Sometimes problems can seem insurmountable. I think I get caught up in all the worry and twists and turns, and end up stuck. Like the proverbial cat who can't fight his way out of a paper bag.
There's a song by One Republic called "Secrets" that I like. It offers this gem:
"Til' all my sleeves are stained red
From all the truth that I've said"
And it strikes me how like me that is. I get so caught up in my rightness, my clarity and how accurate I am, how I can see the best path, and then I need to prove that I knew best and I was right if only people would do as I say. I get caught in that, stuck in the paper bag, and I can't get out, often not until my sleeves are running with the blood of those I've injured with my rightness.
I don't mean to be that way. And I promise myself I'll just smile and bite my tongue. I remind myself of what I used to tell my son when he was about 9 or 10 years old. He too, had the need to correct others and explain what was right to them. And I told him that it was OK to be right on the inside and not share it on the outside. That people, his friends, don't need him to always be the answer man. And I didn't even understand where he got that behavior from. Must have been his biological father.
And tonight, I am shocked to discover that it's me. He got it from me. No wonder he looked at me like I had two heads when I told him to stop being the know-it-all. omg. How was I unable to see myself in him? How was I so focused on that splinter in his eye and unaware of the log in my own? omg.
I gotta say, it's hard to breathe right now.
And the I hear Bonnie Bedelia, who plays the role of Camille Braverman on "Parenthood", tell her granddaughter Haddie to go back home. (Haddie is a teenager who is upset with her parents and left home to go live with her grandparents.) Haddie explains to her grandmother that she doesn't want to go back home because her parents still feel the same way, and she hasn't changed her mind either, and nothing is fixed or solved. Camille tells Haddie, "Just go home. Go because they love you and you love them. It doesn't have to be solved, it's not math."
And I hear that, and I want to be a little easier with myself and forgive myself and let go of my upset that I've hurt others with my rightness. I want to be perfect. And I'm so far away from perfect it's not funny. I know it's not all solved, I know I won't be different quickly, it will take a lot of effort. And it may require bloodying my own tongue instead of letting the truth out to bloody others with.
This is a journey, and I think it's going to take awhile. I know it doesn't have to be perfectly solved like a math problem, at least not any time soon. But I still want to try. Because honestly? This hurts. Realizing this less than pleasant trait of mine hurts. A lot. Which I know is partly because I hate that I've hurt others, I am in many ways one of the most compassionate and gentle people on the planet. And to realize that my tongue has caused pain to others, kills me. And I think it's also because it hurts my self-image, and the image that I want others to have of me, that I'm perfect. That I could never do something as nasty as hurt someone else. That just doesn't mesh with how I perceive myself and how I want others to perceive me. So it attacks my fragile little ego. :/ But I also think it hurts my pride to realize that I'm not perfect. So this little unplanned self-discovery tonight is a three-pronged whammy that has me reeling.
Well, I guess all I can do is move forward, and let go of the past. I can try anyway. It's not my strong suit. Wish me luck.