Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The nature of things



I feel I need to come clean with some aspects of my nature, because sometimes it can get the better of me. Perhaps your own nature, sometimes gets the better of you too? When that happens, we tend to make decisions which are relatively short-term. What we think are solutions, can also become distractions from seeing the bigger picture.

What has been eating away at me since late last year, and my husband too, was a sense of inadequacy. Life was really chucking on the challenges and we had limited reserves of energy to deal with them. Both in our early forties now, we're suddenly feeling the physical struggle to get things done on the property. Raising a toddler and a teen at the same time (with different needs) withdrew more physical and emotional collateral from our reserves. Then the two cars constantly played roulette with our bank account, and the income situation kept changing.


We love our two kids


Many things to juggle at once, can make anyone feel inadequate. That wasn't the problem though. It was doubting ourselves and our life's purpose in the process. When we struggle for strength to get through our day, we send ourselves the message - are we strong enough? When we try to be mature examples for our children, and fail - we tell ourselves we're bad parents. The broken cars, the disappearing income, add a whole list of usual suspects and we were feeling like we'd never have what it takes.

That's the aspect of my nature, which needs to be given a reaffirming nudge, and sometimes I forget to do that. The best way I have found, is to do something which adds purpose to my day and actively affirm it to myself. Even if that just involves wiping the kitchen bench. As I'm wiping, I remember all the effort it took to get here, to eat and make mess in the first place. I consider the water in our full rainwater tank, as I rinse the dishcloth - and the quiet time, knitting the dishcloth in the first place.





It's not that I am to overcome and defeat my struggles, rather its acknowledging I'm present in them with more than just self-doubt and inadequacy. Sometimes I think its my duty to escape hardship, and I'm somehow failing if I can't. I'll spare a whole rant about consumer culture, but instead, think back to my family history and realise what exceptional people they were, through harder times than these.

I have some stories to share about my farming family history, and what those childhood memories mean to me now. I think they're important. Especially to staying the course. Doing the right thing sometimes involves a knee to the ground, and bowing ones head in happy humility. Those are sometimes the best memories to make in life, even if they are the hardest ones to live through.


6 comments:

  1. I often say we need to be thankful, but this is slightly different, and I think you're saying we need to recognise the work we've already done and how far we've come. That's so important too and I'd never really thought about it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Chris :)

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  2. That's right Liz. Its easy when we have to get through every day in a difficult season, to forget the days we got through to arrive here. Remembering the first time we did something, is a good indicator of how far we've come too. :)

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  3. I understand that hard knocks can take over every aspect of your life and its good to have some tips to ground yourself back into your actual moment. When I spent that week in the hospital with Garry I felt extremely lost despite trying to do some basic normal things. For me the answer is often in routine and research-especially in timeless places like hospitals! But it didn't work as well as I had hoped and nothing seemed in its place until I got home again where I could apply the research in the kitchen and the meditation space
    . Of course there is much ahead of us and we don't know if its good or bad but I am trying to take some of those memories to examine them for the good in our marriage for the sake of healing each other spiritually. Life is just too short to not do anything but that.
    I suppose that might all sound abstract but I am ever more convinced that life comes down to just these kinds of things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts-they are very intuitive in my experience and I am glad you are able to write about them openly.

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    1. Hospitals feel extremely timeless, because we can never wait to get out of them! Especially when a loved one is given a mortality percentage. That's more than running an endurance race with challenges in life, its wondering if the person next to you will cross the finishing line. That's a huge game changer.

      The theory nonetheless, is something to consider during difficult times - how far have we/I come to get here? I agree though, when you're a long way from home, it gets more challenging to stay focused. Glad to know you're all back home, safe and (mostly) sound. :)

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  4. Thanks for this post! I missed it but Liz pointed it out to me. We've been going through some 'stuff' lately and I got a real boost from your post. I DO achieve heaps and must keep remembering that!!

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    1. You're welcome, I was sure we weren't the only people this happened to. :) Part of the course of doing things we care about, is the possibility for self-doubt. Especially when things are harder to achieve. But our purpose is still worth pursuing, and we just have to look around to see why.

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