Saturday, July 12, 2008

Success and Just Being In the Park

For the past several months, good things have been happening to me. Many of these good things have made me feel uncomfortable. They are not my "norm" - or what I have programmed my mind for believing.

Because of the push for time - I will make this post brief - but hope to explain it simply as this:

Most of my adult life has been centered around work - and becoming successful. Successful meaning making money. Even when I got married, it was centered around this "success." I will not deny that I was in love. But over time, as a therapist told me, I lived in a shell of a marriage. Because of what I did not know - that my spouse was drinking and hiding it from me - that I drfited away and worked more and harder. At the time I did not know it was alcoholism.

So, today, as I have peeled back layers of whatever - maybe defense and coping skills? - or just layers of crud, I am seeing the world more - I cannot think of the term - except - cleanly and clearly. It is like - watching the sun come up (which is frankly right up there in the top 10 things in the world - ) with 20/20 eye sight versus sitting in a cave with a tiny flashlight with old batteries (so it is dim) and looking at the barren rock walls and shadows cast by this little flashlight.

So, as I sit - I have to reconcile - my happiness and being with my success driven programming. It is very uncomfortable. But I know it is meant to teach me something.

I went to the park again earlier this week. I wanted to go to this park again. I won't go into too much detail as I do not feel it is appropriate. In the park you see this tree. You sit in it and you sit under it. I feel comfortable. The feeling is odd. It is about doing nothing - just being yourself. Admitting who you are and hoping it is understood. Other park people come up. You are in the moment.

Then this discomfort arises. You have to be doing something else. There is - well - work! You begin to leave because this feeling that there is work to do and must get done! Now. But you are almost out of the park when you realize, that the work, maybe can wait. Maybe the work should wait. Maybe the work is in the park - back to being - just being. Maybe Being is the work.

This park is special. But there is a reason it is special. It is special not because of the park. It is special not because of what you find out, but how you find out. It is a time of more revealing and healing. It is going to be OKAY. What you find out and how you find out is the specialness of the park.

I want to go back to the park. How should I go about doing this?


Anonymous said...

Doing nothing can be uncomfortable. I understand that sensation. I work for the state and we are allowed two 15-minute breaks during the day, morning and afternoon. I rarely if ever take them. Lately I have begun to remind myself, force myself to do so. For one, I need to get up out of my chair and do something with my body other than sit. Second, the air conditioning indoors eventually forces me outside to thaw out.

I found it very difficult to sit and do nothing for 15 minutes. I wished I had a book, but I did not. I found myself jumping up at one point, to go back inside, and when I looked at my watch I realized I had five more minutes. I forced myself to sit again.

We live in a culture where doing is valued, and doing multiple things at once is valued more. It's difficult to push back against that mindset. One of my favorite joke/sayings is that no one, on his death bed, says "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

Anonymous said...

This and the previous post and be do have totally resonate with me.

I too am detaching from alcoholic behavior and my own alanonic stuff and finding myself *SUPRISE* happier and feeling contentment and beach. Hah! Freudian slip I was on the beach this weekend and I just sat there and was in the moment. It felt good but it also felt wierd and scary. I too kept thinking that I ought to jump up and do something, but I didn't. I just sat there and noticed the blue, the water, the waves, the people, and how I felt with my friend and her nieces. It wasn't totally great being with them, there is alot of codependency going on. I realize I don't have to invite them to the beach next time. Invite some people from recovery!

Just wanted to say I SO identify with these latest post and it is good to know I am not alone.

Catherine said...

It used to be that if I found myself with a parcel of free time and nothing to do with it I would literally have feelings of panic. But what i realize now is that in those moments of "nothingness" that my mind and my thinking makes some of its most important leaps. It's a space to reflect on me and what I'm up to; It's a space for gratitude and appreciation of my life.