Problem or Unpleasant Fact–How to Know

Because we have recovery in our home, we get to practice clarifying, for ourselves and each other, the difference between unpleasant facts and problems.  Before recovery, I believed if something was unpleasant, it was a problem and I must work on it–to change it and make it be different or at the very least punish and demonstrate my discontent.  So, that was fun, living that way.  Now, with a program to reparent me, I have learned that  actual problems have solutions.  Unpleasant facts do not—people, places, things, circumstances not to my own design and specifications  are to be handled with only acceptance because they are what they are.  Acceptance, for me, is the practice of allowing things to be, not a feeling that I like or condone it, but that I may be disturbed and still choose to act right, anyway.  I accept the reality of ITs existence and my powerlessness to make it be different from how it is.

Problems have solutions.  No solution–no problem.   Sometimes it is clear which actions are called for. But, until it is clear, I get to be still mentally (keep my mind and mitts off!) and once there is recognizable prudent action, toward solution or resolution, only then may I act.  When my heart is racing, that is not the time to do or decide anything.  That is the time to stop doing and saying all of the things I naturally say and do. Racing heart tells me that I am in fear and I am being reactive. Now I understand that I must do nothing out of fear, shame, or guilt…previously, my only motivators.  They are not good guides.

Lately, in our home, we have been discussing bullying…trying to clarify the distinction between things which we must accept and those for which more than acceptance is required of us.  See, for example jerks are people who just don’t give AF about anyone but themselves.  They may not necessarily be jerks AT us— and being a jerk is not a crime or a problem, just upsetting…so we must accept.  A bully, however, is concerned with what certain others think and feel.  Bullies thrive on doing things to make others feel impressed(awkwardly trying to elevate the already elevated) or diminishing those already diminished–a need to PUT PEOPLE IN THEIR PLACE.  They are intentional in what they say and do and have a desired affect in mind, where the jerk just does NOT effing care.  Bullies are a problem to be dealt with.  Currently, we are in the stages of defining what is and is not bullying and harassing.  We will neither do it nor stand for it.  The word bullying seems to have gotten pigeon-holed into easily observable behaviors, but it is much more subtle than physically or verbally going after someone directly.  There are many indirect ways to attack, dehumanize & do damage and then be all:  “what???, i didn’t touch him or I didn’t say anything to him”.  We are onto that!  We see YOU.  We object!

We had a family meeting this week, all of us, Dad, boys, and me.  That is a amaaaaazing.  We agreed that kindness and loyalty are our family rule.  Violation will have consequences.  We do not get to choose our feelings.  But we can always choose our behavior and our intentions.  Our intentions are to look out for each other, first.  Always.  Period.  The irony of this convo involving their father is not lost on any of us.  Let’s see if we can each practice what we preach.  The boys were first nervous about this family meeting and then clearly felt good about having mom and dad working as a team for them.  Just for today, we are working together.  Another miracle for which to be grateful.

And– this time of unity feels tricky, because I tend to fall into the thinking of –this is the new forever—either when he is being harmful to me or decent to me.  I honestly never know why things get better or worse, I just see that  they do and that it is not ever my job to tell him about himself or to try too hard to make things be different.  We are divorced—irreconcilable differences 100%.  Hard times happen…when I see my part, I make it right.  When it is not about me, I have to let it be…and that is difficult.  I am easily obsessed with things that frighten, confuse, or sadden me.

All this to say that–All unpleasant things fall into one of two categories, problem Or unpleasant fact.  I find this to be helpful and wanted to share.  Because also, I used to think when IT(life) is difficult, it is a result and proof of of being wrong or doing it wrong…but life is just fucken hard.  Right?  And it is easier to live life when we are not trying to change things we can not.  I think it is called minding our own business–not in the hostile and unwholesome directive to “mind your own beeswax” way-but simply tending(trying to manage and control) ONLY to what is ours, and leaving the rest be.

