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personal responsibility

harmony in the face of disharmony

How easy is it for you to express yourself in the face of someone reacting? To bring up a difficult subject even knowing it might create separation instead of connection? Do you care? Do you speak anyway? Do you withhold, praying ‘if I ignore it, it will go away’?

One of my fears is I will hold back and not speak my truth, to appear to be agreeable, in order to ‘maintain the peace’ and avoid conflict. If I am withholding to maintain peace, then that means I am seeking the guise of harmony through disharmony within myself…not true harmony…nor is it being honest. If I speak my truth, even when it is difficult and I express myself as consciously as I can, it is possible the other person might still react in a disharmonious way based on their perception.

I understand I am not responsible for their reaction, but somewhere along the way I got it wired that I will pay for speaking my truth. That I will be treated poorly. That I will be shut out…abandoned. That I will somehow be punished…persecuted…you get the picture. All that mind frick is from the past. Not the present.

The truth in this present moment is that when I am honest, even fearing the worst, I feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself I am feeling harmonious. Sure that’s not to say that fear doesn’t come up, or that my heart isn’t pounding in the face of that fear. What it means is I do it despite my fear. I create harmony within myself by living up to my commitments and being in my integrity.

Feeling the reward of that, I recognize it is worth taking the chance. Even so, speaking up will sometimes create discord at first. Rest assured, the discord won’t last forever and I know I will be respected for it long after, beginning now with self-respect. So, I take the chance, put the ghosts to rest, speak my truth and live in harmony within myself.

What about you? Are you willing to take the chance to be authentic and live in harmony within yourself?

our own authority

A while ago, I saw something that bothered me. It was a billboard for a local hospital. It read—“two weeks after a hysterectomy” with the hospital’s name—it was advertising some new surgery technique. The problem I had with this was the image. The woman in the advertisement was carrying an older child on her back, who weighed approximately 40-50 pounds in my estimation.

Now I have had several major surgeries, not a hysterectomy, but surgery none-the-less. And I have known many women who have had a hysterectomy and I know they were not ready to vacuum, let alone carry a 40-pound anything on their back within two weeks time. I also don’t know of any doctors who recommend carrying much for a lot longer than two weeks.

The point I am getting to is this…why are we promoting as a society an expectation of all women who have a hysterectomy that they will be up and about, swinging a small child around on their back? One thing that takes away my harmony is when I feel like I am being told that I need to live up to some expectation that isn’t realistic for me, my body, my family, my whatever.

This was a personal lesson I learned—to take responsibility for what I am feeling and take care of myself, not letting anyone or anything be my own authority. I know my body best and I can say that walking a mile to the post office after a laparoscopy and major abominable repair wasn’t in my best interest, but I was told “you should be able to do it”. I did it because I believed their judgment over mine. I ended up extending my recovery by several days because I didn’t follow what my own body was telling me—“lay down on the couch, take it easy, sleep, rest, relax, take time off, take care of me”. The messages are there for all of us, and hopefully we learn to listen to them.

What is your body telling you? Are you chronically sick in your current relationship? Are you pushing yourself because something is ‘telling’ you to? Are you listening to someone’s assessment instead of your own body?

My experience happened almost 20 years ago. I can say if I were told something like that now, I would be my own authority. I would first listen to my body, then I would check in with the rest of me and stay home on the couch. The mail can wait.