Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cleaning Out : Communication and Taking a look at Ourselves

We had one of those nights, as a married couple. You know, the kind where as a wife I am stewing, overwhelmed, resentful and sputtering obsecnities under my breath. My husband is confused and has almost completely given up.
We lay on the bed for the first time together all week.
Todd has been staying up late doing research for his book most nights, I was "checked out", either out one night or watching TV or working late the other night.
I stare at the black TV at the other end of the room,shiny dead and heavy. I feel the weight of many days of built up information, thought,concerns,guilt,frustrations and issues boiling inside. As I begin to share them with my husband, I don't make eye contact. I can't look at him and be as angry as I want to be right now, so I indulge my bitterness and continue to stare at the TV.

"I can't stand the mess anymore,"I am spewing..."There is no place to put it all anymore.The knobs on the cabinet over there has been missing for months, there are 8 boxes of papers and toys that I don't know what to do with...the kids are constantly hungry and making messes and I am the only one who does anything about all this, it's all on me and I can't stand it!"

My husband,smart man, just listens. We have done some courses about men and women and he gets I am just "emptying the trash", so to speak. He is holding the basket and catching it all for me. Not easy for him, as his instinctual urge as the man that he is, is to fix it,but a generous and loving act that enables me to get it out, Get it ALL out!
I keep going. I've got more...."The car is rattling, you are always working or writing and ignoring me,the shed is stuffed full, I want a garage, we still haven't opened a bank account for Ben,taught him about money,Ben got picked on at school today..."
I essentially make me husband wrong for everything ( allll his fault!)until his part in it dwindles and it just becomes about some things that are just the way they are...and have nothing to do with him.
Then he speaks. He says he hears me. Gets me. And he promises he will be present.
I breath and look at him.His eyes are promising and loving,asking me for trust.
I do.

The next morning, as he is cooking a beautiful breakfast I start putting dishes away and again cannot close a cabinet drawer. Instead of my thoughts going to blaming him for it like I have been for the past few months,silently, I open and close it again,investigating...and I hear a crunch of paper behind the drawer. I reach my hand back there and find a brown paper lunch bag and pull it out. I reach again and there's more...and again and again...paper bags, ziploc bags, tin foil scraps, pretty soon I have a mountain of garbage in front of me and I am incredulous that it all fit in there...and begin to giggle. I make the connection between me cleaning out the junk in my head last night and what I am doing right now with my kitchen drawer. In both cases I was blaming him, when in actuallity it was all just my own crap! By the 7th brown paper bag I am lauging so hard tears are coming to my eyes. My husband is smiling to himself as he flips the bacon. Yea that's right...his nodding head says. I am just bubbling over with laughter.
In all there were 7 paper bags, 9 ziploc bags, 3 pieces of foil, a fabric rice bag, two large plastic trash bags and an entire plastic tablecloth. Hilarious! Astounding!
All that, like all the rambling, accusations, resentments,stories I have made up about how woe is me...all was cleaned out in a few moments.
I am free. My husband is vindicated. I kiss him sweetly before we eat his gorgeous generous breakfast.

Sometimes the solutions to our upsets are right before us. And always, they have much more to do with us than them.
Just share,listen, look and then laughter will come.

Zen Honeycutt

P.S. I wrote this a week or two ago. Since then all of the issues mentioned here, and then some have been or are being completely handled. I created trust and love for my husband and he created taking care of us. And he has. Thank You Todd.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year No Hope

There have probably been a couple hundred thousand blogs posted about a bright new year, new resolutions and peace, joy and hope in the coming year.
Not this one.

Yes I have new resolutions, but straight up, HOPE has nothing to do with any of them.
I am done with hope. And I don't mean that in a cynical way, seriously.
I am just complete with ever hoping ....
I see HOPE the context of a breathy sigh and raising of the eyebrows, "Well this year we hope it's going to be different." or "I hope I can finally do that this year, God willing, We'll see..."
I am DONE with that.

Hope, as I see it now, is for people who are not yet willing to take responsibility for their lives. Yes, God has willed. God, life, the universe... has willed that we have choice. God does not put before you anything that you can't handle, some say, so if it's before you, saying that we hope that something about our situation is going to change or improve is just a cop out. It's just waiting for someone else to do something about it...or for God. Well if you are there and you see God as your guide, you are there because God put you there and God sees you are ready to take ACTION.

Hope is for people who are not seeing their own power. We are all infinitely powerful. We are all cut from the same cloth as the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. All of us. We all have the infinite ability to alter any situation on a whim. If we do not like the relationship we have with a teacher, friend or family hope that it will be different someday is simply not being present to the power we each have to take responsibility and BE The ONE to take action to have it be different. What kind of world would we be living in now if Martin Luther King had "Hoped" things would change someday?
He was made of no different DNA than you or me. Maybe we don't all choose to be leaders for civil rights. Maybe we don't choose to be leaders for human, animal or environmental rights...maybe not even for school or church...that's ok... but what about being a leader in our own lives?

I saw this recently when I looked at the down and dirty of a few relationships where I had complaints about a few people. I saw how judgmental I was being about these people being hypocritical and yucky is that?
I was avoiding responsibility for the relationships by writing them off as judgmental and so that was that. I secretly hoped that they will learn to like me someday by if they don't, oh well!

Nope. DONE with that.
No more hope. All there is is seeing what is missing, what actions I can take and to look at who I am being around those relationships. Who am I being that I experience that they don't like me? What's my part?
I've been human, being judgmental and with holding.
That's not what I am committed to. I am committed to being fully self expressed, grateful and loving.
I am committed to being Creative, Courageous and FUN.
That takes ACTION, not hope.It starts with me.
So I look forward to writing again about conversations that transform those relationships, about authentic freedom, joy and fun.
That is a NEW year that I truly look forward to CAUSING.
I don't hope you have a Happy New Year.
I challenge you to cause one.

With Love
Zen Honeycutt