Harboring a Spirit of Withoutfulness


When I was a little kid, I knew people who were always “without”.  The parents spent much of their time talking about what they did NOT have & what they could NOT do & how much money they did NOT earn/have.    In turn, the children trudged around, wallowing in withoutfulness as well.  If a well-meaning individual suggested something helpful such as “get a different job, retrain, save more, spend less, down-size” they were subjected to a sticky web of poor-me excuses as to why none of those things are possible for them and they are just pitiful victims.  Sure enough, you could feel your life force being sucked out your ear from 20 feet away…..  Holy shit Batman!  Had they put HALF the effort into “doing” that they put into NOT “doing”, they would be unstoppable forces!

My parents called it “poor mouthing”;  all I know is they (like drama magnets) sucked the life out of the universe.  All the while, I watched my parents creatively “doing”.  Not bragging about doing, or making an event out of doing…… Simply doing.  We always had plenty—OK, a more apt description would be “We always felt like we had “plenty”.  As an adult, I can look back and see we had lots of tight spots.  However, my Dad could’ve (sort of) fixed the Space Shuttle with two coat hangers and a roll of duct tape, and we shared a spirit of good fortune.  We didn’t have bad luck, we simply had creative challenges–even though it was never described that way.  Our roof leaked.  A LOT.   How great was it that we had buckets to put under it and were healthy enough to keep them emptied!  Yep, that’s the can-DO spirit!  This is NOT sarcasm:  It’s about playing the hand we’re dealt, wearing a smile.

When my kids were little, I was on public aid–welfare, food stamps, medical card, free school lunches, heating assistance–everything.  However, it was important to me that I not instill a sense of “less than” or withoutfulness in their minds and hearts.  Sometimes I had to bite my tongue, because life was tough & I sometimes felt pretty damned without–but I couldn’t stand teaching my kids that “woe is me”  is the way to be.  Sooo, I would smile and tell them “We’re budgeting for something else.  That’s why we can’t get new shoes right now.”  After all, it was the truth.  Every week, before grocery shopping, I made sure I had four extra quarters in my pocket.  Just before it was time to pay the cashier, I gave each child two quarters to get something from the gumball/toy machine at the front of the store.  They never saw me counting out food stamps.  Back in the day food stamps came in books and had to be torn out and counted, one by one.  I didn’t want to stir up a realization in their minds of what we did NOT have.

I have always been able to hone in on this spirit of withoutfulness, and while it’s a negative emotion/concept, it’s more than simple negativity.  It’s something much more destructive if it isn’t remedied.  Are any of you old enough to remember Bad Luck Schleprock from the Flintstones?  Well Wowzy, Wowzy, Woo, Woo…. That sense of NOT ENOUGHEDNESS follows these people throughout life, weighing them down like itchy, wet wool blankets draped around their souls.   You know what I’m talking about—You’ve been waited-on by THAT insurance agent, THAT clerk or THAT customer service rep…..Really, the problem isn’t a lack of resources–is it a lack of SPIRIT?  Or could it be a  lack of  CREATIVITY or a lack of GRATITUDE?   Questions for the day:

Are you making excuses instead of DOING?

Are you wearing a dank, itchy, heavy shroud of withoutfulness?

Can YOU modify your perspective today to begin throwing it OFF??

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. phylor
    May 26, 2012 @ 00:53:54

    Thanks for sharing; what a great “pep” talk (I know that’s clique, but it’s late and I have to admit I’m a bit sick — okay, a lot sick, so I’m not working at full speed as you can tell by another comment I left tonight!) I often fall into the trap of “poor, poor, pitiful me” to quote Warren Zevon. thinking I do try not to — to focus on the sunlight, not the darkness. Some times the light wins, some times it doesn’t. Spirit, creativity, gratitude, and doing — great mantas to hold on to.

    Reply

    • Autoimmune Maven
      Jun 04, 2012 @ 08:07:17

      Glad you benefited! I needed to hear it myself–once more, blogging is good therapy. I’ve been MIA lately because I’ve got so much stuff going on, but I’ll be back soon!

      Reply

  2. abcsofra
    May 09, 2012 @ 11:05:04

    I try to always look at the glass half full which is the same essence as this post. Couldn’t agree more with you. And no, it is not always easy. It would be easier to self doubt, to muck in the what I don’t have side of life. Instead I want to play in the side filled with joy for what I do have, what I may be able to do and to try and appreciate what is free the best…nature, friendship and the like. The only thing I am 100% sure of is that I can change myself or rather how I see things. That IS all I have complete control over. And yes, even with ra and disability, I still have control over that!

    Reply

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