Thursday 30 April 2009

This I believe

I taught my children well. They all took turns in the kitchen when they visited this month. The spirit of Muskoka is that grandparents often entertain their adult children and grandchildren. A lovely manifestation of the cycle of life.

Josephine gleefully helped me empty the dishwasher during her w/e visit in April.

I love learning. I love learning, especially, from my adult children. For that reason my teaching website is called, Thank Your Teachers!

I learned much from my mother. I learned to love my parent's Muskoka. Mom, however, was a perfectionist and she felt a lot of pressure to do things perfectly. She was of the 'cleanliness is next to Godliness' philosophy. I feel her around sometimes, tsk-tski-ing over the state of the carpet, and I will then pick up the vacuum. My house isn't as clean as Mom kept it, and sometimes I prefer writing to...well, anything!

During this last visit the kids all pitched in at meal times. Jesse, at the computer, was helping the cooks. Honestly! He and his girlfriend introduced me to a new show, This American Life. It is truly interesting. Jess put it on while they were cooking. Being an insomniac, which I used to bemoan, I have learned to embrace my iPod and podcasts in the wee hours, and the early dark or dawn.

I listened this a.m. to their latest show, entitled: This I Used to Believe. It was powerful. I fell asleep after Act Three, quite grateful, and awoke from vivid dreams and some of my own thoughts. One of the sections inspired my previous post, A story of hope.

The premise of the radio show is that we all have beliefs passed on from family, friends, community, society, culture. The featured, "Stories of people forced to let go of their firmly held beliefs." They wanted to know what we used to believe.
How interesting.
  • I used to believe that insomnia was a curse
Now I use the time wisely and gratefully.

  • I used to believe that bad things happen to good people.
Now I believe that things happen, for a reason bigger than I am, and that they are all lessons. I know now that what is - is. I know that 90% is your attitude. The latest murders, accidents, deaths, tragic illnesses, and other atrocious incidents probably warrant ranting, raving and crying, but in the privacy of your own home, and not in the media.
  • I used to believe in the white picket fence and happily ever after.
I wrote a poem after I learned that lesson: You Will Be Happy When...
  • I used to believe, in my teens, that I was fat and ugly, was depressed because I felt that no one would love me.
Now I am middle-aged and in menopause REALLY over weight. If I knew then...
Now I know I have to love myself first.
Now I know that we are all perfect, we are allowed to make mistakes.
  • I used to believe I was a failure.
I always felt that my mother was perfect and there was the wrong way and Mom's way!
Now I know I can do things my way. And that my adult children can do things their way (I had to use this as a mantra over their w/e visit!) Now I know that I am the materfamilias, and do not need to use my power.
  • I used to believe I had to achieve and be somebody
Now I know that I have worth. I know that I am not my car, job (what job!), my tax bracket, or my status in the community. I know that I can do small things that mean a great deal to a few people.
Now I know that to 'achieve' does not mean being a principal! I took the courses, led the workshops, developed a portfolio, attended the meetings, but could not be a 'Yes Man' in the system.
Now I have learned the difference between bosses and leaders (see the full poem by 'anonymous'). Now I know about leaders. Now I know that the universe sends us a teacher when we need one.

I still believe that for those to whom much is given, much is required.
I still believe life is a classroom and these are all lessons.
I still believe that we get what we give and that karma is an explanation of energy flow.

What did you used to believe?
What do you believe now?

"Oh, would that my mind could let fall its dead ideas, as the tree does its withered leaves!"
-Andre Gide, author, Nobel laureate (1869-1951)


Kahshe Cottager said...

Hi there! I just popped over after reading your post on to say hello. My husband and I are retired and living in Muskoka as well - just east of Gravenhurst.

Cloudia said...

Another wise and lovely post, Jenn.