Tuesday, September 22, 2009

easier to have control than to have faith...

Don't you think it's easier to have control of a situation than to let someone else handle it and trust that they'll take care of it?  I think that's the reason that we women are known for being maybe a little naggy.  We 'nag' and give advice with the best of intentions.  We want things to get done and we have ideas for doing them better, so we share them.  I don't think we see anything wrong with it, since we welcome advice and suggestions with open arms - we even seek it out.  But I don't think our husbands (and sons and brothers etc) take it with the same attitudes we do.

I recently read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus...what an eye-opening book that was to the way men think and act.  In books, I always enjoy the little stories that help drive a point home.  Here's one of them that I really liked from this book:

(Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus  by John Gray pages 138-140)

Deep inside every man there is a hero or a knight in shining armor.  More than anything, he wants to succeed in serving and protecting the woman he loves.  When he feels trusted, he is able to tap into this noble part of himself.  He becomes more caring.  When he doesn't feel trusted he loses some of his aliveness and energy, and after a while he can stop caring.

Imagine a knight in shining armor traveling through the countryside.  [And look how helpful I am...I even make the imagining easy with pictures....]  :)

Suddenly he hears a woman crying out in distress.  In an instant he comes alive.  Urging his horse to a gallop, he races to her castle, where she is trapped by a dragon.  The noble knight pulls out his swords and slays the dragon.  As a result, he is lovingly received by the princess.

As the gates open, he is welcomed and celebrated by the family of the princess and the townspeople. He is invited to live in the town and is acknowledged as a hero.  He and the princess fall in love.

A month later the noble knight goes off on another trip.  On his way back, he hears his beloved princess crying out for help.  Another dragon has attacked the castle.  When the knight arrives he pulls out his sword to slay the dragon.

Before he swings, the princess cries out from the tower, "Don't use your sword, use this noose.  It will work better."

She throws him the noose and motions to him instructions about how to use it.  He hesitantly follows her instructions.  He wraps it around the dragon's neck and then pulls hard.  The dragon dies and everyone rejoices.

At the celebration dinner the knight feels he didn't really do anything.  Somehow, because he used her noose and didn't use his sword, he doesn't quite feel worthy of the town's trust and admiration.  After the event he is slightly depressed and forgets to shine his armor.

A month later he goes on yet another trip.  As he leaves with his sword, the princess reminds him to be careful and tells him to take the noose.  On his way home, he sees yet another dragon attacking the castle.  This time he rushes forward with his sword but hesitates, thinking maybe he should use the noose.  In that moment of hesitation, the dragon breathes fire and burns his right arm.  In confusion he looks up and sees his princess waving from the castle window.

"Use the poison," she yells.  "The noose doesn't work."

She throws him the poison, which he pours own the dragon's mouth and the dragon dies.  Everyone rejoices and celebrates, but the knight feels ashamed.

A month later, he goes on another trip.  As he leaves with his sword, the princess reminds him to be careful, and to bring the noose and the poison.  He is annoyed by her suggestions but brings them just in case.

This time on his journey he hears another woman in distress.  As he rushes to her call, his depression is lifted and he feels confident and alive.  But as he draws his sword to slay the dragon, he again hesitates.  He wonders, Should I use my sword, the noose, or the poison.  What would the princess say?

For a moment he is confused.  But then he remembers how he had felt before he knew the princess, back in the days when he only carried a sword.  With a burst of renewed confidence he throws off the noose and poison and charges the dragon with his trusted sword.  He slays the dragon and the townspeople rejoice.

The knight in shining armor never returned to his princess.  He stayed in this new village and lived happily ever after.  He eventually married, but only after making sure his new partner knew nothing about nooses and poisons.

The End

So obviously our husbands don't leave every day and face dragons head on, but they do face challenges that are very dragon-like -- providing for a family is a huge deal, and could be a dragon.  In what ways do we tell our completely capable dragon-slaying knights in shining armor how to kill their dragons - what weapons to take and how to use them?

Women give advice to everyone, because we like it.  We love to receive it, so we assume everyone else loves to as well.  It's one of the ways we show love.  But maybe instead of giving advice to our husbands, a better thing to do is to ask, "How can I help you?"  He will ask for help if he needs it or wants it.  If not, I think we would be better off taking a walk and biting our tongues.  What about saying encouraging things more often...things like, "I know you'll figure it out..."  "You're doing such a good job..."  "Thank you for working so hard to provide for our family..."  "Thank you for....[insert the other million things he does]".

We all yearn for the picturesque love story.  Maybe not one with pricesses, knights and dragons, but we all want to be taken care of by the man we love and guess what - they want to take care of us to.  BUT before they can they need to know we trust them to figure things out, take the lead and slay the 'dragons' of this world in their own way.  If we let them, they will and we'll all be happier for it. 


Chelsea said...

I really needed this...at the exact moment that I read it! It's time to try harder! :)

ym said...

What a great post! The story really puts it clearly - something we all need to hear regularly because it isn't easy. Love your blog!!

the 7 goddesses

These 7 goddesses share their wisdom with the rest of us. Click on their tabs above to learn their lessons and read their tips:

APHRODITE - goddess of love & beauty - this is you

NYX - goddess of night - lessons on wifery (is that a word?) and all things night time

LETO - goddess of motherhood - all things related to motherhood

DEMETER - goddess of food & harvest - and for that reason, my favorite. Find tried and true recipes here

HESTIA - goddess of hearth & home - on making your house a home

ATHENA - goddess of wisdom - making learning a lifelong journey (plus a killer book list)

ELPHIS - goddess of hope - cause we could all use a little more!

Good for a laugh

"My dad hates brownies when they're gone." -Hudson age 2


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