Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Problem solving as I write

My little mental retreat has morphed into something I just don't like. I can't seem to get going. I know everything I need to do. The mental check list grows daily, and the fact that I, the compulsive list maker, haven't written it down is just one more annoyance. Where did my energy, my drive, my zip go? I don't know if this is actually good or bad for me, but I seem to have packed my sense of obligation into the darkest corner of my psyche. It's always been a lot heavier than it needed to be. I've felt honor bound to do things in the past that really were not my responsibilities. It was just that nasty people pleasing instinct driving me.

What I don't like though is that along with the sense of obligation to other people, my sense of obligation to myself got packed up too. I've let some things drop that really are important to me, like doing my morning pages and following through on The Artist's Way. I've let pleasures, like reading blogs and watching the sunrise, drop. The housekeeping has gone to hell in a handbasket, and other than being annoyed that the family hasn't taken up the slack, I don't seem to care. I haven't even nurtured myself with daydreams.

I do have responsibilities that I must honor. Some of these are the basics, to God/dess, to family, to work. Some are things that I owe myself because I deserve them. I feel like I'm falling short on everything, and what I really fear is that I'm sabotaging myself once again. This potent sense of being right at the doorway of a new phase of my life and the guidance I've received from prayer and meditation to go forward boldly are not things that I need to hide in a fog of unexpressed fear and confusion.

It's time to jumpstart myself. My structured, list making, agenda setting, goal driven side is best at this sort of task. I've listened enough to my associative, intuitive, creative side that I feel confident in the direction I need to head, but that side doesn't have the oomph to push me into action. This is a time when I need to quit the passive-aggressive fighting with the judging part of my INFJ personality. That J can kill me with its perfectionistic tendencies, but it's also the part of me that creates habits and routines. I just don't need to let that part of me decide what habits and routines I need. I used the I, my introversion to guide myself to finding the goals the N, my intuition, knew I needed. Those goals are what my J habits and routines need to reflect and empower. I can give credit tonight to the F, my feelings, which have let me know that where I am now, even if it's just been a few days, is wrong for me.

I spent much of my life trying to change my personality to suit other people's expectations of me, and I thought that I had let that drop. I'm realizing that I've still internalized some of those expectations. It's why I still fight parts of myself and indeed fear just what I might become, even if it's someone wonderful. (Let me make that even more wonderful than I already am.)

Last year for Lent, I made not putting myself down my spiritual discipline. Though I'm a full week into Lent, I haven't known what I should do this year. I knew that it would involve boldness and courage, but the "hows" of implementation escaped me. The Bible tells me that God/dess, in the form of the Holy Spirit, dwells within me and that my body is the temple of the divine. I am a unique creation of the Almighty, designed with purpose. It's time to boldly embrace how I am made, even those parts that make me very uncomfortable. I'm picturing myself as a river with both its origin and its destination in God/dess. In fighting my personality, I have to swim upstream to reach my Creator. If I surrender to the current, I can arrive there with greater ease and grace. I am sure that Lent will reveal many of the rapids and hidden rocks that will make this quite a ride.

As a somewhat creative person, I have known that I can become a conduit for inspiration from God/dess to flow through me. I'm just now, this minute, realizing that I can flow back through that same conduit to reach the Divine.


Blogger Theresa Williams said...

Cynthia: I know what you mean about that "I don't care attitude." I found myself falling into a serious case of the blues recently myself. Notice the long time between my blog entries. Yes, I was busy with midterms, and etc. But I also felt myself slipping. The last couple of days I've felt momentum returning. I've been reading another great book about writing and did a blog entry on it. I feel rejeuvenated. I'm not completely in my "writing zone," but I don't feel that paralysis, either. I know you must be having one tough time, trying to work and take care of yourself. It sounds like you do have your priorities straight and you're working it all out. I'm proud of you.

March 08, 2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger V said...

Cynthia, this is really on-point. I think if you look at your friend`s journals you`ll find that many of us haven`t been posting as much usual. A general malaise? Don`t know, but I`m fighting through it myself.

March 08, 2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I have been struggling with a funk, too(as anyone who reads my journals knows...oh, wait! No one reads anymore! LOL!)

Anyway, I've found the discipline of writing for TBV dragging me out of that place of doing nothing. How great it is to have at least one obligation in my life, even if it isn't a very stringent one. As long as I even slightly feel that someone is counting on me, I can keep going.

March 08, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Celeste said...

Sounds like perfection has reared its ugly head again. I want things done perefect and right and when I can't do it that way I don't do it at all. Slowly I am working my way out of that.

March 09, 2006 6:21 AM  
Blogger Nelle said...

Having been out of work for two years and returning the past nine months, I can relate to what is happening with you. I come home with a mental list ready to go but my body is tired. Instead I want to have a cup of tea, some cookies and see what's on Oprah. By that time dinner needs to be made and after clean up I am too tired to write or read a blog or much of anything else. I need to get better sleep and stop eating things that zap my energy.
The other thing you wrote "I spent much of my life trying to change my personality to suit other people's expectations of me, and I thought that I had let that drop. I'm realizing that I've still internalized some of those expectations." is something that I also struggle with. I have known by boss for over twenty years. She is always trying to force her expectations of me and I find myself struggling to find the balance of listening to her in a respectful manner, anger and then wanting to meet her expectations (at least to eliminate hearing about them again.) Eh.

March 10, 2006 6:15 AM  
Blogger Jod{i} said...

I second what everyone else has already said...hows that for not being creative? LOL...

I have all the thoughts and all the inspiration, yet when I sit to write them it just stumbles...

I have begun to just freeform my writing. As I did when I first started journalling, years ago...My not be cohesive writing, but only to me...And see where I end up again.
Like Theresa, I have also immersed myself back into reading...That will usually get me flowing too!

We will all make it over this bump..we will

March 11, 2006 7:56 AM  

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