"Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness.
It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it."
The World According to Mr. Rogers.
I picked up that quote a couple of days ago.
I realized that I was sailing/floating in some uncharted waters (for me) and in order to reach the shore facing some things that have been eating at me was the only way to deal with them. Otherwise, I would continue to wander like the Israelites in the desert...and frankly, I don't have a generation or two to wander as I wonder.
One of the most difficult feelings I have to deal with is fear. Not the monster in the closet type fear, but the "what if" kind of fear. This is a really insidious kind of fear as it may or may not have basis in actual fact. It also is the fear that can keep me from dealing with unpleasant situations. I grew up in a "peace at any cost" family and I made choices that transferred that into my own life. If I'm not alert to it, I will make decisions that allow the path of least resistance on anyones part. Of course, that's occasionally not the best choice to make.
-F-IND A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.
This is a somewhat fun party game (after a couple of drinks, of course!). Lay a plank down on the ground and ask people to walk across it blindfolded. Then - while the blindfolds are still on - raise the plank one or two inches at one end, and again ask them to walk the plank. You'll find that a lot of them won't do it - their perspective makes them fearful that they will fall. Even though it isn't high at all. It's the perspective that makes the difference.
I'm dealing with D&D (when am I NOT dealing with them!) and their "problems" with Toby and our friendship. I am going to have place myself in a position of creating some boundaries that I didn't want to have to draw. As I was looking at the situation earlier this evening, I was struck with the realization that I had the wrong perspective.
-E-NGAGE YOUR PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, reportedly told of a time when he climbed into a taxicab in Paris. Before he could utter a word, the driver turned to him and asked, "Where can I take you, Mr. Doyle?"
Doyle was flabbergasted. He asked the driver if he had ever seen him before.
"No, sir," the driver responded, "But this morning's paper had a story about you being on vacation in Marseilles. This is the taxi stand where people who return from Marseilles always come. Your skin color tells me you have been on vacation. The ink-spot on your right index finger suggests to me that you are a writer. Your clothing is very English, not French. Adding up all those pieces of information, I deduced that you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle."
"This is amazing!" the writer exclaimed. "You are a real-life counter-part to my fictional creation, Sherlock Holmes."
"There was one other clue," the driver said.
"What was that?"
"Your name is on the front of your suitcase."
If only all clues were that obvious! However, many times they ARE that obvious if I will only take the time to look for them. In dealing with D&D and the current situation, I missed that clues that the problem was not TOBY (more on that tomorrow) but rather what THEY were expecting to occur in the situation and what they were expecting MY reaction to be (of course, in line with theirs!). Remember the false luggage tag of other peoples expectations?
There is also another tag people will try and put on your luggage. Those who are familiar with PAC will recognize "get back where you belong." This tag doesn't allow for changes on anyones part - and makes an attempt to place someone back into whatever category someone else has placed them.
-A-SK FOR HELP.
This can be difficult. However, along with the help someone else is able to give, or what we can find within ourselves - help may come from unexpected sources. The quote from Mr. Rogers is an example of that.
-R-ESIST THE TEMPTATION TO GIVE UP.
This is a temptation I can fall into very easily. It is almost second nature for me to worry about "what if" until it becomes "that's what's going to happen." Sometimes what I have worried about will happen (after all, the hypochondriac's tombstone DID read: "I told you I was sick."). But more often than not, it doesn't happen that way - unless I create a situation where that's the only outcome possible.
--What does all this have to do with D&D, Toby and other events in my life? To misquote Paul Harvey - "Tomorrow, the rest of the story."