Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Sometimes we just have to admit it....

Sometimes we just have to admit when things are not optimum.

And when we do ~ and something amazing happens.

For the past few days, I've been feeling pretty badly, missing my old wat connection. In a moment of weakness, I sent an email to one of the members, trying to find out if some of the problems could be resolved.

My email was ignored.

That was the final step, the final blow I needed to know that, yes, I really had to put it behind me. It's not going to work out and I am not going back there. I made two friends out of the experience and that's as good as it gets.. which is pretty damn good, all things considered.

For quite a while, I've had a slip of paper around here with the name of another wat, one that was continually badmouthed at the old one, so I never called them.

It's a Thai wat, actually. I was told how bad the people are there, how they're just a bunch of "old Thai women who have married American men and all they ever talk about is money and what their husbands bought for them."

Anyone who knows me would know how unappealing that would be. I just never followed up on it.

The truth is that sometimes people don't tell the truth. At that time, WLP (the old wat) wanted me to stick with them because I was useful. In retrospect, I can see now that they left out the part Lenin was willing to say outloud.... "useful idiot". They figured by badmouthing the other one that I wouldn't leave and I'd continue to serve them.

I'm naive about that kind of thing and tend to take everyone at their word until they prove untrustworthy. I'm may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed but I wouldn't want to live a life being suspicious of everyone's motives. Well, they've proven I can't take their word for anything and it's time to give up.

So I called the new one... which I'll call WSB.

A young man answered the phone in broken English. I mustered some of my broken Thai and we managed to have a conversation. It's hard to admit this - but during our conversation, I was crying. He didn't recognize that. I cover up well. Just to hear his voice, to have that conversation, to be welcomed, to feel that "connection" that automatically occurs between me and anything or anyone Thai, caused me to recognize the separateness I've been feeling over the past three months since I broke with the other place ~ but denied. I refused to deal with it head-on because I am notoriously poor at dealing with emptiness. Even if it was bad, it was better than nothing.

So.. what the heck does this have to do with Wellness Wednesday? In thinking about it, I see that if we are unable to admit when something is broken, we have no opportunity to fix it. Additionally, I wonder if holding back, lying even to ourselves, somehow closes off things that might come to us. I was so highly invested in *not* admitting that I was missing that day-to-day connection, that sense of belonging, that I closed myself off to drawing it again.

Just a thought - not even fully processed - but it seems right. At least for now.



Border Explorer said...

I am so with you on admitting when something is broken so we can possibly fix it, Chani. Hebrew Scriptures show the importance of "lament:" mourning and grieving together what is broken or evil or wrong. This process can birth something new.

I hang on too long, unfortunately--(a "loyal" #6 on the enneagram). Sometimes it is better to be honest than to try to remain positive.

flutter said...

sounds like you need a hug, lady.

FranIAm said...

I was not sure what to say here except to say that when something is really broken... well what can one do?

The way Border Explorer put it is very good.

Peace my sister, peace.

Mary said...

Honesty can be brutal, I know...especially when it's with ourselves.

Hang in there, Chani. Be well!


heartinsanfrancisco said...

It has everything to do with wellness. When we are unhappy but suppressing those feelings, they grow inside of us and breed illness.

I'm very glad you were able to see the people at the first wat as they really are, not as you would have liked them to be, and opened the door to a mutually rewarding experience at the second wat.

Westerners do not have a monopoly on manipulative behavior, and even Southeast Asian people need to earn your trust.

Maybe you had to experience the first wat to fully appreciate the second, which sounds very promising.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I understand the wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes too long until you've hurt yourself.

I also appreciate your insight about needing to admit that something is broken before you can fix it.

I'm hoping this new wat is good for you.

Jennifer H said...

The truth is harder to take, in the moment, sometimes. But the clarity, when the water settles, is usually worth that pain. I'm sorry for your disillusionment, though, and disappointment.

Emptiness...tough for me to deal with, too.

Leann said...

I would say you are dead on when you say if we close outselves off to something we are missing out. Only if you are open can you receive.

Carol said...

You write for me and, I'm sure most people. Even though I have no Thai connections, the feelings and realization that you share are universal. Thank you.

Amy Y said...

Two good friends from the old wat IS fantastic. But I hope you love the new one!! I think it's awesome that you're giving it a chance, despite what you've heard. I hope it's everything you need it to be.

Anonymous said...

That has been my lesson of the past year and a half. Seems so simple, but it is absolutely essential.

Anonymous said...

This is spooky... I've been thinking of things like this lately. I started my blog so I would have somewhere to say what I thought and felt about things, but find myself holding back.

What you said about believing someone who had nothing good to say about another group reminds me of something that happened when I was much younger (school age). The girl next door told me a story about a horrible girl she knew at school.

"Oh dear," I said, and believed her.

Later on, the girl next door introduced me to one of her friends from school... this is "xxx sss" she said.

She was very nice indeed, and we all got on very well. But when I got the girl next door on her own, I said "isn't that the girl you said was 'horrible'?"
"Yes," she replied, grinning. "But I was angry with her at the time."

Cecilieaux said...

Can't resist asking: What's "wat"?

Oh, and are you *in* Thailand physically now?

Anvilcloud said...

I wonder if most religious congregations are like this -- more petty human foibles in evidence than enough?

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I hope this becomes a better connection for you.

Remember that religious institutions are still institutions, even though one wishes they would move beyond that.

Cecilieaux said...

Yes, Anvilcloud, most religious communities, like families, have their convoluted feuds and contentions and problems. (See, for example, "The Name of the Rose.")

Is a wat a religious group? Haven't heard what's wat yet.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a breakthrough! All of your commenters are saying what I would've said so, ditto! Sounds like you've been through a heck of alot lately! Hugs...

thailandchani said...

BE, totally true. One day I'm going to write a post about the idea that we are always supposed to be "positive". Sometimes things suck. :) At the same time, there has to be some balance there, too, because people who consistently spread their misery to everyone else is an issue.


Flutter, you're probably right.


Fran, thanks. :)


Mary, sometimes it's hard to admit when something just hasn't worked and we have to move on to something else. That's basically what happened with the two wats.


Susan, I'm a weird combination of guilelessness and complete cynicism. I admit I gave the people at the first wat a bit too much, too soon. Yes, I should have paid more attention to some of the things going on.


Ruth, I hope so, too! :)


Jennifer, yes.. it was hard.. but necessary. Sometimes, especially for those of us who aren't particularly savvy, we have to learn the hard way.


Leann, I'm starting to get that. Because I'm so adverse to "emptiness", I often wait for a "replacement" to come before making breaks. That's not very healthy.


Carol, thanks for the affirmation. :)


Amy, thanks. I'll find out more tomorrow.


Emily, if you've learned it already, you've just saved yourself a lot of years of misery. :)


Diddums, I do wish we were all more mindful about the things we say about others when they irritate us. (I try.. but sometimes fail miserably) The people who made the negative comments about the new wat probably didn't have any ill intent. They were just thinking competitively instead of cooperatively.


C, a wat is a Theravadan temple.

Nope. Not in Thailand yet. Soon though.


Anvil, the first wat was full blown evidence of the fact that the same kind of group dynamics are present in all organizations, religious or not.


Jen, yes, I do wish we could all move beyond that kind of thing... all institutions. It's such a useless waste of energy.


C, yes.. it is religious. Theravadan Buddhism


Starrlife, a lot and a little.. if you know what I mean. :)