Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Guest post: My Blog Day, Part I

by Cathy Whitman

My most wonderful Seester asked me this morning to be a guest blogger! Truthfully, that was several days ago, but I was so excited that I had to get right to putting stuff on paper because, of course, being the big Sister, it is extremely important that my piece is awesome and life changing. Also, it will be nice to have it all ready to go the morning of my assigned day.

Yeah, right! If anybody knows me they know it will be newsworthy only if I accomplish this.

I function best on nearly missed deadlines and total chaos, so I will wait till the last minute to do this, and that is always the time that everyone else in the world will need me to fix stuff for them. That is the way it works. I am one of those people who is incapable of prioritizing, organizing, compartmentalizing... anything with an "-ing" on it I suck at.

Unless it's your life -- then I can fix it, organize it, and save it... in record time.

I have been discovering lately many new things about this "living in chaos" business. I have a very dear friend that it really drives crazy, mostly because he doesn't understand it, but also because he sees the pain I live in, and that hurts him. He doesn't understand that if I don't live in it, I hurt, because then I have to deal with my stuff.

Ouch, that hurts even worse.

But due to the fact that I respect this man deeply I have tried over the last several months to take his advice and see what could change in my life. I would never admit it to him, but he really seems to be onto something here.

I decided to start with just one thing at a time. I chose the word he spits out most often: "Simplify." He is constantly on me about having "too many minds." Slow down! Simplify! Stop taking care of everybody; try to take care of yourself for a change. And I said, "Well, that’s your job!" He responded with, "I can’t take care of a cyclone, and you won't let me anyways."

He's right -- always is, of course -- again, I would never tell him that.

I started with my mind, which never shuts up; even wakes me at night; and tried to quiet it. That was really hard, and even though I have made some headway, it is a constant struggle. I have found that whenever I try to deny myself something, it hits me even stronger. Simplify, sell your 3 businesses and don't open any more. You're almost 50, it's time to relax, you don't need to work so why would you? That didn't work too well; I have since written at least 5 business plans.

Next, I tried to stop taking care of everybody, fixing everything, etc. You know that is really impossible. How do you walk into something broken and not fix it?

And it just got worse from there. The harder I tried to do all this, the worse my compulsions got, the louder my mind got, and the more chaos I saw coming my way.

So, here is the life changing part for me, for all of you that have read this far, -- and yes, my Seester Sara, here comes the part about God.

I finally managed, through prayer, to get really quiet one evening. I was praying for calm or a way to calm to down (which didn't require alcohol or illegal drugs) and quiet my mind. Because when you're loud, you can't hear God. I got quiet.

I realized that all my fixing isn't fixing at all. Whether or not you believe in God, he has a plan for you. He made this plan long before you where born and where did I get off thinking I knew that plan or how to fix it? Furthermore, just because I thought I was fixing things for you and making things better, it doesn't necessarily mean that I was. Maybe I am interrupting a lesson God is trying to have you learn. By helping you I may be missing a lesson that God is trying to teach me!

My mind is loud because to quiet it means getting real about life. It means being responsible for my thoughts and actions, it means living here on earth as an adult, instead of a dysfunctional child of alcoholism. And that is way more work than fixing everything for everybody else. That is much easier than stopping and seeing the real picture. The real BIG picture, which I will get into in my next blog...which I just found out I am lucky enough to have.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are on the right path. Finding that path is different for everyone. Keep smiling and believing in yourself and you will, in turn, help more people than you can imagine!

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...For me it was the opposite experience. Once I realized there was no god to save me or anyone else, I started taking care of me rather than taking care of everyone else and worrying about their salvation.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

hey cathy,
hows it going? You sound saneish.
I enjoyed your guest spot in sara's blog. Merry Christmas and Happy new year from Dansville.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous donald said...

you and sara may not be blood sisters, but my god, you are soooo much alike!! except for the god thing, of course. coming from a very loving and accepting family, i know how important it is to have a great relationship with siblings. and i also know that being spiritual can be very helpful! good luck with the progress!

9:47 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

oh, suzy, she's not sane...

don't ever call one of the whitman sisters sane...

why do you need something "higher" and "bigger" rather than seeing the strength in yourself?

9:50 PM  
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