16 years ago tonight a single harpist played as I walked up the church aisle in front of family and friends on a bitter cold Friday. The church was still beautifully decorated for Christmas. Greenery and poinsettias, red and cream, crowded the area surrounding the alter.
I was full of joy.
I said, I do. He must have said something else. Like, I sorta do. And from that moment on, his words mattered more to me than the words of anyone else.
That’s not going to change overnight.
It’s been a year since The Genius and I parted ways. A year. I would have thought that was long enough to break the habit of allowing his words to mean something to me, but I’m still wired to react to them. Given that wiring job was faulty, the reaction isn’t exactly a healthy one. I don’t react to the name-calling and immature button pushing. That’s easy to blow off now. But the more subtle exchanges have a way of sneaking inside, like they have a right to be there, high fiving my subconscious, acting like they own the place. As I focus on another task or read to the dudes, those words come out and start planting seeds of doubt, fear, dis-ease.
Several months ago, you will recall, I was a spoiled brat who was not entitled to live in the house we bought as a married couple. Time to get up and out! Move along! For a laugh, I remind myself that if I hadn’t caught him with his hand in the Happy Dance jar, we’d still be living here – in a house I am not entitled to live in.
A few months later, when I expressed my desire to attempt to sell the house on my own, my strategy was questioned. Or my sanity. Whatever.
So, I buckled down and focused on getting the house ready to sell. Out came the boxes that carried our belongings west. Purge. Pack. Clean. Stage. And by stage, I mean remove all Legos from underfoot and make it appear as if I lounge around listening to smooth jazz all day while reading enlightening books and nibbling on pears.
Mr. Jackpot was kind enough to make a few repairs that were beyond my abilities. Repairs generally, as in all the time, fall into that category. He also trimmed the fruit trees. But he had to depart for more pressing matters, so I grouted and spackled, lugged tree branches to the curb, weeded the walkways, washed the windows, which of course meant arachnid removal – done gently, eyes squinting to make them a little blurry, thereby less scary. I stood as far back as possible as I swept the gutters in the event that one would fly directly at my face, arms wide and latch onto my wrinkled nose.
Dead and frozen spiders are known to do that.
Although the one that was in my bathing suit when I put it on yesterday wasn’t dead. And it was scary. Mainly because it was in my bathing suit. I was talking to Razzle on the phone – she is as frightened by them as I was – and as soon as I saw it race across the inside of the torso I tossed the phone in the air, ripped my legs out and threw the suit hard as I fell back to the floor. It was as if I had grabbed the arms of an intruder from around my neck and flung him against the wall a la Jackie Chan before crumpling to the floor like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.
Then I got the broom.
I beat the crap out of it and my suit.
Trust me, you would have over-killed that multi-legged pervert, too.
I didn’t have to tell Razzle what had happened when I retrieved the phone from under the counter. Like any experienced arachnophobe, she could tell by the yelp that it was a spider invasion issue.
Nice job, Rambo.
An hour later I worked up the courage to look inside my bathing suit. I had amputated each leg and burst its body. I picked it out with a
wad of paper towel and washed the suit instead of throwing it in the garbage. Now that’s progress!
A few days after Christmas I receive a call from a friend who knew of a couple looking for a house. I stayed up till 4AM to get everything just right for their morning arrival. It didn’t go anywhere, but it was the incentive I needed to finish the last of the main prep and put her on the market. So up she went. And in came the calls. Some serious, some curious. One family of four came and stayed for 90 minutes. We had a blast. The children ran through the house, laughing, locking the interior knobs of the bedroom doors and then shutting them so they would have to crawl through the windows to unlock them. Typical Mom’s not looking stuff.
Later that evening they sent an email saying their children thought it was the best ‘open house’ ever and they would like to make an offer later in the week after reviewing the inspection report.
Job well done, right?
Now I’m making rash decisions. Is it really best to sell right now?
So, let me recap: You’re not entitled to live in that house. You’re not selling the house the right way. Is it really smart to be selling the house?
But unfortunately the impact doesn’t stop there. A couple hours after receiving the Let’s discuss this before you make any rash decisions text, I started to feel uneasy. Concerned. Filled with doubt. But I couldn’t place the origin.
The house will sell. Eventually. I might even have to utilize a real estate agent. I’ll evaluate that when the time comes. But it’s going to sell, and it won’t take too long.
