I’m in a mood today. No reason in particular; I just am. So this quote today, which I set up last night (when I was in a good mood) today feels appropriate.
Quick comment: if you’ve been following this series, do check out the comments, they add to the experience and the richness of the concepts. One of my favorite commenters, Wayne, is also a pretty neat guy with a much more robust understanding of psychology than I have. I will write more about the fantastic comments in a post when all of this has wrapped up, but I didn’t want to go another day without reaching out and thanking Wayne, No More Bellyaching, It’s a Dome Life and Razor Blade Brain. Awesome peeps whose comments make me blush with gratitude. Thanks, friends.
Welcome to Day 23 of “30 Days of Jung,” my series, wherein (soon, I will start repeating myself, like now) I take a famous quote of Carl G. Jung‘s and try to make sense or refute or invert or disembowel it or where I turn into a heaping pile of mush because of it in 1,000 words or less.
If you don’t know who Jung is, he formulated the theories of introverted and extroverted personalities, the stages of individuation, the basis of the “Meyers-Briggs” personality (INFJ / ESFJ, etc.) tests. He’s the “father” of modern-day psychoanalysis. In short, he’s a badass. But he’s dead, so he can’t be with us today.
Here is today’s:
“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”
― C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
I think I lied when I said I wasn’t aware of the reason for my mood today. No, I know I did. I’m feeling blue, frankly, about my lack of initiative and about taking charge of my life. It’s not because I’m a mother, or because I’m married, or because I’m starting involvement in things that while good for me in a personal development sense, just aren’t part of the path (seemingly) that I want to follow. This mood is a very likely direct consequence of my suppression of dealing with Jung’s quote of yesterday about parents not living their lives and the awesome comments I got from the people I mentioned above who helped me see the brighter, smarter, more mature side of the quote.
I do this to myself. I’ve heard it cleverly referred to as “self sabotage” and while I agree with the use of those words in the sequence they are applied (how’s that for detachment — or is it more likely denial) the things I’m taking on instead of moving forward with My Dream aren’t “bad” things. One of them is definitely a one-night stand that simply won’t get off my couch: The Pampered Chef stuff. In November after a sultry membership meeting at my son’s sports organization, I ran into my old consultant. She’s a great gal: pretty, witty, charming, clever and fun. I’d dabbled with the idea over the years of being a PC consultant because well, I love their stuff and I love to socialize. The thing I hate the most: selling. I have to have a show (sell minimum $150) every other month in order to stay “active” and to keep my “career” sales of nearly $8k from “zeroing out” (I’m
not sorry: but do you suddenly zero out Michael Phelps’ golds if he takes a year off? What about Pete Rose? Never mind that, sports trivia is not a specialty).
The point is: “career sales” shouldn’t ever “zero out” — that’s a revisionist history tactic and it frankly irritates the HELL out of me. So, there are plenty of suckers out there who are willing to spend the moolah to get the fancy apron and schlep the (truly excellent) cooking gear around in their minivans. I never did this to win a trip to Cabo (with my kids — are you high?!). I just did it to earn a very meager amount of fun money; but the $2 they take out of my account each month for “insurance” and the mandates to farkoyfn (I have a new favorite yiddish word and it’s not dirty!) their stuff chaps me.
I set out this year (and it’s July now) to do three things: get / begin yoga teacher training certification: in process; run a 5k (with other people around me doing the same thing): I’ve done it several dozens of times alone but I’ll do it in November with the high school crew; and … honestly: it escapes me. Hang on.
I can’t find it. But I’m pretty sure it had something to do with my book. Probably publishing it. I know why I haven’t done anything with it: I’m afraid. Clear and simple. I tell other people all the time, “Go for it! Do it!” but I’m not the best model of … modeling.
