Anyone pushed your button lately?

I am SO funny!

We can be spiritually oh-so-divine with our beliefs in loving kindness and compassion and unity and Oneness, can’t we?

Until someone pushes our let’s-get-real button.

What kind of button? you innocently ask.

The button we all have–even when we like to pretend we’ve moved beyond button-pushing.

A certain beloved family member pushed my button–OK, one of my buttons–at our recent delightful family wedding.

Before the wedding I went through an inner conversation which sounded something like this, “Now, Kathy, this time you won’t become annoyed at ANY family members, will you, when they swear undying love to so-and-so political candidate?  And if anyone utters a prejudiced word against any religious sect, you will not, will you please not?, leap to the defense of third world nations?  And if anyone says anything objectionable, you’ll remember to breathe from your heart and be oh-so-cool, won’t you, please, won’t you?  Yes?  We have an agreement?  Good.”

So off I ran, skipped, jumped and flew to the lovely wedding and it was oh-so-lovely and if I ever have access to all the photos and the appropriate computer simultaneously I shall spin long yarns and stories which shall NOT mention button-pushing on my other blog, Lake Superior Spirit.

I am really, really funny, aren’t I?

Here’s what happened.  A beloved family member told me I wasn’t funny.

(sniff, sniff…)

The beloved family member announced which members of the family had a sense of humor and told me that, unfortunately, I was not gifted thus.

The beloved family member did allow that I laughed a lot.

Now, reader, do you think I recalled the stern little anti-button pushing lecture before the wedding?  Do you think I looked fondly and lovingly at said family member and viewed the situation from the perspective of the witness?  Do you think I remembered that truly, really, we are not individual ships sailing in the ocean–that in reality, we are the ocean itself?  Do you think I melted into that state of Oneness and unity which underlies everything, everything, simply everything?

Nah, not a chance.

It’s not like I didn’t have warning that said family believes this.  He/she told the same story last June to the same audience.  The funny family members loved it.  We un-funny ones sobbed in our cups but kept a stiff smiling (non-funny) upper lip.

This time I snapped back, forget the lovely wedding going on in the background.

“I can’t believe you think this!” I defended the personality of Kathy with a vengeance.  “Lots of my blog readers think I’m funny!”

Said family member simply raised her eyebrows in disbelief.

“My friend Susan thinks I’m funny!”  I continued to shout within my unspiritual head–not out loud, mind you.  “Book club people think I’m funny!  I’m really funny!  Damn it, I’m really really REALLY funny!”

(The funniest part of this is that, really, let’s get real, Kathy–do you care ONE wit about being funny?  Why are you defending yourself?  What’s this about?)

This little scene lasted less than two minutes out of a week-long wedding extravaganza, yet I keep coming back to it with percolating feelings of rage, despair, sorrow, annoyance.

And do you know what, dear reader?

I am SO embracing these feelings.

Funny? Who’s funny?

Spirituality, I 100% believe, is not necessarily about embracing only positive thinking.  It’s about allowing what arises to arise.  It’s about being present to what happens, acutely present, without shutting down into denial and moving away toward pleasure and relief.

Someone pushes our button(s).

Can we be present to ALL that arises without moving too quickly to the positive?  Without dwelling too long in the story?

Can we be present to the rawness of emotion without a story?

(OK, OK, sometimes we need to keep that story for a while, sometimes even explore the roots and tendrils and beliefs which helped create it.  But there is a deeper wealth to be gleaned by simply being present with the rawness which arises, feeling the muddled, confused murkiness of our human not-knowing.)

I couldn’t do this for the first two minutes of the family member’s assessment.

However, afterwards, in the ensuing hours and days, I have been staying with my heart’s rawness around this issue when it arises.

Staying with pain and confusion.  Not trying to fix it.  Just breathing in what arises, allowing it to be part of this present moment.

I am amazed to discover lately how much emotion I still push away.  How much feeling I label into a rigid story.  How much vulnerability and insecurity and confusion still needs to be sat with, accompanied, loved fiercely or gently or softly or beautifully.

My spiritual practice these days is simply–and it’s not always simple–being with the 1,020,023,340 feelings which arise.  Realizing how I have turned away from so much, and not even fully realized it!

Want to know the funny sidebar to the button-pushing story?

The very next morning, the day after the beautiful wedding, a friend approached and said, “My daughter-in-law said she couldn’t believe what a funny person you are!”


The moral of this story is:  we’re both funny and we’re not funny.  Can we sit with both assessments as they arise?  Can we embrace both parts of ourselves?  Do we still need to defend a personality or can we allow whatever arises–all that arises–to arise as the gift that it is?

I am really, REALLY funny. OK, maybe not…


33 thoughts on “Anyone pushed your button lately?