 

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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Right, Wrong, or Just Human

It is horrifying to look back over my life and to reflect on the countless times in which I felt either so indisputably right OR so completely wrong,bad,worthless; like–there was zero gray area between arrogance and humiliation.  Recovery offers me the gifts of humility, faith(the opposite of knowing), and feeds my hunger for constant spiritual striving and expansion.  Before recovery, I had only internalized the dynamic of zero-sum game;  one winner and one loser.  In this dynamic, there is no peace, just victory which usually felt shitty and defeat which consistently  felt shittier.

For me, being human and living this life on earth is all about the learning, expanding, and seeking—to make better mistakes today than yesterday.  I will always make mistakes, but that does not make me wrong or defective.  Amending harmful behavior is also something recovery has taught me.  I need not fight or defend, ever.  Where I have done harm (not the same as displeasing…I reserve the right to displease), I may amend.  If I have not done harm, nothing to defend or amend.

For so long, I had believed that being displeasing could only be a manifestation of defectiveness or attack.  That is seriously deranged.  So grateful for all of the unlearning.  It is nobody’s job to please another person, outside of employment and terms of service in transactional relations.

The past 10 years have offered the greatest teaching and learning experiences. Better late than never. Right? Before recovery and divorce(which began on the same day), I had neither observed nor understood: the practice of amending AND that—Refusing to EVER say something about someone that you wouldn’t say in front of them is the highest form of living. It is true cause for celebration (if I were a celebratey type) to be practicing higher living with space from those who practice otherwise. Not so much because I am better than them, just that I do not yet possess resilience to that sort of energy. I am still too deeply affected by incongruous words and actions of others, which I refer to as bullshit and needless complexity.  If there is one thing I am now certain of it is that Kindness is always right.  And cruelty is always wrong.  Harming others is never acceptable, according to the program in which I belong.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

We Belong to Each Other

Why is the requirement to behave with loyalty towards his brother deeply offensive to my younger son? He enjoys his firm command over an arsenal of typically subtle tactics, to make big brother feel sad, confused, or embarrassed—  Little brother is furious with me for requiring loyalty or at least non-malevolence.   He does THIS only to his brother(and me).  And he uses semantics to argue his rightness….Like:  “Oh well, you didn’t say I couldn’t do it in this game or in this place or with these people, specifically…I thought you just meant dodgeball.”  Yeh, ok, be a loyal brother in dodgeball but behaving like a diminishing little shit, anywhere else is fine.   So, like a true raging psycho, I created and shared a list of every person place or thing on earth, in which loyalty is expected and then I even offered condescending examples of “how it works”.  Super spiritual behavior.

I see the pain he inflicts on his brother, and feel the gravity of the gift of getting to hear directly and promptly from big brother, what IT does to him–  affording me the opportunity hold space, empathize, listen, and then impose my overly-emotional attempts to address the behavior without dividing my sons further from each other.  This seems more than just classic sibling rivalry and I am deeply concerned for each of them.  I want them to belong to each other.  Two years ago, they did.  100% What happened?  What flipped the switch?   Oh, wait.  I think I might know.  We do learn what we live.

Right now, my greatest concern is how poorly I am handling the situation.  It is too familiar, too close to home.  Terrifying to imagine them carrying the legacy  of their father and me– each having a sibling with whom we do not speak.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

But Why Though

6:45 a.m.-  It doesn’t even mater why…

I woke to crushing anxiety this morning, as I do most, overwhelming, free-floating anxiety tied to nothing in particular and everything all at once.  Nauseous and on the verge of tears, before getting out of bed- I feel immense guilt for how my anxiety robs my sons and Sweet Greg of a more present and emotionally generous me. Weary from white knuckling through every minute, trying to keep from snapping or crying.

I recognize that I have always been this way and how much it cost me, to not have been born and wake daily, all easy breezy and anew like a Golden Retriever ready to seize the day, catch the ball, run and enjoy.  I too, would have preferred that.  But all these little things kept happening in life which filled little me with big shame and fear of unworthiness–utter inability to experience a sustained sense of well-being and peace.  There was no recognizable person, seeking to  understand why I suffered, many insisting that I stop– or learn to manage my dis-EASE in less vexing ways.  Little things consistently said and done OR not said and done wracked me with great worry and shame-which in turn, caused trouble.  Maybe another day, I will share some of the things that I wished I could have shared and felt heard and still loved by just one person.