So instead, I became a Pampered Chef consultant and
secretly hate it; I signed up to be the president of a sports organization that despite its benefit on my personal development and management experience, will likely end up being a bust (I’ll do fine, but … read this): because my son has told me unequivocally, repeatedly and adamantly that he does not intend to return to rowing (which is fine); that his worst most recent day of soccer: trying out in the cold rain for an elite travel team and being told that day as the sweat and steady downpour mixed into rivulets saturating his hair, face, cotton jersey, white mesh Adidas shorts and black polyester socks that he would not be invited back for further tryouts was better than his best day on the water placing first against a top-seeded boat in his class to win that class on a state level. You know what that little bastard had the gall to say to me when I asked him about the tryouts versus that state regatta? “You can’t win if you don’t play, Mom; you taught me that…” That little grabitzfrakin’ quatinakit used MY motto on me. MINE. Shudder.
I have a problem: I’m not a quitter. I think I’m not a quitter. I need a new spin on the “quitter” part. We are all quitters of one thing or another, right? There is no way I’m leaving the rowing group, at least for the first year, unless the situation becomes untenable with torchy and pitchforky parents. But I will bail on the Pampered Chef; it’s like a giant “LOOOOOOSSSSERRRR” sign hanging over my head. If Pampered Chef were blogging, I’d be a ninja. Wait, they’re supposedly invisible right? Maybe I already am…
So yes, back to Jung. “We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”
I accept that I have fear about the book thing.
My fear is that it will suck. That my book will suck. That it will be low; worse than sophomoric, and amateurish; that it will be the literary equivalent to the yucky bile that a feral cat needing dialysis would ack up and leave for a stray dog to eat because there is nothing left in the rusty, perforated, chipped lead-based paint garbage dumpster outside the vine-covered and ash-hazed suburban Detroit Domino’s pizza store of my apocalyptic future. Not even a bag of Cap’n Crunch flakes will be there.
That’s pretty low.
So how do I change that? Hang on.
I just do. I must change. All the therapy, all the Jung, all the reading other change influences, all the dreaming, all the talking, all the rationalizing, all the fear-facing, fear-announcing, fear-accepting isn’t going to do dick for me unless I actually do something, actually change my … my … attitude.
The world isn’t changed by people who think the same thing all the time; by people who fear their own greatness; by people who wish things were different. The world, my world, your world — no matter how small or how great — isn’t different, isn’t changed, isn’t affected just because we accept something it’s because we do something. It goes back to Jung’s quote about “We are what we do, not what we say we will do.”
I hate it when a dead psychologist is right. No matter how dead he is, I want to punch him.
I know what I need to do: I just need to try, no, Do the thing I said I would. I need to get my content together from the fiction I wrote over the spring and sew it all up and freakin’ publish it on Kindle Direct Publishing to begin to get an idea for how this thing goes.
I didn’t so much sever a relationship with a publishing liaison, I just called it out for what it was. A delightful and charming gal for Balboa Publishing (the self-pub arm of Hay House) and I began a relationship. It was lovely and fun and we were witty and trying hard to curry each others’ favor and she said she’d follow my blog and get to know me, and I said I’d look over the packages they were selling and all that and neither of us did what we said we’d do, but she stayed in touch and it began to feel like the old girlfriend in Wayne’s World who wouldn’t leave Wayne alone and I knew it was all built on false pretenses (she wanted commission from my purchasing a package and I wanted her to read my stuff to get a sense of how I write and who I am but she never did even though she said she would and I made no promises about buying a package) and so I wrote a note about a month ago saying essentially, “let’s let this go for a spell until you have time to read my content and I have a moment to put together my book…” and that was that. I think Louise Hay would admire me for my candor and I know it was the right thing to do, but I feel as though I sabotaged myself a bit even though a smaller, but louder part of me insists I didn’t. It was becoming a little too close for me and my gut said, “this is all plastic. this is all fake, let it go…” and I did and I’m better for it.
So I think these are the changes Jung is talking about.
If we want to lose weight or adopt a healthier lifestyle, we have to really accept that the donut isn’t a wise choice and that the cigarette is not an organic part of breathing. Try the breath without the cigarette — that’s part of yoga, the prana or breath.
If we want better, stronger, healthier relationships we need to stop hanging out with people who drain us. We need to accept, truly, that we are not making smart people choices and do something different, change what we are doing.
