The Teaching Chair

Feb 27, 2012 by

When we bought a house I decided that I wanted a comfortable chair. The idea of sitting in the sunshine with a book or my kindle really appealed to me.

My self-denial crept in immediately. I didn’t need another chair. The ones at the dining room table were fine. I didn’t need to spend the money. I have better things to buy. My husband didn’t want another piece of furniture anyway. I decided to wait and hoped that the urge would go away.

This chair ended up taking on a life of its own. It became a metaphor for how I was feeling. It wasn’t about the chair anymore, it was how I looked at life. I chose to deprive myself and make my husband’s desire more important than mine. After fantasizing about that chair every day I finally realized that my happiness and comfort were just as important as his. I decided to risk disappointing him when I went ahead and purchased the chair I wanted.

I proudly brought the box home and waited for him to put it together for me. He’s very busy but he likes to do things to help me, so I thought it would be a nice compromise for buying it. And I waited. It sat inside it’s box in the living room for a few days. I took it out of the box and put it in front of the new tv we bought. He was still working on that, so surely having my chair in the way would spur him to assemble it. In other words, I began to manipulate. I told him I’d have a friend do it and tried to guilt him into doing it. I whined.

None of those things worked.

I talked to a friend about this saga. At first his main comment was completely ridiculous to me.

Why don’t you put it together yourself?

As I thought about it I realized that I wanted someone to do it for me. Even deeper than that was that I wanted someone to take care of me.

Same old story. This time it was a chair instead of help with my gambling.

Talk about a glaring reminder that I’m not taking care of myself!

It’s my life and my chair. I made a commitment to put the chair together that night. I felt good about it. It felt like I was making a step in the right direction. In a few hours my mission would be complete!

This particular day my husband came home early. Of course he was finally ready and eager to put it together for me.

Oh boy, what now?

I had a decision to make. I told him I wanted to help. Through our teamwork (and an extra set of little helper hands) we constructed a beautiful, comfortable chair. I was thrilled!

And yet I found myself a little bit sad that I didn’t do it by myself. I had told my friend that I would and I wasn’t keeping my word. Then again, I don’t really want to be so independent in life. I want to graciously accept help where it is given. I remembered that I want to find ways to experience comfort and joy for myself. I’m working on being ok being happy.

I focused on where I am and what I want.

It’s easier for me to really examine the way I do things when I don’t look directly at it. Finding a story in this chair was like having a mask on that protected me from too much exposure. I feel safety in that.

It reminded me that when I am ready my teachers will appear. Even if it is only a chair.

Where is the “chair” in your life? What is it trying to teach you? I’d love to hear any insights you’d like to share.

Blessings

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Susan

    Hi Kim, I am so happy I stumbled upon your website & blog. Last night my husband & I visited one of our local casino, we have been gambling for over 12 years, so you can only imagine the tremendous losses we’ve had over that time span. I started with BJ& slowly inched my way to faster money(or so I thought) on the $1 slots, my husband plays table poker, typically his losses are not as great as mine, but eventually we both lose. I can have big wins, but I usually just put it all back, if not that night, then I’ll just keep gambling everyday until its gone. I always looked at my big wins as free money. If I have cash in my purse, the only thing I can think of doing is going to the casino. My husband & I never talk to each other about how much we lose, I guess neither of us just want to expose the truth. The truth of the matter is, he has the same access to the information as I do, we both know how detrimental this is to our relationship and our future retirement, if we don’t stop now, we will slowly gamble ourselves right out of our planned peaceful, stress free, retirement.

    We have decided Again this morning to stop going to the casino. I know this might be early in the game but, my husband believes this gambling hole we are in is because I lose more money than he does, and I say I lose too much money because he stays too long at the poker tables and we don’t go until I come and get him to go home. I’m ready to give up gambling for good, but he has this unrealistic love affair with poker, that I know he really doesn’t want to give it up. I am beginning to feel some resentment towards him for allowing all of this to happen.

    I really need some advice on how to get through this.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I have faith that when you’re ready to change your life you will be presented with the opportunities to do it. I look forward to continuing our conversation and sharing the journey!

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