things but the clothes? NO. Everytime I headed for the closet I had the feeling that he would not like it one bit that I gave away his clothes. Of course, what was really going on was that I still had the feeling that he would need his clothes when he came back. I know, I know, that's crazy thinking but it's just part of grief. So I postponed and postponed.

The clothes are now in bags and I will take them to the Salvation Army. Ron did a relapse prevention group for the Salvation Army for several years. These were the homeless guys that had such terrible drug and alcohol problems that they literally had no where to go. He loved those guys a lot and spent extra time with them trying to help them make the transition to the world. He would approve of giving his clothes to them.

Ron loved clothes. Sometimes that was a problem when he was broke. But as I put each item in the bags, I could tell you when he bought it, where he bought it, why he bought it and what he loved about it. Each item was chosen with care and I was usually with him when he bought it. I think it's a good thing to pay attention to what you put on your body every day. Clothes are a big part of what defines you to the world. His signature was a touch of outrageousness and his Hawaiin shirts. I still don't know what to do with the "ear cuff" he bought several years ago for the express purpose of annoying his conservative boss. He sure didn't want to pierce his ears so he just bought a silver ear cuff that he could take on and off.

He liked to buy clothes for me too and had an unerring accuracy about what would look good on me. I didn't pay much attention to clothes when we got together, but I picked up his careful attention to that part of his identity. Another gift I'm left with. I should put all my very best clothes in his now empty closet.

Is it true, Is it kind, Is it necessary?

I picked this up in a meeting the other day. It wasn't the first time I heard it but it was the first time it stuck. I thought we should all have this tatooed on the inside of our forearms where we could consult it before saying anything to anybody. Usually what I say is true. I don't lie on purpose anymore. But the "kind" part is probably something I should work on. And the "necessary?" Wow I REALLY need to work on that. I wonder if even 50% of what I say is actually necessary. I think these questions are really designed to help people stop before they "straighten somebody out." But they're applicable to communication in general.

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