Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Kind of Filter Do You Have?

Fil·ter    (fltr) KEY
             To pass through a filter.
             To remove by passing through a filter: filter out impurities.

This is the filter I want...see how beautiful it lets just the right amount of light in?

I never thought I had much of a filter on my mouth; on my actions yes, (because of being self-consious about weight issues), but my mouth was a different story.  Lately, I have been thinking about how many people I know, probably myself included, when it comes to speech - could use a good filter!
Mom was a whitewasher. Yes, Mother always either said something good (if you can’t say something nice don’t say nothing at all), or she hinted.  She’d “beat around the bush”,  although she’d never admit she was doing that either . I hated that when I was first married especially, and had Brendon 2 years after we got married,  at twenty. I felt like a kid with a kid!  Until then I think I probably didn’t have so many opinions, either cuz all I had to think about was boys and chores. But when I didn’t have a Dad to ask anything about life decisions, and Kerry did have a Dad physically, that we saw on random visits,  but not in a real sense of the word, as far as being able to turn to him.  Kerry’s Mom  lived in her own little world busy with kids still at home, and my Mom was involved with us,  but not one to tell you what to do. Even when I straight up ask her what she thought she’d say, “Gosh, I dunno,  that’s your decision”. So it's kind of like i felt thrown into an ocean with no swimming lessons. I had to learn and the more I did the more I thought I knew.

 My kids are reading this and probably thinking I wish Mom was more like Grandma,   cuz I have an opinion about almost everything! Because I didn’t like not getting a straight answer from Mom, I tried to be more forthcoming.  I say what I mean, I mean what I say( unless I’m mad and wounded), and if I promise something, I do it. I can’t think of a promise I’ve broken to anyone( not that my Mom broke promises, quite the contrary, she was big on promise keeping). I try to say what I want to say with a filter, and most of the time in a "I hear you, you hear me way,  so as not to be too harsh.
When I think of people filtering what they say, I think of those cheap, most of the time cracked, roller shades we used to have on the windows to either let sun in or keep it out. There are some options to this filtering thing, some better than others I've found.  You can leave the window bare and have none. That's option one.  You can get the cheap one that lets in alot of sun but alot of harmful rays as well( this is the one I think I have). That's option 2. Then you can get a better one that is probably the best because there is some light and some dark(opt 3), and then you can splurge on the room darkening one so nothing comes through(opt 4).
Compare how people filter what they say and do to those filters. Mom had the expensive one…never told you what to do, you had to figure it out for yourself.  I remember being so disappointed and I felt foolish when I was having nervous problems after Shelbey was born.  For 2 months she must have taken me to the emergency room ten times,  and again that many Dr. visits, because of panic disorder and post-partum depression. I was sure I was having heart problems and from what I knew Mom thought so too.  

When they finally admitted me to the hospital and were sending me to the psych ward no less…Mom says to me, “I’ve been afraid of this all along, I saw my Aunt Sarah have post-partum depression, and I wondered all along, if you didn’t have that”!!  I was dumbfounded! I thought, WHAT? YOU THOUGHT I WAS HAVING EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS ALL ALONG….NOT PHYSICAL PROBLEMS ALL THIS TIME, AND NEVER SAID ONE WORD??  I actually felt really foolish, and like maybe everyone knew but me!  I trusted her to be honest all this time. She never said you don't have emotional problems, she never said you do have physical problems, nope...she just never said anything!  So Mom definitely had the “keep you in the dark option 4 one”.  I don’t blame her, she had her reasons I’m sure, but I didn’t like that and don’t like that in people still. It feels sneaky or something to me.  
      I have a filter but it’s the cheapest one, it lets in a lot of sunshine but doesn’t keep out the harmful stuff either.  I’d like to upgrade to a better one and know I need to,  to really be my best self.  In my quest to tell it like it is, mean what I say, and “honesty is the best policy”…sometimes that’s a little rough on the people that know me well. I always preface what I’m going to say with, “this is just my opinion” but….( You know what they say about opinions, "they are like _______ and everyone has one)".  So, I’m trying to be a little less sure my opinion is always the right one, even though I’m still pretty sure it is ha…
      A lot of people I’m noticing have absolutely no filter or shade,  and really need one; even a cracked, tattered, old one would be better than having none!  They act however they want; say whatever they want,  to whomever they want!  I have been shocked lately by, for example, Kendra on dancing with the stars. Last night I wanted to reach through the TV screen, take her aside and say stop acting so negative, unlady like, and trashy. Filter yourself for your own good. She was shaking her head no, no, on the way out to dance, like a kid at their first dance performance rather than a married mother who was being paid a lot of money as a “star”!  She didn’t like the music, she didn’t want to act like a lady, blah blah…then why sign up for a show that does many styles of dance?
        Whineona Judd is another example. She came off on that reality show as a self-absorbed, ungrateful, bitchy, whining, person with no respect for her Mother. Her Mother has her own issues but it’s your Mother!  That is a major pet peeve of mine!
        I can honestly say I always treated my Mother with respect, even if we disagreed and we did at times. I always said to her, “ no matter what you’re the best Mom in the world”…just because I’m mad right now that you won’t let me withdraw all my savings to buy Kerry a motorcycle, ( a moment of insanity I had there),  I still know I have the best Mom in the world. So many people have totally lost respect for their parents.  I don’t care what you think they have or haven’t done,  you owe them the decency to respect all they did do for you. Even if you didn’t get a silver spoon like you think others have and you’re entitled to, or whatever the beef. They still changed you, fed you, paid for your needs, were there for you as well as they could be, with what they had to give, physically and emotionally. I know there are extreme cases of neglect and abuse but I’m talking about your average parents, who did the best they could with the knowledge, resources and stability they had at the moment.
       Even on Facebook, you see people talking inappropriately about grandparents, parents etc…filter people filter! Get one, even a crappy one is better than none!  Be careful what you reveal about yourself and think over if that’s something you want to do. I reveal a lot about myself(such as having post partum depression in 1979), and I do think it over believe it or not,  but like I said I have the cheap filter. I ask myself if telling this would help someone, including myself to tell it. I try to walk a fine line.( sometimes I cross it by telling too, much I’m sure) but I try to walk the fine line of sharing, but not oversharing. I want people to know you can have panic and be plaqued by it and overcome it, and I had it BAD...bad enough to be hospitalized for six weeks.

Having an opinion but balancing the negative with positive is a good thing.  When I get it right,  I will have upgraded to that finer filter…the one that keeps just the right about of good and bad in your from flowing out of your mouth.
       I’m writing about this because it makes such an impression on those around us, the filter we use, and one extreme is as bad as the other IN MY OPINION, AND OF COURSE AND YOU ALL KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT OPINIONS…..

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