Long ago I begrudgingly accepted there are many things in life we are not meant to understand. Over the years, I slowly realized going into full Diva Mode helps nothing.
My first (and longest lasting) example of this is what I refer to as my “Reluctant Vegetarian Phase”. In kindergarten, there was a typical class trip to a farm. Pet the sheep, feed the pigs, chase the goats, ride the tractor…you remember. What I remember is coming home and demanding an explanation: “Farmer JimBob said we get meat from cows, and bacon from pigs…..how do they get the meat from the animal?”
After that point, my parents attempts to beg, plead or otherwise coerce me to eat meat fell on deaf ears – even at McDonalds. “Really, there’s NO real meat in that chicken nugget! Just EAT it!” My fear of accidentally consuming a dead animal had produced one of the picky-est eaters the world has ever known. And one of the longest “stubborn streaks”.
Did not take another bite of meat until age 23. While pregnant with my son, I irrationally began craving cheeseburgers and have ever since. I finally gave up the foolish notion that my not eating meat was going to single handedly save and free all God’s creatures from slaughter.
Yes, this all has a point, somewhere…..
I found myself biting my lip the other night as both girls were in Full Swing Drama Queen, for completely different reasons, of course. I could hear Clark explaining to Holly “I know its hard to accept, but the world does not revolve around you” which only made her howl like a banshee.
When faced with the tears and angst, we try to teach the simple concept of “you cannot control much in this world, what you can control is how you react”. In short, full Diva mode doesn’t work unless you’re Mariah Carrey and have the platinum to back it up. But as with most things, it will not stick until repeated for the 1,000th time. Sometimes, when they’re not wound tighter than a swiss watch, I like to joke “Its time for the [Nola/Holly] Show!” and they stomp their feet, pivot and march out of the room.
Oh, no, please, don’t leave.
As fate would have it, I came across the most amazing thought that same night reading, all curled up with my cat and green tea…
“Feelings are not the litmus test for reality”.
Information I could have used at age 5 ! I spent the rest of the night on this thought, and much of yesterday. The author supports her point with “our emotions and feelings are simply reactions…..but by nature [emotions] are followers and we place our souls in danger when we require them to take the lead. Truth…was born to lead.” And also “Most of us have been conditioned to determine truth through the filter of our feelings. Do we feel it? Then it must be true.”
Looking back, so many “feelings” turned out to not be true:
In the 70’s, I “felt” Shawn Cassidy was the be-all-end-all.
In the 80’s, I “felt” my fashion choices were flawless; Cyndi Lauper and Pat Benetar could not be wrong.
In college, I “felt” I’d take the world by storm after a secret agency recruited and trained me to be a female James Bond (Still kinda holding on to this one…).
All that I felt was true at the time, but not a single bit of it was based in reality. This is the first time I have considered the way I “filter” life through my feelings before. I love my rose colored glasses; but that does not mean the filter is an accurate one.
I am about half way through the book “Anonymous”, by Alicia Britt Chole. If this concept is the only thing I take away, it’s well worth my time. The book is subtitled: “Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours”. What interested me is not so much the religious aspect, but the premise that one of the world’s most famous and influential people lived 95% of his life in complete anonymity. It’s a great study in “the tip of the iceberg” concept.
I’m confident I will learn more as I go, and I’ll be sure to share. For now, I am pondering my new project: How to save the girls from a cheeseburger-less existence and translate this idea into a children’s version….