Overcoming Sixty Years of Stinkin’ Thinkin’

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When I was young, I learned how to hide who I was to survive in a seriously disfunctional family. I was a master of masks, able to fit in with ANYONE. It is strange how people rarely see anything but what is presented to them. As a result, it took over 50 years to figure out who I am.

I learned how to survive single parenthood with four children, two of whom were mentally retarded, in deepest poverty, by finding Erma Bombeck. She said she met a woman in prison who would not have ended there for what she did to her kids, if she only knew it was okay to laugh. I learned to laugh to the point of tears, when tears made more sense. I also learned to stop and listen, and find something good to offset the bad.

I survived my childrens’ antics by listening to Bill Cosby, and roaring with laughter because it was so true. I learned that I wasn’t alone, that others went through this, not just me, and we can all get past raising kids and remain sane. I survived crippling depression by finding a soul like my own, who to this day helps me get through the dark times, and I hope I help her to survive although she does try to make her pain stop every now and again. She is still here, and I thank God that such a kind, loving soul is still with us. I survived learning that just because others valued me for fitting into their pre-determined mold of what a good woman was, and how a perfect house, perfect church attendance, and always saying just the right thing led to acceptance, that God accepted me for trying, not just succeeding.

And, thanks to my married daughter, several years ago I found FlyLady. I am only fluttering, but I am finding the person I want to love that I lost so long ago. I am currently applying the 15 minute approach to the mess that is my house, the decluttering of my life by a yard sale(followed by a truck from the thrift shop to take away everything left to bless someone else) and the realization that my home, my work, my life situation isn’t ME, it is just life, a mess, and work.

I have stopped apologizing because it isn’t necessary. If it isn’t perfect today, so what, I can do more tomorrow. If it isn’t what I want to have today, I can work toward what I want, and I just have to remember that I can overcome 60 years of “stinkin thinkin”.

Thank you Marla and friends for putting out to all of us the reminder that we have to love ourselves, and more importantly, we are WORTH loving. By the way, I copied this post to my personal journal, because it reminds me that I have survived a lot, and not let the journey be the final arbiter of who I am, but rather I decided for myself. Strangely enough, I started to say a brief thank you for helping me see housework and clutter in a different way, but this is what came out.

Linda

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FlyLady here: I am so proud of you. Learning to laugh helps us release those masks that we have been hiding behind. We don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Finally Loving Yourself is the key to finding who you really are. Have you read our books, Sink Reflection and Body Clutter? The books share my journey to finding me. You can can do this too.

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