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Tag Archives: perception of self

potato flower 1

What do you see?

I am still in a prone position.

I was feeling much less hideous today, and so after my kids both got off to school (late I might add and with the helpof my son’s teacher -thank you Penny) I decided I should deal with the kitchen at least moderately. I found that in standing long enough, just to go to the bathroom and get ready to do dishes my left side from lower back to the tip of my toes became numb, cold and painful. Somewhat dejectedly, I have returned to my recliner.

Backing up, for a moment, I should say that I have had some very lovely offers of help. My house, however, is keeping me from accepting the offers. In much the same way that I am  too terrified to post more than isolated snippets of  the inside of my house, I am also entirely horrified of letting anyone in the door. I am afraid I will prove once and for all, that I am not worthy, that I am too screwed up to coexist with people I call friends and people I don’t know. This is all under the surface, of course. It doesn’t usually sit on top of my psyche trying to suffocate me. When I am home and not drugged into submission, it pops up and extends tendrils of doubt and self loathing deep into my being. These are the entries that take so long. The ones about more than stuff, more than learned behavior of hanging onto things for a rainy day. I suppose now is as good a time as any to explore the depths of my psyche, not much else to do. I suppose, this is my upside. I am always looking for one.

I have expected myself to be perfect for as long as I can remember. I have, of course, never been able to live up to that expectation. In some kind of internal and cosmic scale, it seems the better I do in one area (career, for example, or general perception by others of me) the worse I will do in another (hoarding, cleaning, organizing). Perhaps the correlation here is mythic, and not real, another way to defeat myself. I live so awfully much in my head it is hard to tell sometimes what is really going on. It does seem like there is an integral core in my make up that is self defeating that is constantly fighting with the other core that wants to excel, become exceptional and successful. They battle always and I’m never sure who is winning. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle and not at either end. If I can let go of my expectation of perfection perhaps that will allow me some faith, some ability to admit that I am not sufficient for everything on my own. I need other people. I need there help, their love, their kindness, forgiveness, their general humanity.

I would never expect another human being to act as their own mircrocosmos, self sufficient in every way.  Why then, do I expect that from myself? Perhaps if I free some of myself up from feeling like I must be responsible for everything I am involved in or for the needs of my family, I can feel better about not being able to provide everything, or change everything. I can let go of some of the crap I carry around, both psychologically and physically.

If you were wondering about the potato flower, I was wondering what you noticed first and in the most lasting kind of way about it? do you notice: beauty, missing bits, the bug crawling on it,  the leaves, the potato it will become? Everyone will most likely see it and remember it differently. Perception is channeled through our filters we can’t help that. We can, I can, be more aware of the filters and how they effect and affect my view.

If I were brave, I would admit, that this is not a great way to live and that not only do my children deserve more, not more actually, but better, and that I do as well. We are all worthy of living in a house that is homey, that freinds can come to at a moment’s notice without horrifying me. I should like to have enoough faith in setting personal boundaries that I can protect myself with the strength of my will and convictions, and not just with the depth of my stuff. 

If I were brave, I would take up more of the offers of help. It is not only my house that is stopping me, but my perception of weakness if I do. I suspect I may be here for long enough to get brave, to learn about the strength and pwer of not being perfect and accepting help without feeling diminished.

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Beauty Among the Weeds

Beauty Among the Weeds

Last night I dreamt a friend came to my home.

They exclaimed, “What a beautiful house you have, Pauline!”

At first, I thought to myself, “What are they thinking?”, but when I looked again, I saw what they were seeing.  I realized, when I woke, that my house is a metaphor for myself and my life. I see my self through a different filter than others do. My house is beautiful, or it can be, if I let it. Surely, this is true for myself as well.

I am nearly always excited to move. The prospect of change, of a clean slate figuratively and literally has, historically, enticed me.  I have noticed the irony each time I move of how much I like the house when it is mostly empty, and how much cleaner I leave thing for others than I do myself. The clean slate of a new house, the minimalism of it wraps me in light, and lifts me. Why then have I not allowed my self more of that in my own life, I wonder.

I have lived in many places in my life, and have really liked nearly all of them when I first moved in. I am a romantic at heart and tend to see potential more than what is right in front of me. This is a double edged sword, however, as that filter works inversely on my perception of myself, and my own work and affairs. The longer I lived in each place, the less I liked it. It stands to reason that, the core of the issue is that I don’t much like myself. I believe I subconsciously work to make sure my living space reflects my opinion of my self, there by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. I am not lovable, or worthy, not sufficient or good enough. Meanwhile, outside of my home, I strive to be seen as competent and worthy. I am known for overachieving, professionally and for a tendency toward perfectionism. The correlation between my outside self and my inside self with my home life and my professional life is worth noting and paying attention to.

 

There is something to be said of the fear of nothing that Rick Aster speaks of in his book, but I think for me, it is more about having little of no ability to set boundaries and feelings of worthiness, more specifically of a lack of worthiness.

Also, there is  the issue of heredity. I truly do come from a line of hoarders. Makes me wonder about biochemistry and heredity. Also abuse and a hoarding response. So many variables. I suppose what really matters, more than the cause of anything else, is behavioral change. There will be more on this in the days and weeks to come.

I hope that in changing my own behavior, and looking for its root causes, I can help myself,and my children, as well as others who are looking to change.

Perception is so important. I have never thought of myself as beautiful, or overly talented. I have had a hard time seeing myself outside of my connection to my house, or what ever space I was occupying at the time.  I want to learn to cut myself some slack, to remember that I am not horrible, simply by nature of being imperfect. Imperfection is a side effect of being human.

I will strive to look for the beauty among the weeds in my own life, and not just in the world around me!

hidden blossoms
hidden blossoms
"Weeds" on the road side

"Weeds" on the road side

Wild radish blooming on the street corner

Wild radish blooming on the street corner

Spider hiding on a wild radish blossom, hidden in the weeds

Spider hiding on a wild radish blossom, hidden in the weeds

Beauty is both all around and with in. The key is in remembering to look and being open to seeing it!