Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Core Beliefs

I am riding out a bit of rough weather interpersonally (MIL's pipe burst = three week stay including the sole precious week DH and I have at home together => fill in the blanks). And I find myself battling the feelings of vengefulness and hostility and general ill-will that surround me like an electron cloud whenever my cage gets rattled. You realize for a certain number of us-- not naming names-- having a resident MIL with firm opinions is going to rattle the old cage.

At my core-- I think it's my core, I hope to God it's my core-- I know that people usually behave well from a place of strength, not weakness. When I get angry at some stray remark, it's because I've been hit in a vulnerable place. And if I want to help another person behave more to my liking, it makes sense to help them feel stronger, not weakened. Heard versus attacked.

Whether I'm right about this or not, it makes me feel better and safer not to act like a jerk. I don't like myself when I'm venting like a steam whistle. I think to some degree it may be necessary, or at least forgiveable, but it doesn't feel as good as holding on to whatever patience and tolerance nature bestowed on me.

There is a food/health analogy here that's not too hard to pin down. It may be forgivable, understandable, perfectly normal to snitch candy and bag exercise*. My weight may not suffer too badly**. But in the end it doesn't feel as good or work as well as doing the right things. That's why our friends further down the path keep waving and reaching out their hands to us-- it feels good, come join us! I plan to pick up my feet and walk toward them. Maybe some time this year I'll be further down the path, waving with the rest :)

*Disclaimer: I haven't been bagging exercise. Snitching candy, well, that's different.
** I'm back down a pound, yay. Can I lose 1 pound in two days to make my Hot 100 goal? Weeellll... Let's look at my sidebar and make an educated guess.

13 comments:

  1. This is a very interesting post and great food for thought. I'm really going to consider the idea that people are more likely to act better if they feel they are in a position of strength. Very interesting!

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  2. I agree completely. Being calm and steady does require a great deal of strength, while being churlish is actually quite easy. :) Both can turn into building blocks or platforms. I know which one I prefer, and you've proven your choice. (You get double bonus karma points because it's your MIL.)

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  3. "perfectly normal to snitch candy and bag exercise"-

    I exercise snitching bags of candy. :-P

    Lifting others up, helping them be stronger, especially when they seem unliftable (and unlovable) is great character in my book.

    "But in the end it doesn't feel as good or work as well as doing the right things." -

    Love it. For a brief moment, it feels/tastes good to vent/overeat, but then the remorse sets in.

    Very insightful post.

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  4. Hope you and DH get some time together.

    Bummer.

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  5. You poor poor thing. I, for one, cannot imagine.
    I hope that you get down that other pound.

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  6. Sorry to hear youre having a rough time :(

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  7. I don't even have a MIL, but I feel for you. And what bad timing! My own parents make me insane, they just know how to push my buttons, and it's extremely hard not to lose my temper. Exercise is great stress relief, especially if you can leave the house and get away from her. Even if you let your eating slide, the exercise might be your friend here.

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  8. Very good post. I'm sorry MIL is trying your patience. That can be rough indeed. I'm sure deep inside she appreciates that you and your husband would allow her to stay with you, some wouldn't put up with it. She's blessed to have children who care.

    We will continue making better choices and be waving at others this next year! :) And, I'll be mailing $$ to get those 14s too! :)

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  9. Great post -- I'm sorry your time off with DH was intruded on by your MIL. I have the very best MIL in the world and even I wouldn't want her around for three weeks.

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  10. Ugh, I hope you have a smoother time ahead. That's a bummer that her stay is overlapping with your DH time.

    I don't like having my cage rattled, either. It sounds like you know this, but sometimes under reacting can really be a powerful thing. What helps me get in that state is a little bit "woo-woo", but I picture the other person getting on a rollercoaster (emotional, of course ;-), and me standing on the platform and watching them pull away.

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  11. I hope that the new year brings more success to you! You have already achieved so much.

    I know that it is hard to reign in our emotions, especially when we feel like we should. It's tough. I get stressed when we have company for more than a few days - I can't imagine 3 weeks!

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  12. Hope your pipe doesn't burst before you can say adios to MIL. I agree that it's best to come from a place of strength and forgiveness, but there are one or two people in my life (luckily not living under my roof) with whom I just cannot coexist. Trying to empower them only made me feel like a doormat. Some people just don't respect boundaries or others they don't understand. I don't make it my problem anymore.

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