Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Walking The Path

"When in doubt, tell the truth"
~Mark Twain

I wish I could write that I am happy to be home after a week of holidays but I'm not. I'd rather still be at the cabin. Still be in a place where life was less complicated and I didn't have to deal with another human being if I didn't want to. Father Charlie keeps reminding me that relationships are messy and they take work. Including my relationship with myself.

The cabin was wonderful. Nestled in a forest of evergreen trees with privacy and quiet, it was a good place to be. We went on day trips when we felt like it and stayed put when we didn't. Dearest one disappeared over the bank one trip and reappeared with a handful of stones for my would be writer's cabin path. He had this wonderful smile on his face as he came up over the bank towards me. Three stones that weighed 50 pounds in total and he was grinning because he knew how much I like those stones. Knows how I dream of a stone pathway leading to my own yet to be built cabin. We came home with 100 pounds of stones in all; I would have been happy to fill the whole car with them.

The highlight of the trip for us both was the time we spent walking a path in the bush, on the edge of a deep river canyon. Or whatever the word for that steep cliff that seemed bottomless is. There were times when dearest one, who normally is not scared of heights, said outloud to himself, don't look down, don't look down, as we walked so close to the edge that a slip could have seen us disappear over the edge. At times the path took us farther in the bush, complete with tall trees and beautiful wild flowers. We were both amazed that my spoon supply saw us walk more than a mile up and down the hilly trail and back. A few stops every so often for me to catch my breath and then on we went.

I am scared of heights. Very scared. I panic when other people get close to the edge of things far more shallow than a river canyon. When we travel in the mountains I lean towards dearest one and away from the steep drop offs on my side of the car. So it really is a little miracle that I walked the path.

I may be braver than I think I am.

Which is something I need to remember. Back home, in less than an hour 5 minutes, I ran smack up against my lack of ability to control those around me, my ability to give away my power and my distaste for the hard work that recovery demands of me.

Today, in my session with Fr. Charlie, we hashed out what being a truth teller involves. How hard it is for me to do that. How necessary it is to learn in my recovery. How disrespectful it is of myself and others when I willingly give away my power so that they still like me. Except, when I'm not being honest and up front, they're not really liking me anyway. Just the mirage of who I set out there for them to like. Today I was convinced that to really be me meant that others wouldn't like me. Fr. Charlie simply said that my search for self would rock the boat for those around me. It was what he didn't add that was the kicker. I told him I felt like I was at a cross roads. Either be the way I am now, giving away my power, being dishonest in my relationships, all for the sake of being liked, or speak my truth and be at peace with myself; risking rejection by those I rub shoulders with in my day to day life.

I'm not a risk taker.

But recovery work is demanding that I become one. Or accept my choice to stay stuck and resentful.


daisymarie said...

"How disrespectful it is of myself and others when I willingly give away my power so that they still like me." It's a mirage...

Wow. Too much caffine yesterday and I'm wide awake at 3:45am. Sigh.

My days have been filled with churnings internally. I'm not sure (other than too much caffine) what that's all about. I have been living in the mirage, though and not liking it one bit.

So I'm going to sit with this thought today and see if I can find my way back home.

Jim said...

Your time away sounds better than what I endured at the beach. I also like the sound of a stone path leading to a "writer's cabin". Somehow your telling of it reminded me of various Biblical events where stone altars were erected, not for sacrifice, but for memorial and testimony. My advice, for what it's worth: Be yourself; but be yourself in Him....

Anonymous said...

"truth teller".... seems like a theme that I keep bumping into these days. Maybe I should pay attention.

Glad to hear that your trip was a good one. I can smell the wild outdoors...