Thanks to Conrad Hake for his post which reminds us, and me in particular, that sometimes we're the (back) scratcher and sometimes the scratchee. In principle, I agree wholeheartedly with this concept; in practise, I realize that I have some work to do.
As I recuperate from my injuries, it's become clear to me that I have trouble being the scratchee - particularly when offers of assistance come from friends and neighbours.
My husband has been wonderful - helping me to get into and out of bed, dressed, driving me to appointments, cooking meals and doing as many other household tasks as he can fit in. Some jobs have had to go by the wayside; I could have easily taken up all the kind offers and asked for help with ironing, dusting or watering the garden.
"Tell us what you need to do." "How can we help you?" "Anytime you need something, let us know - that's what neighbours are for." These were just some of the offers I received post-fall. Considerate, generous and heart-warming. Definitely.
Then the "yabbits" began. "Yeah, but do they really mean it?" "Yeah, but what if I ask and they say 'no'?" "Yeah, but why do I have to ask, why can't they come and do something, anything?"
The second-guessing and looping thoughts are behaviours that were learned in response to growing up in an alcoholic home; one where communication was guarded, at best. This kind of thinking does a disservice to those who genuinely care and want to help. They may not know what to do or whether or not they are imposing.
Just as I would set up exercises in the classroom for my students to learn, that great teacher called Life, has done the same. This lesson is about learning to clearly communicate my needs and ask and accept help from someone other than an immediate family member. This fall has provided me with the opportunity to heal that wound as surely as I heal my broken bones.
And, to further illustrate the importance of this, I received an email from Grannymar that this week's Blog Consortium topic would be on Communication. Another
My old stressed-out self would have never been able to recognise the synchrony of these messages nor the lesson; the chance to change old patterns and practise new behaviours. This is much easier when the urge to take flight or fight (stress response) is calmed through the activation of the power of the heart. In turn, this influences the power of the brain so that I am able to choose a course of action that is not only good for me, but also for those around me.
I choose to focus and celebrate the progress I've made and look forward to improving these skills. The more I practise these stress techniques, the better able I am to change my perceptions and live a more joyful life, despite breaks.
In the meantime, I'm itching to get the garden weeded and the shower stall cleaned! Anyone?
Have you been presented with opportunities to overcome old behaviours?
Related post: When You Take A Fall
Resource for Teachers: Children of Alcoholics
Photo courtesy of Andy Reis