We’ll find a place to live. Eventually. One that allows dogs over 20 pounds. Mine would have to lose 70 to pass the cutoff. If I made that happen, I’d have a house alright. With bars.
How am I going to figure out how to make enough noise to get noticed in a sea of books that could cover all the visible land on the planet? I’m not sure yet, but I’m working on it. The solution will likely involve making a great deal of magic happen, which is why I’m really upping the game for me and my top hat with a renewed focus on creation.
Making my own magic.
I’m okay with where my life is at right now, and I’m really proud of what I have been able to accomplish over this last year. The dudes and I are really connecting. There’s no drastic upheaval, but lots of uncertainty. Still, nothing I hadn’t expected. So why the out of the blue concern? The fresh downpour of doubt? Nerves like summer lightening?
It’s because of the words.
The words themselves aren’t interesting. But the you can, you can’t, you can pattern is worth noting. Because I still unconsciously give weight to what The Genius says – his words – its no surprise this lesson would come through him.
You can go, you can’t go, you can go.
You must, You can’t, You shouldn’t be.
You are, She is, You never were.
It’s like planting bamboo. Just like that, I’m a rain forest of doubt.
This is an example of something that I would not be conscious of while we were married. I was never good at tying things together, seeing a pattern and the reason for it. But this time it clicked. This was a pattern.
The night I put those three different messages about the house sale together my Mom called me at 1AM EST. She keeps California hours while living back East these days, staying up late to play solitaire on her iPad. She kills me.
I wasn’t my chipper, storytelling self on the call. The blue feelings of doubt left me wanting to retreat, just be alone. And not think about all that I might fail at.
When I told her about the three different takes on the house sale and how they made me feel uneasy she said, As your grandmother would say, consider the source.
Yes, and stop trying to understand why. I don’t need to know why he says something, I just have to recognize the pattern and look to understand why I am creating the experience for myself. Every time we interact we are each creating the experience we need to have in order to learn. The lesson for each is different.
Tonight, I finally learned my lesson. To not be in a position where The Genius can tell me what to do. To recognize how much I dislike being told what to do by him. While disliking it isn’t the important issue (I need to be indifferent.), feeling that twist of my stomach and knowing it comes from him telling me what to do and not from any real reason to doubt my own abilities to make sound choices is key. What’s most important is that I learn to not wait for anyone to tell me what to do. Trust in my own smarts and intuition and carry out my plans.
I have to break this habit.
Do not let others create self-doubt by making me think I’m incapable. If I allow that I am missing the point, misinterpreting the purpose of their actions or words. If I feel doubts, find their origin, their reason for existing.
Gathering input, seeking guidance, asking for help – I’m all for that. But being told what to do next isn’t going to lead me through my vision board. Although it’s a very comfortable place for me to be, and it helps to direct me and my Medusa of a brain, from this point forth I need to continue to make decisions, implement them, seek help, adjust as necessary, all on my own.
Today, the offer I was expecting was put on hold. They found another house that is a better fit and are in negotiations. Doubt remained at bay. It’s only been on the market a week. The actual disappearance of an offer didn’t leave me nervous or concerned. I accepted it as one no closer to yes.
Just like I was trained to do when I was in sales.
It’s a daunting task to rewire, to undo how we’ve been trained. Like untangling a thin necklace that’s been jostled in the bottom of a purse for days. While I work on the wires, I am going to take the time to let myself know I believe in me. I need pep talks regularly, but I do believe. A big reason why these days is because of my self-awareness. Now that I love myself, I look at myself, see and feel what’s happening, note connections between words, intent, patterns in others, my own patterns. I am aware. I remember more. I can see the thread that links words, actions and encounters together.
Messages sent several weeks apart come together to provide an opportunity to grow, not create fear. Draw the connections and keep things in perspective. I’m grateful for the you can, you can’t, you can of The Genius. I feel like it was a complicated puzzle I just solved all on my own without a box top to look at for clues, or anybody telling me what to do next.
Sounds, patterns… The new moon is on Friday the 11th, at this late hour that is now today. This new moon is all about the senses, especially hearing. I’ll be weaving back in a focus on the senses to my ever-changing pull down menu of s…tuff to integrate. It’s a perfect weekend to tune into nature, albeit freezing! 18 miles on Mt. Tam and dinner in Stinson Beach with family.
I’m certain I’ll see lots of familiar faces. Hopefully a new teacher will emerge. I’d like to retire one of my faculty members.