Surprise, Wonderfuls! 🙂
Today, as I prepared for the workday, I noticed the hot water wasn’t nearly as hot as usual…then, it became luke warm…then cool.
Suspicious (and a few steps shy of clueless) I descended the stairs, opened the basement door and spied a shallow puddle. Going in for a closer look, there was a steady trickle seeping out of a leaky seam in the hot-water tank.
Surprisingly, I quickly and calmly told myself not to expect the worst!
“Yeh, but what about the recent household purchases we could’ve done without? Now, our credit card balance is about as secure as a tutu-ed elephant tiptoeing on a tightrope!”
“A tutu-wearing elephant holding a tiny striped umbrella aloft like a Grand Marshall at Mardi Gras? Come on, Trules! Real-life people facing unknowns don’t think like this.”
“Alright, busted…we don’t either. Whimsy struck just this instant…minutes after the plumber called to say he’ll be here ASAP, and that NB Power’ll cover the cost because its their water tank….And who said anything about a ruffly umbrella?!”
“I didn’t say ruff…”
However, credit where credit is due…I really did remain calm as I reminded myself that life’s not out to punish me–that karmic consequences don’t include financial blindsides simply because I bought some living room furniture after 15 years.
(Do you ever have those kinds of (better knock wood) fears/worries? In my case, the back of my mind had been trying to intimidate me with dire (pseudo) premonitions, even though the furniture will be paid off within a couple months.)
Anyway, I turned to Facebook friends for advice, and was directed to call the hydro company–who, in turn, contracted the plumber who showed up minutes after I started writing this post (he’s installing a new water tank 🙂 )
So , two things…
This morning’s surprise required I take the day off (I called the hydro company at 7:30 A.M., but the plumber’s schedule meant he got here in the afternoon)…and, this gave me the time to discover the following quotes (and write this post)…
1.”Practicing self love is not as romantic as people make it out to be. There’s more self discipline, painful healing and behavioral correcting than scented bubble baths and trips out of the country alone.” (Investigation revealed this quote was originally posted on “The Safe Place” page.)
2. “Abused children have been taught that love can co-exist with abuse. This shapes our adult perceptions of love. As we would cling to the notion that those who hurt us as children loved us, we rationalize being hurt by other adults by insisting that they love us.” (Bell Hooks’ quote found on “The Safe Place” page).
Here’s the freakishly/fiercely wonderful part!!!
Two days ago, I shared on Facebook that–finally–I have a hard-won appreciation for my courage and commitment to (painful/unglamorous!) personal growth and healing…and the bravery to say it out loud at the risk of being misunderstood/judged.
And, at the end of the workday yesterday, my close friend/colleague and I fell under the spell of a deep conversation (‘happens every three weeks or so); and–in listening/exuding empathy and genuine interest–she gave me the time and space to articulate how/why I tenaciously clung to my dysfunctional relationship with my former husband for years after we agreed the romance was over.
I was all too happy/relieved to be offered a best-friend option…and insisted that we’d always be family. Most celebrated my big-heartedness/generosity–even as they unapologetically admitted they would’ve taken the opposite approach after the betrayals/stunts he’d pulled over the years.
As I said yesterday, my goal wasn’t to vilify “X”–given my understanding that unresolved childhood “programming” primed a highly-empathetic me to care for an intelligent, funny someone wounded in ways that made him a taker. We were both trying to have our emotional/psychological needs met; and, in hindsight, I can compassionately understand how/why it was so painful to let go of him.
The easily understood part was I believed he was the only family I could ever (healthily) “love up close”/have in my day-to-day life…
The trickier part–seen for all it was now that he’s finally out of my life (nearly 2 years)–is that my original “family bar” was set so low that my intolerance for disrespect was highly-compromised…and super-sensitized…
Resulting in a boomerang effect whereby, once the anesthetizing (relationship maintaining) numbness of emotional abuse wore off, I would unleash a verbal lashing that left me feeling sooooooo guilty and remorseful for hurting the person I loved most.
And, after years and years of back and forth, confrontations increased in frequency until they far outweighed my declarations of forgiveness. It was absolutely horrible never knowing when–or what–the next hurt/betrayal of trust would be.
And yet, I couldn’t find a way to let go…even when I finally realized he was a different (and like) version of my dysfunctional family of origin….
However, given hindsight, I can see I didn’t love myself enough to accept that trying to make the wrong right was an ongoing attempt to protect him from the consequences of his actions…from karma.
Acutely attuned to emotions (mine and others), I could not tolerate others’ suffering…I’ve been that way since I was very, very young…and, my preference was to take on their pain, given my familiarity with it.
And, it’s only now that I understand that making that (enabling) sacrifice was my way of living with a type of pain that I’ve long been accustomed to–the lesser of two evils.
But, having reclaimed my inner-child and present woman, I finally love myself and refuse to betray myself in order to absolve another…I get that it’s not up to me to try to carry/free others from what they are meant to work through…and, if that causes me pain, I’ll find the courage to face and move through it.
What a relief…’has me falling in love with life…and loving people on even deeper levels! 🙂
As for the title of my post…
My basement is off the kitchen so, when the plumber came I stepped over the puppy barricade that keeps Wheeler out of the kitchen, and slipped and fell….
Oh ho no no–not on my knees, friends! Flat out! He, on the other hand was 10 feet tall and navigated it without incident. 🙂
Then, as I sat on the basement stairs (while Garrett explained the process), my 8 pound 14 year old puppy, Jubilee, came to the basement door, started down the stairs…
She’s never crossed the basement threshold before…and, miraculously, I turned just in time to realize what she was doing, and grabbed her just as she was toppling over the side of the stairs! The basement is unfinished and the floor is cement…given the height, she would have been seriously injured…if not worse…I hate even writing that!
Just goes to show that I can slip on nothing (after safely navigating ice for decades), and, moments later, employ reflexes worthy of Cat Woman’s admiration 🙂 That weird combo is proof that I needn’t sweat the small stuff, ’cause I can always trust my instincts when it really counts 🙂
So, as God/the universe/higher power continues to reward my efforts, I am happy to pass on what might somehow inspire you to follow the paths meant for you…even as I am inspired by your gifts and courage and truly wonderful hearts.
Until next time…thanks for connecting with me.
God bless you and your loves 🙂