Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday with Words: Stitches

Anne Lamott never bores.  Her use of imagery and language is wonderful to read even if it is sometimes hard to discern her theology.  Stitches is just such a book.  She means it in the healing of a wound and binding things together.  It is a thoughtful read.  One of those that puts words and stories to things you've felt but can't quite express.  Here are some of my favorite quotes.
I also learned that you didn't come to this earth as a perfectionist or a control freak. 
Are you sure about that?  My mentor mentioned this week that if we are created in the image of God, we are made to love - so fear, apathy and hate - are all learned behaviors.  I see perfectionism and control issues as rooted in fear, at least it is for me.

I thought this was a great explanation of what happens when a child's world falls apart.
It keeps them under control because if the parent is a mess, the children are doomed.  It's best for the child to think he or she is the problem.  Then there is toxic hope, which is better than no hope at all, that if the child can do better or need less, the parents will be fine.  
UGH!!  This makes my heart hurt. I think it is what so many of us have agreed to - do better, need less - then people will be okay, I will be okay, I will be loved.  It reminded me of one CM instructor who tells us that the adult is "the biggest brain" in the room and kids will follow your lead.  If the "biggest brain" can't handle it; then chaos and panic ensue.  "Little brains" have to cope and it is easier to blame themselves then dysfunctional adults. Lamott captures it well.

Although I think of her as a "free artist type" I was struck when she said
. . . order and discipline are important to meaning for me.  Discipline, I have learned, leads to freedom and there is meaning in freedom.  
I am still thinking that one over.  Is this why I don't feel free because my life is chaotic?  I am beginning to see how the following could be true:

Below is one definition of maturity. 

I still want it all to come together.  I always thought that maturity was when all your ducks were finally in a row.  As she points out 
Emerson wrote "People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them." 
This one speaks to a great fear that I have.  I want to learn to just live today and let go of tomorrow.

My youngest turns two in a couple of weeks.  It is making me a bit reflective and sad that I was so busy achieving nothing when my others were young.  I was always focusing on their long term future - where they were going - instead of enjoying them in the moment.  Likewise, for myself, I was trying to "do something" but it was all grasping at the wind.  I now delight in reading "Piggie and Elephant" again and again to the little one. I am learning to be a bit slower, kinder, gentler - but oh - to go back and be different from the beginning.  Hindsight is 20-20.

See what others are reading at Ladydusk.  

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