By Marva Cooley. 4th Grade Math. Published at Saturday, November 14th, 2020 - 20:01:23 PM.
Suddenly the weaker part of me that had wanted to downplay and make excuses for her behavior had to face a very harsh reality. I was horrifyingly thrust into the truth, because theres no way to downplay a tragedy of this magnitude. My denial was instantaneously "outed." Once you see that youve been denying whats true, or in my case, pretending it "wasnt as bad" as it seemed, youre swamped with guilt. Regret, blame, disgrace, self-condemnation and failure pull up a chair and take root in your psyche, becoming your unwanted constant companions. Once youve been "outed" in such a big way, its time to admit to yourself (and others) what you did well, but also where you dropped the ball and retreated. Whether its a failed friendship, a failed relationship or marriage, or having failed as a parent, life always gives you the opportunity (yes, I said opportunity) to step out of pretense and back into reality.
Letting Go Letting go means standing aside and allowing life to happen without my trying to control it. This has been (and some days still is) a completely foreign concept to me, because I was raised by a single-parent who was an abuse survivor. She taught us to stand up for ourselves and never be walked on. She taught us to speak up for ourselves. She also taught us to have a really good "BS meter." All important things if you want to feel in control and not be taken advantage of. What I didnt learn is how to flow with life: how to stand back, detach and be the observer, allowing others to do whatever they are going to do, and not attempt to control, manipulate or change the outcome. In short, I was programmed since childhood to defend myself really, really well. So while I have been described as a strong person, an intelligent person, and a capable person, nobody has ever described me as a particularly agreeable person, a gentle person, or a "go with the flow" kind of gal. Quite the contrary, Ive been described as a "take charge" kind of gal. This was brought to my attention again recently in a radio interview I did. I wanted so much to say what Id planned to say that the poor host literally couldnt get a word in edgewise. I battle with letting go and letting life spontaneously happen more than most folks, because I was abused as a child by one parent, and then taught to fight back by the other. There was no balance between the two extremes. When you think about it, letting go is all about trust. Its trusting that we live in an abundant and benevolent Universe. Its trusting another person to be there for us and catch us when we fall. Its trusting that I am in fact "good enough," regardless of what seems like evidence to the contrary. Its trusting that its okay to make mistakes because Im human. Its trusting that most of the time Im safe and not in danger, contrary to what my alarmist brain would have me believe. Letting go is the polar opposite of control, and its whats required if were going to reclaim our life. I am certain of this, because it wasnt until I let go of my idea of who I was (a mental health counselor) that I could finally see myself for who Id become (a suicide survivor). Seeing myself for who I really am has not been easy or comfortable, but ultimately its made my life healthier and happier. We are who weve become, not who we think we are.
Acceptance of Reality Accepting our own, and others limitations is pre-requisite, fundamental, and paramount to achieving more happiness and success in life. It stands to reason: you cant change reality if youre not living in it. Yet we live in denial a lot- more than we realize, more than wed like to admit (we live in denial about living in denial). For a long time I lived in denial about how depressed my teenaged daughter had become. Yes, I took her to counseling, and got her on anti-depressants. But there was a part of me, the parent part of me, that didnt want to admit the steady decline I was seeing in her. The mother in me kept hoping things would change, that she was just being a moody teenager. But the realistic me, the mental health professional in me, was far more worried and skeptical. Everyday these two parts battled for control until the morning I woke up to find my daughter had secretly gone off her anti-depressant, and had taken her own life.
A few minutes later I sent her an email and apologized. She responded to my email a few days later with a simple Apology Accepted, an emoji thumbs up, and a wish for a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Just like that I had apologized, and she accepted. It was over. Something I have worried about on and off for almost 40 years was over. Im not sure what I was afraid of or what I expected to feel, its not like she would have actually called me, its not like Id bump into at the grocery store, we lived almost 1,000 miles from each other, but I was still afraid. I guess I expected to make my amends and feel great, like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders, but I didnt. I expected to see unicorns outside my window sliding down a rainbow giving me a high five, but I didnt see that either. I just thought to myself, OK check that off the list.
Ive had this, albeit small list, in my mind my whole life, a kind of master to do list and here I was crossing off another thing from the list. First the bakery, then committing to run a ½ marathon and now Ive found Elizabeth. It seems like the older I get, the more things I seem to be checking off that master list, and that got me wondering if that is what happens when we got older. What if our entire life is made up of this list and you just go through life clicking things off that list. But then I thought, what happens when you get to the end of your list? Is it Hello Pearly Gates, if youre lucky? Or if you dont check off everything off your list and make all the necessary amends is it then "Wow its hot down here, this cant be right"?
English Language Arts Common Core Standards The common education standards adopted by over 45 states this year includes a robust English Language Arts component. It emphasizes utilitarian writing and reading. For example, in 4th grade, students are asked to read 50% literary texts and 50% informational texts. This changes in secondary school to 30% literary and 70% informational. The writing emphasizes expository writing, persuasive writing and narrative writing. The percentage breakdowns in 4th grade are 30% persuasion, 35% explaining, and 35% to share experiences. That changes in twelfth grade to 49% persuasion, 40% explaining and 20% to share experiences.
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