Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Parenting, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Travel, Unschooling

Changing My Mind for SoCS

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: the word ‘mind’.Use it any way you think to. Have fun!

I’m a little late to the SoCS party  today, and, at the end of this post, you’ll have a quick peek at why….

Dr. Jillian Taylor: Sure you won’t change your mind?

Spock: Is there something wrong with the one I have?

OK, that’s the absolute first thing that popped into my head when I read this week’s prompt. I love that quote. In an often uproariously funny film (if you’re not a Trek fan, and you don’t believe me, give it a try – it translates well to those beyond Trekdom), this line Gets. Me. Every. Time.

Why?

Well, there’s our half-Vulcan friend, freshly reunited with his marbles (long story), but no longer even as familiar with human speech as he once was, because his mind was retrained Vulcan-style, and Vulcans just don’t express themselves the way we do.

So, he’s got this tendency to take things literally that provides ample comic misunderstandings.

This one, though – it goes deeper. It gets personal.

Is there something wrong with the mind I have?

Well, like most members of my species, I’m prone to treating my own perspective as though it’s always right – as though the way I see things is the only valid way to see them, the only way that could be correct…

I have this tendency, if I don’t watch my mind carefully, to believe that it’s infallible – when, of course, it isn’t remotely so.

And yet, I’ve changed my mind vastly, and it’s an ongoing process for me.

I was raised with a mindset that allowed parents to humiliate, hit, knock down, bully, and otherwise abuse their children. The phrase “Children should be afraid of their parents” has been uttered, in my childhood home, more than once.

My children used to be afraid of me. I thought that meant I was a Good Mother.

They aren’t afraid of me today, and not just because the difference in our sizes had shifted significantly over the years, so that I now have a child who stands shoulder-high, and another I have to look up to.

Unscary Mommy – from September 2013, when they were both still shorter than me.

It’s because I changed my mind. I realized that I didn’t want my kids to be afraid of me. I wanted them to trust me. I wanted them to know, that if I tell them I don’t think something’s a good idea, that I will have a reason better than, “Because I said so”, and that I will share the reason. I wanted them to know that my only agenda is their safety, happiness, and readiness to step forward into the wider world, sure of who they are and their ability to claim their own lives.

It’s taken a huge changing of my mind to go from what I was raised to see as normal, and what is normal for my own children.

And I didn’t stop there.

I believe this.

So, I meditate each morning. I practice tai chi. I attempt to live each moment, make each choice, mindfully.

Do I always succeed?

No. I’m still human, and fallible.

But there’s something in the attempt, the intention, that has gradually changed my mind. Because there was something wrong with the one I had, after all….

Have you tried stream-of consciousness writing? Come join in – there’s just a few simple rules. Check out the brand-new #SoCS hashtag, or get more SoCS right here!

Now, as promised, a hint about why my post is so late, today….

Life Happily Reflected in Art. Annalise at the Saratoga Arts Celebration, earlier today. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Author:

I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

16 thoughts on “Changing My Mind for SoCS

  1. That is one of my most favorite Star Trek films. I love that they go back in time to Earth and save the humpback whales. And Spock was very funny in that film. I forgot that line about his mind. I liked it when Chekov
    asks the policeman when the nuclear submarines are with his Russian accent. Your mind sound pretty good too.

    1. The great thing about the ‘nuclear wessels’ scene is that it was shot on the streets of San Francisco, with actual passersby. Walter Koenig said the line, and most people just kept walking. The one woman who responded to, “Do you know how to get to Alameda? We’re looking for the nuclear wessels”, with “Oh, I think they’re across the bay, in Alameda” was unscripted. She was later contacted and paid for the use of that absolutely perfect, unintentionally comedic response.

      Also, the officer in that scene was there to control traffic around the filming, but he had such a perfect expression and posture, they filmed him, too. =)

      The novelization of that movie (yes, I AM that much of a geek!) is also where I learned that the Russian for ‘humpback whale’ is ‘vessyl kit’, which translates into ‘merry whale’. I like that name so much better than the English!

      My mind is a work in progress. I’ve come a long way, but I still have further to fly. =)

      1. Being a native of San Francisco I loved the setting for this movie. Many of the scenes were familiar to me. The policeman’s reaction was hysterical. I did not know that the woman was a bystander. I like the Russian name for the Humpbacks too. 🙂

        1. I learned about the officer and the woman from Leonard’s book, I Am Spock. It’s an excellent read, if you haven’t yet had the pleasure. It turns out that playing a Vulcan can have permanent effects on one’s psyche and perspective…in mostly logical ways.

          1. It was better than good. Worth the time, for sure, if you’re a fan of Leonard’s and Spock’s. The two of them have many conversations…. =)

  2. Loved that movie so much. I think it’s important to find the humility and courage needed to change your mind, rather than supporting something simply because that’s how you were raised or that’s what everyone else does. Congratulations on becoming the mother you want to be. Your children always look so happy! ❤️

    1. It was maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I’ve still got a ways to go – I suspect there will always be room for growth.

      There just came a point where I couldn’t accept the way I was treating my children, or the way that our home had the same volatility that was so damaging to me when I was a kid.

      I’m happy that, even when things get rocky (as they did for an hour or two earlier today), it’s not remotely the blitzkrieg of my childhood.

      As for the kids – well, they aren’t ALWAYS happy – in general, or with me. They are, after all, 11 and about to be 14, and they’re in that stage of growth where angst is part of the equation.

      But it’s true that they are happy A LOT of the time – and so am I! =)

      1. I think that’s to be expected with teenagers. It is also to be expected that change is hard, but the thing is, you did it and you stuck with it. I had to make the same change when I realized I sounded just like my Dad when yelling at my kids. It was awful. And no, it isn’t always easy. But I’ll bet it’s worth it, in more ways than you can possibly even see right now. ❤

  3. I am not a fan of Star Trek, but I like that line.
    🙂
    I think the parent/child relationship is extremely complicated. I think a healthy fear, a respect, should always be there. I would just never do anything like swear or disrespect my parents, but not because I’ve lived my life terrified of them. It’s a balance and it changes over time.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the line. The Vulcans can always be counted on to misunderstand in the most interesting ways. =)

      I don’t find my relationship with either of my kids to be extremely complicated, or, really, complicated at all.

      My guideline is to simply treat them as the people they are. I think that gets forgotten sometimes – that kids are people. Younger and less experienced, yes, but people all the same.

      I’ve learned at least as much from them as they have from me. It’s symbiotic.

      I don’t mind if my kids swear; we’ve talked about the wheres and whys of potentially offending someone, and they very seldom use a questionable word in an inappropriate situation. At ages where many kids are exploring the power of ‘bad words’, here they’re just words, used with care.

      1. Give-and-take, yes. It is nice to hear that parents remember that their children are not just extensions of themselves. I hate that old line that children should be seen and not heard. Never heard a worse thing in all my life.
        My dad can’t really judge when it comes to cursing: do as I say, not as I do.
        🙂
        It’s more my mom. She says a few, but none of the worse ones. Just does not see the point. I try to hold back when I’m in her presence.

        1. Understanding that children are people, living their own lives, is at the heart of unschooling. Should I ever forget this simple fact, the kids are willing to remind me. =)

    2. I hit send accidentally!

      I was going to say that I want my kids to respect me not because I’m their mom, but because I comport myself honorably in my interactions with them. I would rather they use their judgment, with me and everyone else, than to be obedient. I respect them, and I strive to be worthy of their respect…

      I wholly agree that it’s a balance, and, by necessity, a changing one.

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