Friday, March 20, 2009

Making Friends with My Inner "Pigpen"

Do you remember Pigpen, from the comic strip Peanuts?

He was the kid who always had dirty stuff flying around him, like a constant dusty haze. Although he never seemed bothered by it, the other kids (and even Snoopy!) were clean and shiny by comparison.

This comes to mind when I consider what my own aura must look like to those who can see. Lots to clean there, after all. :-)

Today I found an old saying that brought me back to grade school: "I'm rubber, you're glue; everything bounces off me and sticks to you." There were kids in my class who would say this often, even when the "problem" was clearly with them! (at least as I saw it.)

Perhaps many adults live by this too -- it's a slick way of deflecting the blame for anything that happens onto others, so that we don't look like "Pigpen". Instead we're more like Teflon that way.

Ho'oponopono is quite different from this, because the first step is to take 100% responsibility for whatever shows up in our lives -- no matter what it is. My friend Jimmy Piver says it succinctly: "If you see it, you've got it." (Thanks, Jimmy.)

So once we know we've "got it" (by virtue of having noticed it), then we can set about our cleaning. We can say "Wow, Divine Creator! I didn't know I had that! Thank you, I love you" even when life feels like it's slapping us upside the head.

My family has been dealing with an alcoholic member for years, and more intensely in the last several months. We're seeing how we're all a part of what goes on -- except, that is, for the person doing the overt drinking and raising other kinds of ruckus.

For me, this has been an amazing opportunity to walk the path of 100% responsibility, even when it "looks" like someone else has the disease, not me.

This is a little challenging, in that people with alcoholic families often have built-in trouble with our boundaries. We tend to take care of other people's business rather than our own. We can get so wound up about other people's seeming "problems", we forget to inhabit our own lives.

This is, of course, textbook co-dependency. And it can be mighty draining.

Now, if Ho'oponopono says "the problem" is all in us and our memory-skewed perceptions, how do we differentiate whose business is whose? How do we let go of "the alcoholic's" problem and tend to our own stuff? Do we tell the alcoholic s/he "should" go to AA, or "should" clean with Ho'oponopono?

Do we lecture, cajole, beg?

No. None of that. Moment by moment we clean with our own responses, whatever they are -- recognizing that "Pigpen" is in all of us, not only some of us. Telling others what they "should" do is the opposite of Ho'oponopono, which encourages us to sweep our own front porch rather than running over to someone else's.

I'm finding that my own messes keep me plenty busy, believe me. Lately there are some birds who like to perch above my entryway, leaving daily evidence of their presence. I've been sweeping, but couldn't figure out why all the bird poop was collecting at my place.

At the same time, I had been in a kind of verbal struggle with these family members, feeling frustrated and upset. After all, I wanted them to want to heal -- as if I can personally push the tide. Yeah, right.

One had sent what appeared to be a written "mea culpa" statement, but it was potentized with crazy-making meta-messages. In other words: "I'm rubber, you're glue -- everything bounces off me and sticks to you". With this, I was feeling pretty "bent".

But this was not to continue, thank heavens. In the wee hours this morning I "got" the message. Those birds are showing me my own personal "Pigpen" layer of stuff to clean, and where I need to direct my efforts. My very own front porch, not anyone else's. Perfect.

So I wrote back, saying I would be tending my own business from now on. It felt like a ton of bricks fell off my shoulders.

Wow, Divinity. I didn't realize I even had that. Thank you, thank you -- including for sending that bird poop.

Peace Begins with Me,
Pam

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