Monday, January 30, 2012

Turning F-Bombs Into Faith Leaps

For about a year now I have been consciously trying to change my attitude. I've been trying to change my "f- bombs" into "faith leaps" and no one is a greater teacher for me than Mike. I don't know what attracts people to each other. Who knows why we fall in love with the people we do? Is it sexual attraction? The opportunity to work out something from our childhood in an intimate relationship? An unresolved demon we can't shake? An itch we can or cannot scratch? An escape from our home, our families, ourselves? A simple question of patterns? Or is it opposites attract? Is it the idea of yin and yang?

Mike and I are inherently different in our daily attitudes and general approaches to life. He is of the mindset, that things have a way of working out. He never really worries or stresses out. He has faith, for lack of a better word, that life will take care of itself, that the universe will provide. I am a worry wart, prone to getting knots in my back due to stress or stomach aches from my emotions, my one-too many fears. I am like a cat, hair standing, claws out, ready to jump when the sky begins to fall. No one is born this way. It is something we learn over time based from experience. For me, it comes from having a parent who has battled addiction, a childhood steeped in chaos and unpredictability. When something really wonderful and awesome happens, for me there is inevitably a crash, a worry that it will be taken from me, which of course leads me to start planning how to protect it, how to avoid it, how to save myself from the promises of heartbreak life "always" delivers...but I am trying to rewind that thought process and revise the attitude.

I grew up Catholic. Did the whole communion, confession thing. But something about the religion was always troubling to me. In high school one of my favorite classes was in world religions and my freshman year of college I actively sought out different religions that might resonate more with me. I considered becoming a philosophy major so I could spend my time thinking about questions that don't really have answers. After enough time, enough experiences,  I found that what wasn't resonating was religion itself. The times I felt close to "God" were in nature, a hike up a mountain, a swim in the ocean. And since this realization I have moved away from religion and have developed more of an appreciation for spirituality...whatever that means. But my compulsion to try to force outcomes, force solutions, "figure it out" constantly gets in the way from the lightness and faith that I want to feel in life. And even when I think I am really turning it over to the universe, I have to watch myself because somewhere there is still me working against me, trying to create "an answer."

This weekend was humbling. I had many different experiences where I was trying to "figure something out" and one by one, they all figured themselves out without any work  by me. And they weren't some sort of intangible, miraculous "Wow! The universe just provided!" moments. But rather very generous offers and answers given by people who love me and are actually also thinking about this happy time for me and Mike right now.  And for the record, Mike has been right all along so far. Maybe the next time he says, "I don't know how, but it will work out," I might actually believe him. 

2 comments:

Erin said...

Jeff and I are very similar to you and Mike. I worry all the time, stressed about everything. Always thinking things are about to collapse. Jeff just does his thing, calm and focused.
I think you are right though, these feelings come from the uncertainties and unpredictability (and not the good kind) we have experienced.
It is nice to have partners who can help us try to live in the flow.

Lindsey said...

Yes, it is. ;)