Take a Breath

Sep 25, 2020

I’ve made it to the seventh day, which is 15% through my 45-day posting challenge. So far I’ve had readers from Russia, China, South Africa, and France. The hits from the U.S. were probably just me and my husband. Anyway, I got a comment too, but it was in Russian so I deleted it. Who knows what kind of secret code was being transmitted to the election meddlers here in the states.

The edges of this whole lockdown situation have started to fray, showing up in the louder voices of arguing neighbors, the nightly craving for one glass of wine too many, and the weariness of the kids still relegated to learning via Zoom, which is a complete waste of time. Everyday it’s the same routine:  the date, day of the week, month, weather, a news article, a stupid dance video where none of the kids participate, and a game where the teacher puts a headband on her head with a picture at the top that only the kids can see. She asks them questions to try and figure out what’s on her forehead. Now, that’s some real quality education. And these are high school students. Yes, they’re special education students, but really? They surpassed these simple topics long ago.

Anyway, I have a college student who returned home when the campus closed, who is also now relegated to distance learning. It’s been tough on her. She was jerked back from her first steps into independence and replanted in the family household where she has to play her part, an unexpected hindrance that sometimes gives rise to outbursts fueled by a bitter and resentful frustration. Her disappointment and sense of unfairness has overwhelmed our dynamic, and my impatient temperament hasn’t made things any better.

So, my student is a night person. I’m a morning person. Guess when she wants to talk about things? Yes … at 11 p.m. when I’m brain dead and half asleep. Last night she wanted to talk about how she has a different point of view than I on a particular topic. I asked her again what her point of view is. I usually like to know what we’re talking about if we’re going to talk about it. And as usual, the whole thing fell apart. Even a question is taken as an attack. A completely innocuous answer is perceived as sarcastic. I mean really, it’s like some weird scene in a psychological thriller.

This morning on the patio where God exhales and sends a breeze through my mind, I suddenly saw why this is happening.

I’m a controlling person.

The pandemic is not controllable.

And it’s really cramping my style.

So, in response, I’ve become more controlling.

It comes out in the tone of my voice (I kind of sound like my father), the quickness of my frequent criticisms (hmm … that’s like my father too), and my need to be right … about everything (Oh my gosh! I AM MY FATHER!).

The next thing I know, my daughter is saying goodbye from inside the house, off to work for the day. I called her to come outside. She said she didn’t want to talk because it would only lead to an argument. I promised to listen.

She actually made a lot of sense. And I told her so.

And after she left, I felt strangely vulnerable.

It’s not easy to surrender your ways to God’s ways … especially when you don’t realize that you’re the problem.

So, if you’re not quite yourself, and worse yet, becoming like the worst version of one of your parents, find a place to stop, listen, and take a breath. You might see things differently.

0 Comments

Related Articles

No Quid Pro Quo

No Quid Pro Quo

The other day I realized that my relationship with God has been one where I meander through life based upon the survival narrative (I did what I had to do to survive), and that He has helped me clear the hurtles, find the next path, accomplish the things that seemed...

Shouting From the Back Forty

Shouting From the Back Forty

I’ve been stuck in a yo-yo of inertia … indecision … needing to pursue a destination, an “I will know it when I see it” target obstructed from view by a muddied line of sight. I lean to the right, peering through the mist, and then to the left, to no avail. My...

The Hound of Heaven*

The Hound of Heaven*

This week I’m home alone with my youngest daughter. My oldest daughter pops in and out between her shifts and visits with her boyfriend. She has a new cat. She promised it would be no problem at all. But ... I’m worried. The last time I peeked into her room, the cat...

A Chaos of Mind

A Chaos of Mind

Writing is a revelatory process for me. And I haven’t done it for a couple of weeks because life sometimes happens, and this time when it happened, I found myself engrossed for 8 days straight in a project to move my office to my daughter’s upstairs bedroom space...

The Inside Voice – A Little Navel Gazing

The Inside Voice – A Little Navel Gazing

So, I listened to a podcast the other day about attachment disorder. Mikhaila Peterson is my latest preferred podcaster for two reasons. First, she has awesome guests and they do long form interviews, so there’s time to go deep. Second, I like her personality. I did...

Russell

Russell

I joined a website about 18 months ago. I call it a website because I’m not sure what else to call it. Basically, you join as a member and create a little space of your own where you can blog and post (I blogged about Christian spirituality), entertain comments, and...