Who am I worried about Pleasing? Who is on my Committee?
My narcissistic mother... a futile activity but it continues, 59.75 years later. She is now end-stage Parkinson's, and as the sole family caretaker, I have daily GUILT over not spending enough time with her, even though I know I am doing the best I can for her, managing her finances now, her nursing home care, doing her laundry, watching the dementia worsen. I feel GUILTY when I try to squeeze in my own PLAYTIME or REST time between work and mom. The good news is that over the past year I have become AWARE of how being the daughter of a narcissist has affected my thoughts and behavior, and that has become a JOURNEY of itself!
(Myself) - fear of failure; amplified by loss of corporate job 4 yeas ago (read - loss of income, health insurance, house, self-esteem, etc).. Went back to school and started my own private practice massage business which i don't consider a success, which further pulled me down and I allowed myself to believe all this and sunk further down the depression abyss. Even though I made the CHOICE to not to pursue another income producing job in the corporate world. I chose a amore difficult path, a harder one financially, that gave me FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY, to focus on my health, my art, and yes, to have the flexibility to be able to be there for my mother, as she slid down into the hell of Parkinson's.
Fabulous Contemporary Quiltmaker ("FQC"): Whose work has always resonated with me. It took me 10 years to get up enough courage to take a class with you, and then I invested, over the next 10 years, in 1-2 classes a year with you, with the goal to free myself up, to work abstractly, and larger, using the tools of intense machine piecing, which I love. I did know you were on my "committee" then, as I was soaking up the learning. And pretty much all I have learned about contemporary art, comes from time spent with you and you and your other students. Then - In the 10th year, I kept hitting the wall with the timed exercises -> I could not allow my brain to take the final step and push beyond my comfort zone - and it was Not solely all about the pain in my hands from RA flares, which, yes, I know was definitely a component. BOOM. Epiphany: The realization that what was holding me back was my "need to just get it done" - in the time allotted - even if I was not done living and growing with the piece, to allow it to become something more. WOW - and ouch: the realization that this stemmed from my Project Management world. Immersion in the Pharmaceutical Clinical Research business world led me to becoming certified as a PMP. Which was a driver of success in this intense time-driven and regulated environment. I was known as the one my bosses could count on, to always get it done - to get the deliverable out the door ON TIME to the client.... to allow them success with the FDA... to allow us repeat business... yadda yadda, a vicious cycle of dog eat dog success. Getting things done was helping me considerably in one world (the world I made a living in), but totally holding me back in the world i so preferred to live in. so, WOW. This awareness percolated for some time after. Bringing this to the surface again, has allowed me to face it, and "be" with it. My committee now looks like this:
I loved the Rumi quote. JUST BEING - with myself, has become much more attainable more frequently now....... But I know that the "JUST GET IT DONE" driver overrides the pleasure and the joy of "just letting things be", and letting the universe and consciousness flow THROUGH.
(After I thought about all this, i tackled the giant inertia pile of chaos in the studio, and cleared off the cutting table, and such a sense of peace ensued.)