Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fears Rule My World

Rules, even the silly, seemingly simple variety that I wrote about yesterday, are about control. We think if we have enough rules...or rules to cover everything...we can avoid surprises. We can avoid pain. We can control our lives with rules! YAY, RULES!


Rules, of course, just make for more pain because they hold us back from expressing our true nature.

Our true nature, no matter who we are, is about strength, beauty, freedom, love, and happiness.

Rules just squash all of those things.

Rules are Formalized Fear.

As I also mentioned yesterday, I am on High Alert for Rules. I am Paying Attention and Kicking Rules to the Curb.

So I thought what might help is to name and list rules for myself and perhaps you could join in and name your own. The idea is that saying them out loud diminishes their power. The main thing that rules really HATE is Being Made Fun Of.

Also, I recommend spending some time asking yourself where you got the rule? Is it even yours? Most of my rules come from my childhood and a set of very fearful parents who saw danger around every corner.

Some of mine are silly but others are quite serious and it's taking a bit of courage to reveal them.  I am working hard on the more toxic rules even as I write this.

NOTE: I DO NOT FOLLOW most of these rules, but they rule my MIND, and I judge myself by their standards. Our house, for example, is rarely in company-ready mode and thus I am a pig.
  • If there is a single grey cloud in the sky, there is the possibility of Death by Lightening. So STAY INSIDE.
  • Weather is personal and usually dangerous.
  • Food made by other people is likely disgusting. Or dirty.
  • If your partner has friends, they are probably cheating.
  • Only people who work in the medical field are a) smart and b) doing work that matters.
  • You should never tell anyone your darkest secrets. Keep everything hidden at all costs.
  • If a couple does not fight, they have no "passion."
  • You should always be saving for the next bigger/better car/house/etc.
  • Your house should always be "Company Ready" or you are a pig.
  • If you take naps, you are lazy.
  • If someone states a "fact," they better know their source.
  • If someone says something wrong, they should always be corrected.
  • Do not cry in public.
  • Do not show too much affection in public. It makes everyone uncomfortable.
  • Do not show too much enthusiasm in public. Stay calm.
  • Do not show too little enthusiasm when receiving a gift. Put on a show of your gratitude.
  • Do not ask for help; it shows weakness, and besides, most people are not helpful anyway in that they are not bright enough or strong enough or whatever enough.
  • At all times, know where your loved ones are and what they are doing.
  • Fear for your safety when in a car, in a plane, walking, sitting, lying down, standing, eating, drinking, running, playing, relaxing...
  • If you have ants (or any bugs) in your house, you are dirty.
  • If you recline at all, you are lazy.
  • Water is to be feared, especially oceans and rivers.
  • Always check the back seat of the car before getting in; mass murderers love to hang out there.
  • The woods are filled with scary people carrying chainsaws.
  • Beds must have hospital corners and be made before you get in to sleep.
  • There can be no plastic containers on the dinner table.
  • A lawn must be edged.
  • A car should always be clean, inside and out.
  • If you can't be the biggest and best in your field, why bother?
As you can imagine, I could keep going but then this post would take a week to write and a month to read, and besides...now it's your turn...


K∆┼ said...

I'm usually a quiet follower...but this message really speaks to me.

Some of my rules are:
1) If you talk too much you will definitely say something wrong...so stay quiet.
2) Trash can only go out by the road the night before any earlier and people will hate you.
3) Nothing can be left outside overnight, people will think you are trashy.
4) Curtains must be neatly and fully closed at night no cracks

I'm way to overly concerned with what everyone else thinks, I know this comes from controlling parents and massive bullying in middle school. I've been working through this little by little. It's hard but important work. This book has been very helpful in my journey ... http://www.amazon.com/Thought-Was-Just-Me-Reclaiming/dp/1592402631/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I29TTXR1KJ1YPY&colid=2DHEW612EQF2I
...maybe it would help you too. Many hugs to you for sharing!!

McCaffery said...

I have broken SO many of these rules you list. Especially with my unmade bed and so not-company ready home. No fear of water, ocean or rain. (although I don't swim)

But you are making me think of my other fears, which have been getting me down here for the last long time...thank you for the nudges about thinking about it with posts like these.


Christine Claire Reed said...

I added a note to this post this morning...

I do NOT follow most of these rules. They rule my world from inside my mind, meaning I hold myself to these rules and then judge myself through them.

rebecca said...

You're right, following "the rules" isn't required - it just means our inner critic, who loves rules, has something to beat us up with and make us feel less than as not good enough.

In fact we don't even have to know what "the rules" are to be driven by them. There are the "unwritten rules" which just might be the worst.

Identifying "the rules" is a big and brave step - good for you.

And then there comes breaking the rules :).

Fun, but can be a bit bruising. Especially, in the case of those learned young. (Oh yeah sometimes we make up rules as we go along, sad but true.)

Anonymous said...

LOOOVVVEE IT CHRISTINE!! your path is so inspiring ... I love watching you unfold!!!

1. If you have anything wrong with your body at all, any illness, you will likely die soon. A long, painful death.
2. If anything bad happens to you its YOUR fault and its Punishment for how unconscious you are (omg.. lol)
3. Everything will be hard and difficult, joy is fleeting and unreal (AH! so untrue but its in my brain)

Christine Claire Reed said...

Anonymous! YES to all three of those! Well articulated. That is what I love about sharing these with one another...so many are hidden so deeply within us, as Rebecca says, that we cannot possibly identify them all...UNLESS we help each other to see by shining light on our own darkness and thus allowing others to read by the shared light.

belladawn said...

1. Never talk about your feelings or show your emotions, keep it all bottled up inside. It's not polite to talk about your feelings unless of course your complaining about your job, the price of gas, or complaining about life in general.
2. If you do tell someone your angry then you are wrong and it is your fault, no matter what it is.
3. You have to have a J-O-B
4. Don't talk to loud or smile to big or laugh to loud.
5. Keep your excitement at bay.
6. Don't joke around.
7. It's not right to be proud of yourself. Always play small. It's conceited to talk about yourself.

belladawn said...

1. Never show any kind of emotion, never talk about your feelings unless of course you want to complain about the government, the price of gas, the school systems, etc. Keep all your emotions bottled up inside. It is not right to tell people how you feel. They will just tune or shut you out.
2. Never tell someone you are angry or hurt with what they did or said. You are wrong and should NEVER feel that way because everyone else has all the answers.
3. Do not laugh to loud, smile to brightly or get to excited.
4. Never be proud of yourself. Never tell someone how beautiful you are, intelligent you are or how great you are doing. All you will receive is a blank stare.
5. You have to have a "regular" J-O-B to be successful.
6. It is frivilous to take a leap of faith. You will fail.
7. There is not enough...fill in the blank.