Monday, August 17, 2015

Gifts

"Sometimes we are plonked into people's lives when they just need to be cheered up and reassured and it turns out, that for some reason it's your job. I don't know why.."
 John Hanna - Sliding Doors


I keep thinking that the last eighteen months 'experience' has pressed my factory re-set button.
I seem to be back to a previous version; my factory default with all modifications and added software removed. Stripped back to the bare bones.

But who was that person years ago before child, before marriage?  How far back do I look?
I'm tougher and more fearless now that's for sure. My Pollyanna calls these things the 'gifts' of my painful experience.

But for years I was very compliant, I was an almost ‘pathological pleaser’ in relationships; that must have been added software because thankfully I can't seem to locate that program anymore.
That is one add-on I don’t wish to add back on.

This part of my personality sort of came up in a very interesting if not a little intense conversation with Sexy Single School Dad, whose son, as it turns out, is not Satan Spawn after all.   
But anyway I have to stop calling him Sexy Single School Dad going forward because we seem to be developing some kind of awkward friendship. And that moniker won’t do at all. How about Jack?

Anyway back on track; it’s awkward because, as he tells it, he's been trying to work me out for a while, (two degrees in Psychology make him quite rigorous in his analysis), awkward for me because I get a vague  perception of scrutiny from time to time which sort of throws me off my game. 

'Jack' would have a field day if he heard me say that last bit.

But I guess, even though I’ve deleted ‘Pathological Pleaser’ from my programme files, I still believe what I do, about how the world could be beautiful. 
If everyone treated eachother as they like to be treated. Offering help or giving when they're in a position to do so without causing themsleves or anyone else harm (or even major inconvenience). Showing forgiveness and empathy.

I know I cannot, single handedly, make the world beautiful, but for the sake of my own integrity I have to follow a path and behaviours that are aligned with that concept. You can’t not do a thing you believe in because not everyone else is doing it can you?
Of course not.   
Well I don’t believe so.

I was watching Sliding Doors last week and there was the wonderful line above that really resonates with me. It’s stayed with me, and shaped my values since the film came out in 1998.

I have a large capacity for cheering up and reassuring so why should I hold back. Over the years and especially over the past eighteen months a lot of people have cheered me up and reassured me. It’s a lovely gift, and I like giving it when I have an opportunity.

This past week had followed on from a very stressful month and I was given a lot of reassurance and cheering-up from lovely people in my life including Pollyanna.

I went into her office telling her; “is it not enough that I have spectacularly lost my marriage, do I have to lose my home now too?” (don’t worry it’s not another ‘him’ thing – we’ve both been doing battle with a corrupt council and developers).

Pollyanna pulled that victim up short. She reminded me of what I went through last year and how for a long time I couldn’t see anything good would ever come out of it.

So I had to make a list of my gifts:
  • I have gained so much pride in my resourcefulness, my resilience. In managing the situation and the hurdles my own way, with my integrity intact.
  • I have learned that I don’t need to be in a relationship; that I’m happy as I am.
  • I can handle pretty much anything that’s thrown at me no matter how horrible and come out on top. Learning that has given me so much strength.
  • He has got the job he wanted; less gruelling hours, the industry change he wanted and his career is finally on a path he’s always wished to travel.   
  • He appreciates his life more than ever.
Pollyanna also showed me that ‘playing the victim’ gets you stuck;
When you’re wailing; ‘NO!! This is terrible’ – you’re creativity and all your resources; everything good and helpful shuts down.

She said “Stay open – challenges are here to awaken you, to grow, to be creative.”
The bad stuff- it’s part of life – government corruption is not new and no, the life isnt always fair.
It’s not personal, your ego might tell you it is, but it’s not; “you have to depersonalise things beyond your control – be like water, flow around the obstacles.”

Railing at the unfairness of things beyond our control not only doesn’t serve us, it damages our capacity to move past it and find the gifts.

The final  thing she left me to ponder was a quote by Nelson Mandela:
"Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies."

Pollyanna, I know you’re reading this and I have to tell you, you’re 50 Shades of Awesome. 

Thank you. xx

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