All of the little things,when un-shared and not honored, turn to soul killing, life robbing, hole in our hearts/ myths–that make us need to hide and numb ourselves.

Honestly, all of the things are fine in the big picture. I am hardwired for panic, which causes me to miss out on so much and holds my children hostage to a mother who is perpetually edgy and brittle and often reacting to 50years worth of pain rather than only what is happening in the moment.  Oh for fuck’s sake, the despair over being sad is too much.  Secondary feelings kick my ass every single time, if I allow them.

I will be gentle with myself today.  Some days are less difficult than others.

Maybe tomorrow will be more thrivey than survivey.

6:45 p.m. – I did manage to focus on only my work today after writing,eating, exercising (none of which I do with regularity).  My anxiety definitely is linked to low blood sugar and metabolic issues– mornings and late afternoons are the same for me.  My blood sugar drops and I rapidly unravel.

My younger son has become aggressive since the bully incident(possibly, but not necessarily related) and keeps his older brother in his crosshairs 24/7.   I have insisted that they(he) demonstrate brotherly loyalty by not taking each other out of team games until it is necessary.  JUST go for anyone else first, before going after and taking your own brother down. But nope.  It happened again at camp today.  And, I reacted poorly.  My tone and face have expressed things that cannot be taken back.  Possibly, punctuated with a swear word.

The effect of little brother’s  persisting efforts to humiliate and alienate big brother may be almost as damaging, as my reaction to the familiar dynamic.   Oh my god, history repeating itself.   The cycle!!!  Please make it stop.  Praying for willingness to handle myself differently. Haaaaalp

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

You Do Not Have to Agree with Me to Love Me

I am feeling especially aware and grateful for my own acceptance of my deep core truth that I often need to do nothing, absolutely nothing.  Not listening, talking, momming, cleaning, working for money, reading, trolling the internet or  doing yard/house work.  Just BEING.  It is not lazy, it may be depression at times and that is ok and it may be recovery at other times.  Either way, it is what I need.  Eff anybody who must object or judge.  Thank gawd for the people in my life who cannot relate, AND still totally respect and appreciate me, as I am, for who I am.  Not tolerance but love.  Love is a verb.

Greg and I differ politically, which is tricky during this brutally polarizing time.  I want to be able to share with him the intensity of my feelings and reactions to what is being done to people in the name of god, law, patriotism, racism, whatever.  I cannot.  He knows how I feel and I know how he feels. How we feel for each other is more important than these things.  We love each other and have drastically opposing views about how people and polices should be.  It is amazing to me that THIS can be true and real in MY life.

I was not raised to believe in and count on this sort of love.  We don’t have to agree, pretend, fight, or resent.  Those are not the only options.  Miracles of recovery continue.   So grateful to experience and to model this for my children.  Love and kindness are not hinged to anything other than our choice to behave in these ways.  We are human and, of course, and do suck some of the time…and that is ok also.  Because we are learning to own and amend our unfortunate behaviors when they get the best of us.  Promptly and sincerely.

 

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Ambition or Denial

I have never, not ever, properly disposed of old batteries, yet I collect them and store them as if I might.  I do not want them in landfills destroying our children’s earth nor I do not want them clogging up an entire kitchen drawer.   As for my ridiculous freezer collection of blackened bananas– I have made fresh banana bread exactly twice in my life.  Once though, I did make some no-cook protein balls using oats, dates, walnuts, and overripe bananas.  In true addict fashion, I devoured the entire tray in one sitting  standing and then felt ill and needed a nap.  Shockingly, I  have not since felt compelled to make the no-cook balls.   WTF?  Who does this?  I want the bananas and batteries taken care of.

I do not like the options: to dispose of them, promptly and properly, use them or keep on collecting and pretending.  Being honest about these patterns of behavior is not easy.  I definitely am finding more proof of denial and apathy than genuine ambition.  The struggle is real.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/