Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mind The Gap- Daring Greatly #5

    To indicate the space between the platform and the subway, London signs warn travelers to pay attention to the gap. On a quest to explore vulnerability I must bring up the subject which plagues families, communities, and businesses. If there is a gap between what we hold as values and what we actually do, shame can flourish and disconnection occurs.

  "Many of us have gaps in our own lives. Sometimes it is the difference between what we know and what we actually do or the gap between our goals and what we actually accomplish. These gaps can be reminders of ways in which we can improve or, if ignored, can be stumbling blocks in our lives." Barbara Thompson, Oct. 2009 General Conference

    The Parable of the Dishes
    A mother of five lived each day with many chores, too many to manage. She, rightfully, enlisted the help of her children to do the dreaded chore of washing the dishes. Personally, this job was her least favorite and so she made a job chart and hounded her children to get their turn finished by bedtime. Weeks turned into months and often the dishes were still stacked on the sink as she started breakfast, which made for a depressing beginning to her day. The reminders changed from charts to words to all out shame attacks. The highlight was the morning she walked into her son's high school first period and told the teacher she was taking her son home to do his dishes. Obviously her children did not love her since they could not do this simple chore once a week.
   What this mother, name withheld, did not mind was the gap. She thought she was teaching the value of cleanliness, cooperation, and work. Instead she modeled her own dislike for the very chore she hoped they would embrace. Why did she dislike it so much? It was one of the few jobs her own mother asked her to do. When she didn't come to do the dishes her mother frequently accused her of being lazy. There was a wash of shame to this mundane work. It was loaded with baggage. She had successfully passed on the shame to her own family and had failed to mind the gap.
   The story ended well. The mother saw her own weakness and started washing the dishes as a mindful experience. She rebuilt the connection with her own desire for a clean space every morning and her willingness to do the work. Her children noticed and improved. They still to this day talk of the Parable of the Dishes.
  If people are pulling away from each other at home, at church, or at the workplace, it mostly likely means there is a gap and it is being ignored.
   Read more in chapter 5 of Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?