personal beliefs, expectations, desires, values, and behaviors that derive from the interaction between culture and the individual. Personality is the behaviors and techniques for solving problems that are used by an individual. Personality is to the individual as culture is to the group.
The building crew next door -- three guys, have dug out a deep hole for a new basement, created a french-drain of sorts that channels the persistent appearance of the old stream beds that retain the character of Everett's wetland history; and now as I peak through the slated window blinds, I see those guys walking on stout beams at a height way above my head. There is progress going on and the noise to boot. Tucked as we are on the other side of D and L's home, most of the noise and an option to avoid the potential toxicity of treated material are mine. In a similar way my progress has risen like the framing next door. Two years ago, any construction would have catapulted me into flight, mattering not the reality that I had no other place to be. Things in my life are progressing at turtle like speed ... plodding would be accurate. Three months now, we are parked here in the Mill Town of Everett, Washington a place I had placed on my "I'll never live there again list." Here I be, in a basement living space within a weak stone's throw from a major building project and we're living here.
Two years of progress shows itself in subtle ways, invisible to the others bloggers like me and scores of others now, mark the progress of life with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Environmental Illness and associated maladies that either came before or after diagnosis. Having access to the internet opens up the community of Sensitives or Canaries to the diverse ways we live with the illnesses. Earlier this week Pete and I joined more than a dozen friends who live with MCS at our annual Holiday party. This is an event of great significance to people who have MCS in its varied states of severity or ease. It is not easy to find one place that is comfortable for a dozen humans with multiple chemical sensitivities. Fortunately, our friend G has a home that fits that description, and so the party was wonderful. More at ease and relaxed with folks who not only 'get' the issue ... we all have 'it'... the practice of social interaction becomes one more source of evidence that life is progressing in the right direction. Each of our friends comes with his or her unique personality and circumstances. A hand-ful of these folks are still part of the working class. Funny, I find that phrase strange. It means there are people with MCS, that I know, who function, either as a result of improved and recovered health, or have a different level of sensitivities and can go to a job/maintain an in-home business. Nearly all the friends in this group live and own their homes or apartments. One friend rents a very long time rental. Pete and I are the only wandering wheelie home folks. We gather to share food, enjoy each others company and share in a circle of telling, one of the highlights (a positive) from the year just finished. This time, the sharing included examples of many different sorts of plodding positive work: a longer walk this year than last, excellent results with monthly EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) treatments, time spent during the final days of a loved ones life, a first time plane ride in 12 years, a poet grows stronger in voice and on the page, another witnesses things just working out, a storyteller reads her fairy tale aloud. The night was special and though tiring, the effort was rewarded in spades.
In another life, groups were a regular part of my experience. I facilitated groups for a living, organized them for all sorts of reasons and joined a couple when it was necessary to have the support of others who could understand what it was like to believe you could stop someone from drinking themselves to death. I reflect on those decades and see how my social network worked for me then. Now, that network needs to be rebuilt. In the most positive of ways I am learning to recreate my network of support with healthier boundaries. The demanding limits of a life which will stop you short with a whiff of someone else's heavily scented laundry soap or perfume switches up the way you care for yourself. When you can no longer live/rent/own the cute house down the block because it makes you sick, something very primal kicks in and that's where the personality after diagnosis becomes important. I am learning to stick up for me in all the right ways; and in big and small ways.
Astrology has become one of the tools I value most at this stage of my healing journey. Several astrologers on the internet contribute insight and understanding that appeals to the Uranus (spontaneous change-agent) in me. That planet resides in my 6th house, the house of health and creativity. Intuitively I sensed a clue to my well-being might be found by exploring Uranus in my house of health. Thanks to Kachina, who authors the blog "Into the Mystic" who has just done a short reading for me, that intuitive hunch is being affirmed. Among the gems of insight Kachina offered me a connection between my personality and my journey with chemical sensitivities. To paraphase her thought, "if my personality is adapted too severely, it will show up as a toxic over-load on the physical level." I am a Scorpio with a heavily packed 8th House (legacies, other people's money/resources, birth, re-birth) and I am always on the look-out for signs and indicators. It's important for me to know who I am: fancy that! At 62, I must still do the self-caring work that sets the boundaries of who I am by knowing what I need, knowing how to communicate those needs, and do it as if my life depended upon it.
Donna Cunningham has an exquisitely timed guest blogger's post by Irene Matiatos PhD on Skywriter today. It's just the kind of reminder I need to keep my relationships, my social networks and my intimate relationships clean and clear. The article/post is entitled "6 Common Misconceptions about Boundaries in a Relationship." Astrologically, Saturn is in Libra (the planet of boundaries is in the sign of relationships). It's a perfect time for me, and any body on the planet Earth, to sniff the area for signs of healthy or sick boundaries. I know this is big stuff for me, and I will plod along with it.
Do you have healthy boundaries in your relationships?
Do you have healthy boundaries in your relationships?