Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Bad JuJu Closet


I have been working on improving some things in my life, as you can probably tell from my reading list lately. One of those things is anger, which got totally out of hand with the collapse of our economy last September. Of course, once you start working on something that needs attention and healing, it gets tested. I am supposed to be thankful for these tests, as how can I improve without them? But my bad-juju closet not only tested me this week, I failed the exam.

It has been six months since we finished our remodel, yet the closet that was the very last wrong thing, continues to be a vortex of bad energy. Not only did my contractor not order the proper doors the first time, he did it again. Now, six months later, we are in the throes of either accepting what we did not order, or insist he get it right. Let me preface by saying he is not in a good financial position, as are many contractors, in this economy.

Anger, burning hot, won out yesterday. Not with him, but with my poor husband that had to listen to the rant. Today, I've decided to follow the advice given by my current hero, Pema Chodron, and forgive myself for failing the test, and move on. If we can't forgive ourselves, we cannot forgive anyone else (like my contractor.) Now I hope to be prepared for the next test. Maybe I'll be able to center myself, breathe, and not resort to any kind of anger.

As for the bad-juju closet - I guess it will just have to be what it turns out to be. Photos to follow - whenever it's done. I've given up on the three days it was supposed to take.

Are you working on a part of yourself that is constantly getting tested?

40 comments:

lscollison said...

I must get that book you're reading, it sounds like what I need. As to forgiving oneself, yes, that's the hardest.

Love the photo and the title. Humor is a good way to diffuse anger, but timing is important...

Hilary said...

Yes, maam. I sure am. Trying to not interfere when one of my daughters is acting in a way that makes no sense to anyone. Trying to "live and let live". Trying to accept what I cannot change.
Thanks.

JC said...

I'm reading one of her books ...

Yes, I am faced everyday with something that I'm not in control of. I get angry and try ... to talk calmly ...

I don't always win.

I do hope you get the closet you want. It's not your fault that the contractor is having trouble.

We just signed up for Angie's List ... don't know if they have it in your area but, it's worth a look.

Herrad said...

Hi Nancy,

Hope you get the clost doors you wanted soon.

Love,
Herrad

Whitney Lee said...

Mine is being more accepting. Less judgmental. Just because people make choices that I think are unwise doesn't make them the wrong choices. Fortunately I keep running into people who are like that and it's a great view of how unattractive that personality trait can be.
I struggle with anger when things don't go my way (or the way I envisioned they would). After it's all said and done I have to accept that it is what it is. I have no control over anything except how I react to current circumstances. It doesn't always work, but it occasionally stops a meltdown.

California Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
California Girl said...

(trying this again as the last one had a dropped sentence)

Hoo boy! If I comment on how I'm constantly tested, it would take up waaay too much space. Suffice to say, I'm tested primarily when I drive. Hate bad drivers; have zero tolerance for their idiocy and waste no time telling them so. Living in a tourist/resort area doesn't help. Most tourists drive like the are in Disneyland or at the scene of a major accident, rubber necking, gawking, going 30 in a 55. My sons are well aware of Mother's shortcomings. So far, while they are critical of bad drivers, they are less vocal/visual about it. Need I say more?

Brian Miller said...

the face in the pic says it all. i think that is great advice..learning to forgive yourself can be tough. we are often our toughest critics and can put ourselves in a cycle that will wreck our attempts.

i can have a pretty big need for control...tested regularly by things i have little to no control over. funny i am fine when it happens to a group, step right up and get us out of it. when its just me...

janis said...

Hi Nancy! Thanks for stopping by my Blog. Yours is great & I look forward to reading more. Glad to be Blog Friends!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life is one of the best books on forgiveness of self that I've ever read. & love that picture!

smiles4u said...

I totally get where you are coming from on being tested in those things you are working on. Forgiving ones self is harder then forgiving others.

I could write a whole blog post on all that I am being tested on but the main one that comes to my mind is, courage. I made courage my word for the year and I swear to God, from that very moment, I have found myself in numerous circumstances which I am being taught courage. I have been tried and tested and failed and yet there are those times I have won.