It’s all mindfulness and acceptance and personal grace and patience.
I will quit the Pampered Chef, kick him off of my couch.
I will get my act together and put Garret (my fiction) on KDP this month before the yoga retreat starts. That’s my deadline. I just will. Come hell or high water, “ya can’t win if ya don’t play.”
I’ve done a TON of really good things for myself over the course of these 45 years, most of them within the last 20; it’s time I allow myself a little pat on the back for that too, huh? My mood is better.
How about you? What do you need to accept in order to change it?
Thank you for the knowledge and self-awareness you’ve gifted me by writing this series. It has been like a therapy retreat. I think that you are an outstanding writer and–though I know you only via this blog I feel like that’s a pretty clear window–an amazing person. I think that the world would be a better place if you shared your writing with a larger audience. If you just published THIS series, lives would be changed. Thank you, Molly, for sharing, writing, analyzing, and being. xoxo
MARY!!!!! STOP! really? (i have to admit that i thought i could do that first — with the comments too because i often feel as though comments are the “meat” of the after-party, the chat in the parking lot after the PTA meeting.
thank you, Mary. i loved your comment about your trip to NYC. and i’m following your daughter’s blog now. (did she do that sketch?) i love the ee cummings quote.
life is rich; we just have to live it. haha. Jung… he’s in my head now. there’s no escaping him. dead or not. 😉
Now I want to punch Jung in the face too. If only he wasn’t right. Grumble, grumble.
grumble grouse. smoosh face. sulk. crumple posture. all of it. xo
I want to hug you Dr. Young although you were Swiss and probably would be very uncomfortable with that. Anyway, poor kid you had to contend with a wacko mother who “saw spirits at night”. Back to topic: “We cannot change anything (important I would add) unless we accept it.” Dr. Young was talking about “equanimity” which is not equivalent to liking, pretending it’s ok, or even forgiving. The Buddhists assert that equanimity is neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality’s transience.
Mmmmmmno. I don’t necessarily see this as an equanimity discussion. He used “change” — the point of equanimity (from my perspective, sagacious Wayne whose comments I adore) is to simply accept it and not bother to change it; not wish it weren’t as it is; not propose, suggest, imply, wonder, act to change it.
It is humid today. I accept it. Surely I wish to change it, but I know that I can not. So I accept it? It’s humidity… no one *accepts* it (‘cept the turtles, etc.) but I do know a few people, bless their hearts, who actually like humidity.
That’s the spice of this life: everyone’s got their own schtick.
Normally, I’d let this go (ha! there’s irony for you), but I don’t think this is about equanimity.
I dig what the Buddhists say about equanimity; but I have NO doubt that Young (haha) didn’t wrest with equanimity. He was a psychologist … of course he wanted to change people.
As for his mom…. well, there it is. 😉
Hmmm, I think you can accept something and have some degree of equanimity about it and then decide what is the wise course of action to take to change a situation. Say a person lost their job, got their house repossessed, lost their “significant other”, and wound up having to shop at the 99 cents store 😉 One could think “this sucks, I’m at least partially responsible for this mess and the government probably isn’t gonna take care of me.” Now what can I do today? Probably Jung had to at least internally acknowledge he made some bad decisions: He probably should have been at least more diplomatic with Freud and not said things that made Freud faint 😉
Well I’ve given up my dream of becoming an Olympic weightlifter. Just kidding, walking a 5k would be a challenge now. So what’s up next for Wayne? Maybe getting hired by Pawn stars. Rick Harrison seems to appreciate somebody that knows something about history which I do. Nah, couldn’t take the heat in Vegas. So I guess I should take my own advice and “don’t do something, just sit there!” Btw, Molly you’re smart as hell and I want to hear you’ve finished the book. Louise Hay didn’t start with much except despair.
Get that book finished. If it fails, well, you march back into your office and write another one. You know you were born to be a writer. Accept that. I think the fear is what holds us back from accepting our own greatness.
thanks, Lily. I will. i have to now. i’ve said it before, I know this, but something has to change. that’s me.