We've done it and we've had it done around us. When someone is particularly prickly and either we are ill equipped to deal with it or simply not feeling up to dealing with it we "walk on eggshells". I was talking to The Daughter this morning about the upcoming vacation and her SO. I've been walking on eggshells* around him for years. It is exhausting. I've tired of it and I'm not going to do it anymore.
I have a tendency when doing the eggshell dance to be even more formal in my wording. I am formal enough as is. Sometimes I dance around my own prickliness in the same way. I think I learned to do this for good reasons way back when I was first dealing with YoungerBoy's illnesses. The only way to be heard in the medical field by most of the folk I ran into was to "formal up" the language and remove the emotion.
This flowed into political debates online when others found it convenient to attack like a rabid dog at any sign of emotion. (This ties into male privilege and shaming of "female" characteristics and a whole host of other things best left to a different post.) Then this writing/speaking format leaked into most aspects of my everyday life.
In part of my recent spiritual work in listening to the core of Me and alternately trying to step outside of my own perspective to see me as other sometimes do is when I began to fully realize just how much of my communication has become exercises in "formaling up". (Yes, an invented phrase.)
This style of communication is part and parcel of my eggshell walking. If I remove my emotions from the scenario I am not vulnerable and I will be heard. Both parts of that have proven to be untrue in most situations. What a disappointment! But, what an eye opener to finally realize it.
As the Wheel begins to turn to the dark part of the year I have tasked myself with 1) listening as a gift to myself as well as those around me, 2) no longer walking on eggshells, and 3) informalizing (more made up verbs!) my word choice to change my tone from seemingly haughty uninvested observer to engaged human.
Once again I am taking on Shadow Work that terrifies me. *gulp*
*What I said to the daughter is that even when walking on eggshells is habit and comfy for (assumed) self-preservation reasons it is exhausting and Not Useful. I told her it is really hard to stop doing it and to just let your feet get wet, but it is worth it. I also said that I was going to view our vacation as an opportunity to practice that. An opportunity for me to not walk on eggshells and allow myself to just be me while being mindful not to cause harm.
So. Here's to wet sticky feet!
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