I also have laid claim to being resilient and this too has been tested. So many times, "Just breathe" are uttered in my mind and mouth, to get through..to just stop, listen and learn. Thank you for reminding me today that without these tests I will not improve or learn.

PS Cute picture.

Sarah Lulu said...

Hello ...oh yes ..my current issues are moving with change and believing in abundance.

As for your cupboard, we don't know actually what will result from what happens...we don't see the bigger picture only the bit in front of us.

So who is to say really that your cupboard couldn't be named the start of something fabulous and that your failed exam will lead you exactly where you want to go.

Sending you much love and prayers,

Sarah Lulu

Mary Ellen said...

I love Pema Chodron - especially the notion that the living-right thing isn't an attainment but a "practice." It's made me more self-accepting. My challenge? Fighting again feeling things are just too hard, so I have trouble tackling projects and sticking with them.

Natalie said...

Anger for me, I am afrid.I get REALLY angry at injustice.I just go off! I am always really ashamed after it,but find it difficult to forgive myself.Needs lots of work.xx♥

Chris Wolf said...

I think you need to respect yourself and keep asking the contractor to do as you requested and paid him to do. If you cave because it's easy, you'll send the wrong message. Not to him, but to yourself.

Peace and deep breathin' vibes to you.

ellen abbott said...

My current self improvement project is to be happy for people who have good things in their life, success without feeling envious.

Unfortunately, I do not test well.

Marguerite said...

I would have fired the contractor after one week! That is just sheer incompetence on his part. You have every right to be angry and should definitely forgive yourself, Nancy.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pema Chodron is a super badass Buddhist and a GREAT teacher. She really conveys her message to me. Wow.

But I'm also a fan of five element acupuncture to deal with challenges like anger. You should give it a try - I can't believe the difference it made in my mood stream.

Applause for you for not only working with these challenging situations, but for looking, with a clear eye, at yourself and your behavior. Anger is a part of life, but if it gets in your way, then something is out of balance and asking for help. I agree completely.

You are so mighty! Bravo!!

Jo said...

Well, you're the customer, so you should insist he get it right. Second, you have every right to be angry. Sometimes anger is not misplaced at all, but well-deserved.

I have just been catching up on some of your back posts, and I read the post on your brain tumor. Gosh! Well, it obviously has not affected your intellect. Your are extremely intelligent, and I love reading your posts.

Rachael said...

Mine is also anger... riddled with bouts of easily irritated judgmental-ism. It's a struggle but I, too, have to let me forgive myself sometimes. We are not perfect, and though I am not proud of my reactions to things sometimes, the fact that I'm making a concerted effort to remedy myself helps me to feel better. People don't change overnight, and I think there's definitely something to be said for trying! :)

Pam said...

I've found that the older I get, the less I get angry at. But I don't know, closet doors that still aren't right after 6 months?? That might be more than even I could handle.

MzzLily said...

I am a spiritual person. I believe that if Satan is not working on you, then he isn't worried about you! Makes it feel better somehow...

Kay said...

Well, you should get what you asked/paid for, you just don't have to be mean about it...necessarily. I am dealing with contractors right now as well, and they are all the same! ugh. Patience is a vertue, but being stern to get it right is 100% acceptable when you are paying for a service that you have to live with! :)

Nancy said...

hey, is your name Nancy too?!!! I cant believe so many Nancy's exist. I said hi to you in my vlog and just said "hi Lover of Life" because I did not know what your name was!!!!

That is the cutest funniest baby I have seen in a long time! LOL I love that little guy, so cute!

Well part of my life that is always being tested is my tolerance for my drug addicted sister in law. Its a tragic thing, she is so bad, introducing drugs to her children (I could explode from this knowledge) and yet I know in my heart I shoudl not be judging her. Its hard.

Ruth said...

Like a duck, flap your wings and swim on!

