I made me Emily Post.
I decided I was going to be my boyfriend's Mother, Teacher, Mentor and Life Coach. Didn't he know there were rules to being in my life? Didn't he know that I was going to tell him how to live his life? Poor man, He didn't know. He didn't know that I had "rules". Funny, I didn't know I had a "rules" either... I had some questioning to do...When something isn't working for me, I'm like "Columbo". (A 1970's TV detective). Just "one more thing". I need an answer. I need to understand. I ask questions...Sometimes to a fault...I just NEED to understand. When I question something and look at it closely.. The first thing I ask is: "Really"? "Can it be verified"? If in this case what I'm questioning is my "thought" then I need to find out if it's true. If my thought in this matter cannot be validated (backed up) then the "thought" just isn't true.
"Byron Katie" (author of the book: Loving What Is) calls this "inquiry".
Inquiry is defined as: "The process by which we question or challenge our thoughts". <giggle> Byron Katie has a label for my obsession with understanding :)
Anyway...This process can be an uncomfortable one. When we question ourselves and something we have believed for a long time to be true, we can become very uncomfortable with the upheaval that this "belief distortion" can cause in our mind. We build a foundation of learning experiences into our minds as "Fact" or "beliefs". This is a process from about the age of 6 or 7. Our mind previous to that is our own. It's merely a function of brain maturity. The brain of a 3 or 4 yr old hasn't been told that putting a peanut butter sandwich in the vcr is wrong. They simply have not had enough experience in the world to know certain things. It's trial and error. But as we grow, the process where we socialize and become more interactive with our parents, teachers and mentors, we learn those little things we call "suppose to's" and "shoulds". This is the "Underworld" or the "foundation" of our "belief system". Our "foundation in the beginning is built on little things. Example: A 3 yr old child runs naked through a dinner party. The parent's immediate response is to say "NO. Dont ever do that again. Dont ever embarrass us again".
What does the child learn?
Running through the living room is bad. Period. Naked isn't even a concept...Embarassment isnt remotely a concept. Those are the parent's issue. The child learns those type of lessons from Parents, Mentors, teachers etc.. As children we learn that the people who are here (on this earth) before us know "the way". We don't question it. We assume the roles they lay out for us. The foundation is layed.
Now as teenagers and adults, we learn that the foundation may be flawed. Nobody's fault. No blame here. Our parents, teachers, grandparents, etc... did as those who went before them. The foundation isn't entirely flawed, but may have some cracks. When this realization comes about there can be some very real turmoil.
Remember the movie "Carrie"?
What did Carrie's mother say when she wanted to go to the High School Dance? AAAARRRMAGEDON!!! It's kind of like that. Chaos! The end of life as we know it!
Your mind and body react to "assaults" to it's foundation in that very same way.You feel like a traitor. You feel like you are betraying your "belief system". Here's the rub: If inquiry shows that a part of our "foundation" may be flawed then we may find that the (foundation) doesn't support Reality. This now causes a shift in the way we view Everyday Life. The truth of the matter is we are all individuals. We all grew up in different houses. We may have grown up in the same community, so we have some similarities in the way we were raised, but for the most part we are different.
We all are responsible for ourselves.
The "shoulds" and "supposed to's" don't apply to anyone but us. If this is what You identify with, then it is Your "should", not anyone else's. Byron Katie explains that statements including the words "should" are false, because it isn't.
Example; My boyfriend should pick up his socks and not leave them on the bathroom floor. This statement is false. Do you know why? Because he doesn't. Period. He doesn't. It is that simple. This leaves me a few choices. Do I pick up the socks because it will drive me insane to have socks on the bathroom floor, or do I scream and yell like a scorned mother and shame this grown man into picking up his socks causing resentment and anger for however long it lasts, (arguments always start with socks but never end there, do they?) Or, do I simply leave them right where they are and go on with my life??? The bottom line is what do I want in my life.
What choice am I making for my life at this moment?
In my life right now today. I want peace. Peace is at the forefront of my being. So, sometimes I pick up the socks and sometimes I don't. Sometimes He actually does. It's not life altering, but it's also not an issue I choose to brood over or even pay attention to. Because what we pay attention to in our lives we bring about more of! Do I want more issues about socks??? Oh for God sakes, No of course not! I want to enjoy my life. I want to remain at peace and be happy. The truth is, that even the life altering things give us choices...their just harder to see at first, but we can find them if we look closely enough. Just call on your inner Columbo!
Tomorrow: "Back to the socks again...?"