The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Have To vs. Want To

In my last post, I wrote about how one of my old survival tactics, "computer girl" has ruled my life. I've reassured this part of me that she can still use her organizational skills, but I'm going to rein her in and find a balance.

Last January, someone broke into my house. The thief tried to kick in the front door. Although he did damage the door, he was unable to get in. Then he destroyed the back door and gained access to my house.

Knowing someone violated my "safe place" felt very creepy to say the least, but "computer girl" jumped into action...I have to call the police...I have to call the insurance...I have to make a list of everything taken...I have to have new doors hung...I have to clean the finger printing dust...I have to replace necessary items, I have to deal with feeling unsafe, violated, and angry, along with all the other have to's in my life at work, kids, writing, appointments, social obligations, etc.

What I wanted to do, was something quite simple. I wanted to paint the doors and trim, but there is only so much time in the day and computer girl had too many "have to's" in her life; so, want to's - had to take a back seat.

Well, this weekend (five months after the break-in), I finally set aside my "have to's and did what I wanted to - I painted the doors and trim.

As I painted, I realized just how acutely I'm feeling the effects of letting "have to's" and computer girl rule my life. While feeling "acutely" is very disturbing, I also know it is a good thing. Pain is a good motivator for change.

It reminds me of the point in my abuse recovery when I finally "felt" the effects of my abuse. I spent decades seeking to be heard about my abuse and longed for validation. I was in a sort of "stuck" limbo - unable to move forward until someone validated my pain. Once someone said, "Oh my, that is horrible," I was finally able to say, "Hey yeah, that was horrible!" And I felt my abuse more acutely than ever before. It was both disturbing, and freeing, and it motivated me to "recover."

On a certain level, I've always felt the effects of computer girl ruling my life - stress, tired, overwhelmed, etc., but even after I realized that this is another survival tactic that I need to shed, computer girl has been resisting.

It isn't until now that I've slowed down and acknowledged how I feel about "over-responsibility" and "over-achieving" that I'm feeling it all acutely. "Hey yeah, that is horrible!"

Okay, I'm on board. I want to make room for "want to's."


Anonymous said...

i like that. "want to" instead of "have to". i "have to" myself into headaches, anger, depression and everything else. i recently had a very bad experience with a therapist. my old therapist who was great (abuse recovery issues) retired. she hand picked a replacement. the replacement was a disaster. her mother is dying and for a full year now she has been out of the office very often and always talking about her mother. i finally stormed out the other day and don't plan on going back. i am thinking "I have to get another therapist". but you know...i think after 5 years of therapy recovering from abuse with the retired therapist, this time i am going to seek out a new therapist if "I want to". I am sick of having to rely on another woman (I don't like male therapists for me, it doesn't work) to make my life liveable. Maybe with God's help and my own I am function for a while without having to lean on someone else like they have all the answers. I am not in denial but i have done alot of work in 5 years. I just might go back to therapy this time if I "want" to. I am still hurting from the therapist who really has been stuck on herself for an entire year. I didn't hear from her after leaving and even though I left, that hurts. Thanks for listening.

healandforgive said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for sharing! It seems that survivors often have more "have to's" than "want to's."

It always makes me sad when a survivor has a bad therapeutic experience.

You were paying her for help. Therapy should have been about you and not her.

I understand not "wanting to" when you are still hurting from your last experience.

All my best,

Marie said...

Hi, Nancy -

I can so relate to "computer girl", LOL -- and with the overwhelming need to complete the "have to do" list -- thank you for the reminder that it is okay to take time for the "want to's" . . . I needed that!

- Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

healandforgive said...

Thanks Marie!!!