  1. Hahaha! You are so funny, Kathy! (no, you really are).
    I guess we can’t stick with those yukky emotions too long, though.

    My analogy is this: uh oh, my shirt got caught on barbed wire again; gently, and oh, so lovingly, remove the fabric from the twisted rusty wire, and place yourself back into the “stream of well-being.”

    My “stream of well-being” analogy is a long stretch of sky (so I look up into the wild, blue yonder, and I see it streaming up there, over the mountains, and I hitch a ride.

    That seems to pull me out.

    • That is so beautiful, Monica. Perhaps an image such as that long stretch of sky will help. I usually feel a body-sense of space lately. Thank you. (Said sincerely, without an inch of funniness.)

  2. I’m reading along minding my own business when I read, “Nah, not a chance.” I was, unfortunately, drinking tea at this point and, you guessed it, said tea shot out my nostrils!

    Kathy, I would love for people to believe with all their heart that I’m wise, witty, understanding, nonjudgmental, and always kind.

    The truth of the matter is, I’m not. I just AM. And so, my friend, are you.

    • Amen, Ms. Laurie. Your words are so wise & true, and I appreciate the tea shooting out of your nostrils all over you computer! The “I AM” is key. It feels lately like I’m going back to the beginning of life and re-living everything from a new perspective. Guess we’ve done this many times in our lives, but lately my heart feels open and raw and allowing in a way that it wasn’t fully before. Thank you.

  3. Where would we be without our buttons? The funny thing is, I sometimes think I’m the one pushing my own buttons instead of the person I thought was pushing my buttons. When that thought comes to mind, I laugh. Because it really is funny. I am the button and the button pusher.

    I love your sense of humor. 🙂 (I think my traveling laptop loves it too because it’s creating all kinds of funny flashing things to indicate it’s approval while I try to type.)

    • I think you are really right, Robin, that we are the ones that push our own buttons. That is so very true. In working with this issue I feel like all sorts of inner structures are falling apart, dissolving. Or at least am seeing a web of connection that stretches back to childhood. That exists on a visceral level, hard to explain. I would have said that everything was resolved years ago. But apparently there is still more to learn. Now deeper patterns are revealing themselves and it’s literally amazing how these patterns connect to things like blogging and desires and so much more. It’s like I can suddenly “see” a structure beneath everything. (And where are you traveling NOW? **smile** Shall have to visit your blog and see.)

  4. Oh yes,. Oh yes. All of it. Reactions and reactions to reactions, and reactions to the reactions to the reactions. Every bit.

    God is easily bored. Thus we give ourselves, these things to alleviate the ho-hum of being infinite and infinitely still. Sometime not too long ago I really “got” that it’s all here because we wanted “something to care about” so we invented all these games which appear to have something at stake.

    LAYERS and fractals of things at stake. What fun! Pain — shows we really do have something to care about!

    And that’s not my view from outside looking in, only. Nope. I care about being regarded as funny too, and I’m with ya, whichever of you cares!!

    And love to you! And appreciation for your wisdom and words and humor, LOL!

    • Yes, I agree with you, OM. We DID want something to care about. We did invent these games. We loved the creativity of a million different expressions. I know I did/do. You may want to read the comment I just typed to Robin cuz it’s too long to type here. I can’t believe this deeper body level of awareness which has arisen lately. And the ability to feel even deeper–and to realize where it’s been impossible to feel pain in certain areas until now. Consciousness rising. Love you…

  5. I am just giggling and snorfling–very seriously, with dour and pursed lips(i’m getting wrinkles from doing that.) The action is making stuff come out of my nose, which increased upon reading of Laurie’s spray.

    On another hand, if each person had to draw what funny was, what would it look like to them, and what would others think of it?

    • Elisa, it is so strange that this issue of “funny” ended up pushing my buttons. Especially when, like you say, “funny” can be drawn out in so many ways which might look incomprehensible to others. But this button-pushing has revealed SO much in the last few days. The whole people-pleasing issue has become much clearer. I’m really in awe of what is coming clearer.

  6. Kathy, blessings to that family member who opened the door that led to this sharing. And to the comments here. So many gifts and graces in all of this.

    Staying with my shakiness, feeling grateful for friends who make me laugh. And smiling at the image/thought of God being easily bored.

      • OM, I’ve been laughing at the thought of this of and on all day. It just tickled my funny bones and sent my imagination running wild. You ‘re so right, it would explain a lot!! Hope S/HE has a good sense of humor too!

        • I can’t lay claim to originating the phrase, I don’t recall where I got it. But when people ask me certain standard spiritual questions, as a minister, I sometimes offer that “theological explanation,” LOL!
          God/dess is the SOURCE of all humor, doncha know!
          Laughing with you, and delighted about it!

