I just spent a couple of hours writing blog posts. Which I love doing. I like the possibility of sharing something that might make someone smile, or feel less alone, or hopefully inspire them to reconnect with their dreams, or maybe just help them be less hypercritical with themselves and find more in life.
But I got stumped on this one. I couldn’t seem to knit the threads together in the way I intended. And that is when it hit me. When we try to fit everything into one category or another, wear one coat, tell just one story, be one thing we often freeze. Humans are multi dimensional, complicated creatures, especially women. As women, everything we do effects everything we are.
In one of the many marriage seminars I drug my ex-husband to, Gary Smalley (marriage counselor/author extraordinaire), used these cool props to show us how complicated a woman’s brain is, especially to a man.
He had two mannequin heads with the backs cut off. Inside the male mannequin, he had placed empty boxes turned on their sides in a grid like fashion to demonstrate how easily and naturally men compartmentalize all the events in their life.
In the female version, there was a mangle of different colored wires jutting in, around and through each other in a large shapeless conglomeration.
Think spaghetti noodles – when you first take dried pasta out of the box, the long cylindrical noodles are perfectly uniform, straight, specific, defined. That’s a man’s brain.
But, what happens after you boil the noodles? Yep, a swirling mass of interconnectedness. It is difficult to discover where one ends and another takes off, right? That’s us. No wonder those stick straight pre-cooked noodles have a hard time understanding the curvy, free form energy in the bowl, much less relating to it.
We experience everything, everywhere, like often all at once. Even (or maybe especially) orgasm, according to a medical documentary I watched once, fires electrical impulses in every area of our brain. Men don’t experience anything, including orgasm the same way we do. (no snide comments – smile.)
We remember the smallest detail of an emotional event, like what we were wearing during our last argument, because we experience it that way. Emotional incidents especially impact us in every possible way. Men on the other hand probably put the whole event in a little box, and stuck it on a shelf, in the closet, of the basement.
See how that sorta sets up conflict at every turn?
I spent so many years thinking my husband was insensitive and cold (and without diving into all the details, he could be at times). Meanwhile he was calling me overly sensitive (which, I must confess I can be at times).
But, then, I am many, many things all at once. I am an artist, a writer, a mother, a life coach, a sister, daughter, aunt, dancer (no, not professionally – LOL), former yoga instructor, massage therapist, commercial interior designer, bank teller, store manager, poet, painter, builder, comedian, stoic, intellectual, cheerleader, impatient driver (Maybe extreme should go in front of impatient here!), cook, traveler, procrastinator, perfectionist, warrior, child, whiner, scattered, stubborn, often demanding, seemingly unforgiving, sentimentalist, romantic, hat wearer who prefers dresses over shorts in hot southern summers.
But, it took me way too many years, close to 50 to be exact, to accept that I am all these things and much more.
For so long I only wanted to see the “good” things about myself because somehow if I could hide the bad parts I would be fully understood, valued and loved. I felt I needed to prove my worth, to earn love. I think that comes instinctively for a lot of women.
So, we bury our dreams, the very things that make us who we are in favor of becoming the perfect something or another.
We tell ourselves that we don’t have the– fill in the blank here -time, energy, money, desire– because we have jobs and families. And if only our husbands would –again, fill in the blanks – be kinder, make more money, help with the kids/house, not do X,Y,Z.
Bottom line (as my ex would say) - if they would just love us and take care of us like they promised to do when they asked us to marry them…
Isn’t that really what we are so upset, hurt, angry, frustrated about? Loss of the dream?
Here’s a thought.
I wonder what would happen if we got back in touch with the dreams we had before we decided they (men) could supply them for us?
I just wonder what it would be like if we spent a little more time getting in touch with “us” and a little less thinking about them?
What do you think?