Sunday, December 11, 2016

Living Under the Influence

"under the influence"
.....No, I don't mean substance abuse.  I mean the influence of the words and the attitudes of other people.

I was thinking about that as I got dressed this morning: 
  • pink underclothes;
  • pink, white, & grey chenille socks;
  • pink, white, & black longsleeve tee;
  • pink, white, grey, & black fleece jacket;
  • pink barrette & pink hair-tie.
Yeah, this almost-old lady is all girly-matchy.  (And, yes, I'm wearing a comfy old pair of jeans, too--my only non-pink item.)

It's cold outside and (despite my kindly-repaired central heat) just a little chilly in the house, and I haven't been feeling well thanks to a world-class asthma attack that has totally laid me out for the past day or so.  My thinking is that if you feel bad, dressing better makes it just a tiny bit easier to cope; it's a hopeful thing.  And it should be a fun thing, too, but when I choose cute clothes, it is inevitable that some old toads pop up in the back of my head. 

Toads? you say. 
Me, nodding, Toads.
Bad thoughts, bad words, bad memories.
I don't like toads.
Toads have warts.
Warts are infectious.
Gotta get rid of those toads fast.

  • "Cute clothes aren't right for you.  You're too smart.  Your sister is the pretty one."
  • "No, you can't have that.  It's too nice for you.  You would just wreck it."
  • "Good clothes are for parents.  What you already have will have to do.  Children should neither be seen nor heard."

My family loved me the best they could but they weren't always kind, and they often weren't fair.  That's life.  I've made my peace with that.  I have forgiven.....well, I have forgiven them but I'm still working on forgiving myself.  Somehow I always felt insufficient, and I wanted to be more, be better, be Good Enough.

No one gets through life without pain.  Pain stretches us, forces us to become stronger--that's what it should do, anyway, as long as we don't give into the temptation to feel sorry for ourselves.  That's why it's important to reflect just a little, to realize the reason for our reactions--that's how we remember to fight back, to change for the better, to become something new.

I'm grateful for the lesson.  And for the reminder.
I told those toads to go away.
And then I added a hot pink pashmina to my outfit.

Life is good.

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