Family honor

My brother used to push the idea of family honor on me. He seemed to think that it was my responsibility to keep up the family name and family pride. And yet he was the one who changed his last name and who got two women pregnant without being married to them. He is the one who got divorced four times and who got himself a quarter of million dollars in debt.

So I’m not really sure why he thinks it is my responsibility to keep up with family honor and pride. Perhaps it is my responsibility because he realized that he had failed at it. Trying to make his problems my problems isn’t acceptable.

I have felt like I have failed the family for many years but I’ve gotten over it. He really did a number on me. Because he was older than me, I trusted him. He imprinted me. I finally realized that their madness isn’t my madness.

If you work for a company, everybody should work together to make a good product. But if you work really hard and no one else does, then you will lose your sense of loyalty towards the company. You feel like it doesn’t matter what you do because no one else is pitching in nearly as hard as you are.

The same is true with my family. I feel like they aren’t doing anything for me so why should I do anything for them? In fact they seem to think that it is my responsibility to care about everybody else’s feelings, when they don’t bother with mine. That is the very definition of codependency.

In “Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss talks about how our first loyalty is to our tribe – our family, our culture, our country. Whatever we are born into and is impressed upon us. Problems occur when we disagree with it and realize that its goals and values are not the same as ours.

She talks about our family of origin as being Divinely chosen. So this means we should accept it.

That isn’t so easy.

This happened with Jesus in the Garden at Gethsemane – 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39, RSV) He was about to be crucified, and he knew it. He was about to suffer a very painful and humiliating death, one that he didn’t deserve. He knew that he was going to be resurrected, but getting to that point was going to be ugly.

He didn’t want what was going to happen to him. He was asking God to let it not happen.

I was angry at God for letting things happen to me. I was angry at God for the abuse and neglect. I was angry at God for it all – not having a better family then and not having a better family now. I didn’t pick these people.

I felt pretty ugly for thinking these thoughts. But if even Jesus can think stuff like this, then I’m in pretty good company. And Jesus says, not my will, but yours, God. It isn’t what I want, but what You want.

I’m trying.

Myss says that problems with this area tend to manifest in the lower back and knees, and that is where my pains are. And from my prayers before I read this, I knew that I needed to let God be in control. It is good to get confirmation, but still hard to do.

There has to be a reason what has happened and is happening to me is going on. God made it happen and is making it happen. It is a way to open up, to learn, to grow. It is a test, a trial. Somehow I doubt that the world will be redeemed through my sufferings, but I might be.

The lifestyle to which…

Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not sure why I should have to go to work to pay for someone else to not have to go to work.

I get it if they are legitimately disabled. That is what the system is for. If you are physically or mentally too ill to work, the system is in place so that you won’t starve or lose your home.

I’m not talking about that.

I see no reason why I have to keep someone living “at the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed” when I didn’t marry them. I see no reason why I have to support someone that I didn’t give birth to. If I wanted dependents, I would have had children.

Some people seem to think that they are just sticking it to the government when they get a disability check or food stamps. They aren’t. They are sticking it to the taxpayers. They are sticking it to me.

The government gets its money from taxes. It takes from the poor to give to the poor. The rich have figured a way around this.

So I figure this means that people who are getting money from the government are my employees. They are getting paid by me. But where is the work? What are they doing to earn that money?

This isn’t a very nice way to think, I know.

But I also don’t like it when a perfectly able person is standing in front of me, trying to find their library card in their wallet, and I see the “EBT” card. This is the modern version of “food stamps”. They aren’t disabled.

I knew a guy who was really upset that his wife didn’t qualify for disability. She was mentally ill. She had multiple personality disorder, admittedly because of all the LSD she had done. However, she was well enough to run her own acting company… and he made enough money selling real estate that they were able to build their own house. Their dining room alone had more square footage than a three car garage.

But he still thought she should get disability checks.

I know people who think they should get disability payments for having migraines. Yet they refuse to get enough sleep and take their medicine.

I knew a guy who said he should be on disability because he couldn’t stand for long periods of time. Yet he walked for miles for exercise. He walked five miles from his apartment to the post office one day. He regularly walks the two miles from his apartment to the library. He carries a cane for show – it never touches the ground. But he thinks he should be on disability.

I’ve just recently heard of a guy whose wife left him. He was getting Social Security benefits based on her income. She has a serious medical disorder, but she was the only one employed. He has three cats, and makes sure they are fed. Very little is left over for his food. He also got fired from his last job for yelling at his boss.

So why should I pay for his bad choices? Why should I go to work so he doesn’t have to?

Part of being an adult is taking care of yourself. Why should I pay for a dependant that I didn’t create?

Baby steps

Sometimes the only way to get anything done is to do a little bit at a time. If you want to write a book that is too big a step. There’s no way you’re going to write a book in one day or even one week. You have to take little baby steps in order to do it. Sometimes the baby step is simply writing one thing a day. Sometimes you can’t even get that far and your baby step is simply turning on the computer every day. Do whatever it is that you have to do break it up into little steps.

Sometimes it is overwhelming to think of all the little parts of a project but if you can break it up into little parts it makes the project doable. I am working on an art project using stamps and fortune cookie slips. As long as I do one or two of these every day I will have completed a book very soon. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the book but I don’t really care. I am enjoying creating and enjoying using these little bits of art and putting them together in an unusual way.

If I start thinking about what I’m going to do with the book – how to promote it, how to sell it, book tours – I’m getting ahead of myself. I need to make it, a page at a time.

The point is to just work towards a goal, step by step.

After you’ve completed a step, then go to the next step.

It is just like cooking zucchini bread. First you need a recipe. That is your road map. But even a recipe is a bunch of little steps. You have to have all the right tools and ingredients necessary. You need a stove and a whisk and a fork and some bowls. And of course you need zucchini and flour and spices and baking powder and soda. It is all made up of a bunch of little things.
If you ever have a really heavy project that you have to deal with then definitely break it up into little steps. I’m thinking of something like dealing with an estate or getting married. These are not everyday projects, and they are important to do correctly.

Do everything that you can get away with early as soon as you can. It is certain that if you leave things to the last minute three other things that you didn’t expect will creep up on you and you will have to deal with them and the other things at the same time.