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I Choose

"The disciplined pursuit of less, but better," it's called.
It may be the antidote to my constant self-torment:
     I'm doing the wrong thing.
     I'm not doing enough.
     I'm going to fail.
     I can't keep up.
Questions that terrify me:
     What shall I do?
     When do I start?
     When do I stop?
     How much do I give?
     How much do I take?
     When do I rest?
     When am I done?
How do I shift
From the "Do it all!" default
To a habit of choosing
A valuable few?
A clue very relevant to me: "Learned helplessness."
     Laboratory animals
     Presented with no-win situations:
     Some just do nothing.
     Others try to do everything.
     Sounds just like me.
     Dis-empowerment breeds aversion to making a choice.
     Definitely sounds like me.
Dad always needed to be right and the other person WRONG!
Mom too, but more subtly: The one right way, never fully described.
She'd always say,
"Put things in order of their importance."
Yet that order was never explained or discussed.
It was apparently something everybody already knows.
Hey parents!
It's a dialog!
And if it's not a dialog
It's a dysfunction
A no-win situation
That drives a child to learned helplessness.
Life becomes about not being wrong
Instead of growing in wisdom from mistakes --
Those choices made in good faith
That didn't work out.
The solution?
I choose.
I practice the dialog
And build on
Rather than run from
I choose
To risk a choice
To risk a mistake
And at last I begin
The disciplined pursuit of less, but better.

5 July 2014

by Bill Cattey