Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Report

I posted this on Tuesday, and deleted it, accidentally. I had only meant to take it down...I was feeling like I needed to bring a different consciousness to my blog and focus only on craft. But part of the reason I started this blog was to bring learning on relationships, too. That is just as, if not more, important to me. So, please bear with me, and I will purpose to be less insecure! Now it is back in Tuesday's spot.

Well, I must say that February has officially landed in my soul. I thought this year I was somehow, mystically conferred immunity to the State of February, but no such luck. It's here. All I can say is "blech." Some kind of haze descended on me. I left school today, without my daughter (luckily, her dad pitched in and picked her up, albeit slightly late) I forgot my daughter! I have taken every opportunity I could to deprecate myself, and have sweated over what to write and not write on this blog. Sometimes I feel like I need a blog support group to help me answer all my questions. Other little niggly things have added up to make this quite a day.

But, I have been reading "Simplicity Parenting" and I love everything the author has to say. I love how he combines what I've learned in therapy, readings about trauma, and things I've learned through my exposure to Waldorf education. The trauma piece is especially meaningful to me, because I believe our society, in general, treats emotional trauma the way it treats a woman who has just undergone an unwanted Cesarean. She is told, "Oh, thank God, you have a healthy baby" and sent on her way, giving no thought to her feelings or need to process the event, necessary or not. I think it is our tendency as humans to overlook, sugar coat, deny, diminish, and otherwise avoid emotionally painful events. However, I truly believe a hallmark of health is not in how much you can avoid trauma, but in how exactly you-as a family system- handle these experiences. Because trauma is inevitable in life...one's life experiences can include disappointment, death, change, outright abuse...the wars at home, addiction. These can be moved through and healed from, giving voice to the power of forgiveness. How can we practice forgiveness if we ignore what is there? By the way, I myself have no idea how to do that. I make it up as I go along, and just keep trying to be kind and have my higher self in mind.
Oh, I forgot to say in the original post how Kim John Payne refers to parenting as "everyday heroism", and idea I especially love :)
Anyway, the other book I wanted to praise is 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage. You can find parenting wisdom even, and I would say, especially in a marriage book. While this book is chock full of useful tools, the part on anger is fantastic. The authors maintain that anger is logical and purposeful. Three things I learned that have helped me so far: that anger is experienced on the logical left side of the brain, and actually helps us act and engage in the world. So anger can be a positive motivator. The second thing I took to heart was that anger is often bourne of injustice and a frustration with blocked goals. The third thing I learned is that merely venting, even in a journal, can keep you stuck in anger. The way to get your anger un-stuck is have an empathetic, understanding listener.
Anger is such a huge subject....one needs to delve deep to uncover those learned beliefs about anger. This anger passage helped me today. Serena is experiencing her little brother's exploring, and wants to hide all her toys from him. I would not let her hide all her toys from him and tried to help her pick out toys he could play with. She insisted, through yelling at me and kicking me, that her toys all needed to be put out of reach. I eventually carried her to her room to have a little rest, and only said in my mind as she was kicking me (which makes me mad) "blocked desire....blocked desire.." I do understand it is hard for her to share her things all of a sudden.
At any rate, the book helped me handle this situation with a calm resolve I wouldn't have had otherwise. It also said to focus on your needs in the moment rather than your partner's faults. I think the same could be said for the way we relate to our children....only we don't speak those needs the same way we would to a spouse, of course. Sometimes we speak those needs to ourselves and take care of ourselves in the moment.
Now here's an idea....send yourself to your room. Put yourself in time-out. Go be grounded for awhile. Yes!

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