Sometimes easier said than done, obviously.

Mental P Mama said...

I think every contractor on the planet is here to test us. I have a door that hasn't opened in 5 months. A major back door. Sigh.

Sink said...

I hear you.
The balance of productive anger and unproductive/destructive anger is a constant learning.
Control and serenity....you can do it.
xxoosink

deb said...

I'm working on letting go of anger as well and fortunately the universe is giving me lots to work with. Funny how that works. Each time I start running through scenarios in which I get to express my anger, I gently remind myself to let it go and expressing my anger won't actually change anything for my daughter. But it's tough.

Rain said...

Oh yes, I'm working on many parts that are always being tested, anger is one of them for me too. Like yesterday, I was going through the drive thru for my ritualistic Saturday morning Tim Horton's coffee. I said hello and thank you and the young girl at the window just looked at me as if I was annoying her. Now why should I let this bother me Nancy? But I did, it brought back memories of being judged and discarded and hated for no reason and I just let her have it. I yelled at her that she was rude and that I wanted to see the manager and I would never frequent that Tim Horton's ever again, I took back my tip and drove off in a huff...the whole way home, I kept telling myself "Rain...calm down, she's a dumb, tired, little teenager...she has probably done this to everyone this morning..." But it did take me a little while to get over it... hard thing to control, that anger...anger with baggage I call it! Sorry for the long comment!

Celestial said...

That picture looks like me on most days, the bad juju is something that appears to be going around and I have caught it full force. I totally understand.

Crow said...

You're right to be angry about the economy. If you have a little time available check out the article by Matt Taibbi about Goldman Sachs.

Andrea said...

I used to fly off the handle at almost anything that crossed me. I used to blame it on being Italian! Then, during my divorce, a great friend suggested that I quickly forgive myself each time I got angry. I started doing just that and find now that very little makes me angry enough to explode. I guess forgiving myself upfront keeps the hissy fits at bay!

"Letting go" is my current lesson.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I tried to leave a comment yesterday and the computer froze!!!!!! BAD JUJU!!!!!!

Erika C. said...

Oh, yes, yes. It does seem to be true that sometimes the closer I get to a deep issue that I need to work on, the more challenging it gets. I think you are right, that it can be a test.

Last week was a week like that. I was tested in the area of anxiety. Even though I know that my life goes better if I trust my inner voice, the voice that knows there is enough love to go around and knows that there is an abundance of good out there for me, I still get trapped in my anxiety and wish to control things.

This week is going to be much better, I can tell. I am excited and looking forward to it. Thanks for your inspiring words.

PS A friend has been struggling with very bad energy in a house that she just moved in and another friend recommended space clearing for her. THere is a wonderful book about Space Clearing and Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. If you don't already know about it, it might be worth a look. Good luck with the house project.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Every day seems to be a test! I can thoroughly relate to a contractor not finishing a job after 6 months. I think it is part of the job description to let something go unfinished just so their name is on the tip of your tongue!

Hilary said...

Contractors are always a test.

Your post reminded me that I have a mini book of Pema Chodron selections which I keep in a nearby drawer. Is there a particular book of hers that you recommend?

Lover of Life/ Nancy said...

Hilary - I liked "When Things Fall Apart", and I'm currently reading "The Things That Scare You". All good stuff from her, I think.

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

It may not count for much, but I accidentally ate a piece of ham in my mom's supposed "Vegetarian Baked Beans."
Obviously she got the wrong can. I washed my mouth out and got a little angry with myself for not reading the can correctly and moved on.
Forgiving yourself is so important.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

forgiveness is a quality that seems to be one always worthy of working on!

the writings of pema chodron are so wise. worthy of rereading! thanks for the reminder.

the opening photo is precious!

Momma Moe said...

I think we're living parallel lives. For two reasons: 1) I'm having to work on some forgiveness right now, too; and 2) I'm having closet door issues as well. It's taken almost as long as your closet door quest to get it right. I'm about ready to make all our closets full-frontal doorless!