    • I find it funny that you (Colleen) and you (OM) have been feeling such delight about God being easily bored. That makes me laugh. Colleen, you can’t believe the inner doorways that are opening up in the past week. It’s all making sense at a deeper cellular level, from the people-pleasing tendency to my mom to why I am still *partially* clinging to a self. And the clue is in the patterns and the feelings. Blown away…

  7. I forgot to mention, Kathy — while I don’t endorse the idea that the Universe or the Whatever “tests” us, sometimes things happen to me and others which lead me to the thought of a test that has been passed. I would say that remark affirming your funniness might be looked at as a message from the Whatever that you passed whatever test was created by the initial remark denying your funniness…

    That’s just an interesting way to look at the whole thing…

    • That is an interesting way to look at it, OM. I like that view! 🙂 One thing I have realized this week is a tendency to sometimes forgo inner wisdom and knowing in the face of other’s opinions. It’s like I want to make the other right and will try to turn my thoughts/feelings in sixteen different directions to see what I have been missing when some others express opinions. (Not everyone. But certain ones.) And how this has been playing out since at least age one.

      There is an entire pattern/structure here which has never been revealed to this depth before. Of course I knew about it intellectually, but could not breathe with it on the level of pain before. Subconsciously thought that the pain of facing this would kill me. And guess what? It hasn’t killed me. I have learned to be with emotional pain on a much deeper level this week. And survived to type this post and share with you.

      Thank you for your Presence.

      • I’m rushing out the door having read only the first few sentences, but have you considered you could be a 9 on the Enneagram? The Enneagram is a SOUL typology, so among the last things to heal. It is NOT a personality typology, as is commonly thought. More later!! So much love to you for your courage, my oh my!!!

        • Hi, OM, interesting that you typed this reply at 3:18. That used to be our address. I think I’m a 2 or 4 on the Enneagram, but have never resonated 100% with any category there. What I’ve discovered is that there are layers upon layers of healing. Ten years ago I would have said I had “healed” completely…what a laugh…I had healed to what had revealed itself. But still resisted certain layers. And wouldn’t have had a clue that there were layers that were being resisted! That’s what is so funny. (no pun intended.) That these further layers have revealed themselves.

          And, yes, it does take courage to keep facing all this, so much courage. And then it’s so simple that it feels nothing like courage at all. Odd paradox…

    • Thank you, OM. Thank you very much. Just finished the morning’s meditation and realized that I cannot even pull pack a slight bit of sparked emotion around this issue anymore. I literally have to struggle to remember what even happened. Like it’s gone, gone, completely gone after going so deeply within the layers of this. Odd how something can completely disappear. Until, perhaps, who knows, the next layer might reveal something new…

      • Yes, gone gone gone! Wonderful ! Except, as when I was learning NLP and the origins of Emotional Freedom Technique, when you expect someone to pay you for helping them, it’s NOT conducive that they can’t even recall being different from what they are now because of your help, LMAO!!!!

        • This is the first time that I have seen anyone state what you did, outside of myself. It made me cry and smile all at once. I am not alone! (not only do i have the not getting paid nor acknowledged issue, I can end up being accused of not helping and so on and so forth. Frequent exhaustion and proof take a lot of me.

        • Oh Elisa that’s so interesting! Well I offer you what they taught us, FWIW. Get written statements of what they experience as their problem, before you work. Better still, audio recording, and better still, a video of them talking about the problem. And some people after healing will argue that the video was faked; that’s how thorough the healing is.
          Best still: Get paid up front, LMAO!!!!!

  8. I am just getting over here to read your Baby blogs … and I almost cried when I heard that a beloved family member told you that you’re not funny. Sniffle. You are, you ARE SO funny. I know this to be so very true. Oh, loving how you described staying with the rawness of the heart and not trying to fix it, etc. It is no coincidence that we’re so often presented with the “antidote” in such a quick time … the very next day, the next minute, hour .. and all of what happens in-between is equally precious… as are you.

    • Awwww, thank you, my beloved Susan Dee! It is so weird how life is. I can hardly call back even the slightest annoyance about this now. But is it gone for good? OR will six months find me fuming again? I’ve really stayed present with this…and you are right how interesting an “antidote” appeared. Thank you for reading Baby Blog. I mean Teenage Blog, lol. Or maybe elder blog? hmmmm…..

  9. Kathy

    It is a gift that I am able to know so much about you! Every post has so much meaning for me…I felt like a guest at Christopher’s wedding. Your Dad and Mom, Tim, Scott,…Also, your reflections on this blog are another gift! You are amazing and to me and you are very, very funny!

    • Carol, you made my day yesterday with this comment. (I only wish that I was getting to know you as an adult as much…) Thank you for the gift of your presence in my life again. With seriousness AND humor, Love, Kathy

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