Sitting at the table

So I’ve got this food analogy to explain how I generally approach difficult issues in my life that take some time to sort out which I’m going to be discussing in a minute (daughter of a chef = I can whip up a food analogy for just about anything, no pun intended). When I was thinking about how to begin this post, I started off in my head with, “Have you ever sat down at a table with all this lovely food prepared before you, and though your appetite was huge and you loved what you saw, your stomach just turned at the thought of eating it for some reason?” And the Mama jumped in with, “Oh really? You see all of this as lovely and you want to dive right in?” And she raised an eyebrow. Shit. Touché, Mama. Then I thought of a little kid who’s a terribly picky eater being forced to eat peas (memories from childhood here), and the little kid is whining. No, that’s not me. “Oh?” the Mama interjects. Not all the time, Mama. “Mm-hmm…” with Her eyebrow still raised and now She’s just crossed her arms. Fuck.

Yes, some times a lot of the time, that’s me. I go on and on about how I want to grow, but when it comes down to doing the work and when facing the not-beauty that is a bunch of the issues I’m dealing with isn’t pleasant, I don’t want to dive right in. Whether they’re good for me or not, I hate peas.

I have a number of big issues that are arrayed on this vast dining room table in front of me at the moment. And the thing with big issues – particularly ones I don’t want to just gobble up – is that I can’t sort them all out at once. I can’t sort one of them in one sitting. Or I probably could but the thought makes me want to vomit. Because they’re all things that I’d like to pretend aren’t before me. That gigantic bowl of peas (issues with my parents), a huge tray of olives (internship details), a large plate of coleslaw (issues of shame/guilt), etc. And that’s not even all. There’s a big vat of lima beans, another bowl of kidney beans, and I think I smelled some boiled cabbage lurking around here, too. So I sit here, at this proverbial table, staring at these things. Most of the time, I’m trying to will them into non-existence while the rest of the time I’m trying to build up the courage to at least take a bite. And let’s just say that the going is slow.

So what’s on your table? How do you approach and manage to eat up all the unpleasant dishes in your life?

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3 thoughts on “Sitting at the table

  1. With lots of salt, and some liquor …

    What works for me is to focus on one thing at a time, and give it my full attention until I am either done dealing with it, or I don’t find it gross anymore. When you have this vast array of unpleasant in front of you, it’s easy to lean yourself way back from the table and get overwhelmed by how much you have to deal with. Instead, pick one thing and get real close to it, until you can see nothing but that one thing. It helps me to remember why I’m doing it; if you can keep that goal right in the fore of your brain while you’re choking down those nasty-ass peas, it will make them easier to swallow because you will remember that eating the yucky thing will get you closer to your goal.

    I had counseling sessions with a child psychologist as a little girl, and we worked with exposure therapy before it was really understood or widely used, especially with very young children. What we did with the issues I was facing was to immerse me in them and really bring them out into the light, rather than try to tuck them away or work “around” them. Try that with your gross food. Pick one, set the others aside, and dig in with both hands. Throw up afterwards if you have to, sometimes that helps too. 😉

    Love to you, girl.

  2. I sure wish this trip had come with a good instruction manual! LOL 🙂

    I love what the previous poster said. I would only say thatit might help to write everything down in a journal. Just take a topic and have at it without editing or judging or stiffling yourself. Move to the next and the next. Bounce back and forth. Get it all out THERE, and see if that helps to bring some peace in HERE. This is how I handle my stuff. I write. And write. And write.

    Then I just sit with what I’ve written – like after a purging – and see what comes up. It might help to do what Byron Katie suggests, and which I use to help manage my crap: Decide what is YOURS, what is THEIRS and what is GODDS.

    The only thing you need to focus on, then, is 1/3 of the stuff.

    I always start with forgiveness, too. Do I need to ask someone to forgive me? Do I need to forgive someone? Making amends is a powerful tool of transformation. Then, it’s all about letting it go. Letting go and surrendering.

    And then, just do whatever you can…even just a baby step in one ‘good’ direction…towards your spiritual goal(s).

    Remember – you are an eternal being. We all are. And for that reason, we never get it all ‘done’, and we can’t make a mistake.

    hugs, Aerolin. Sending you healing tonight.

  3. Yes – working through things in pieces is probably best. Unfortunately, it’s something I struggle with and need to work on!

    Indeed, remembering why I am working through these things is definitely a good thing to keep in mind! Love back to you, Tehlanna!

    Thank you for the healing, Grace 🙂 Hugs to you, lady!

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