Tag Archives: the queen’s code

Fat Tuesday, Part 5 — In which The Queen’s Code Comes into Play

I have done a periodic series on Tuesdays about my love/hate/love of my hate/hate of my love relationship with food. As I listened to Alison Armstrong teach last week about emasculation, I was completely focused on my relationships with the men in my life, but we women also emasculate ourselves. At the end of Alison’s third talk, she left us with the question of what this talk brings up for us. Now that I have had five days to live in this new reality with Greg in particular, I had an intuitive sense to look into how this information relates to me and food.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the years about why I eat what I eat when I eat it; about my childhood and eating patterns and how they are related; and about my relationship to the conflicting information we receive these days about every single food and drink out there. Even water — what quantity should we drink? Tap or filtered? Reverse osmosis or distilled? With ice or without?

Since I discovered that pretty much everything I thought about men was based on a skewed point of view, I wondered if that might be the case for food. If I start with the point of view that I should want to, need to, be willing to, and always act on eat(ing) like the perfect, ideal woman, then the values and standards I add to THAT point of view will yield conclusions founded on the skewed point of view. When I add in my goals and dreams and attitude and actions to those conclusions, I end up with results and either a sense of satisfaction or lack thereof (more likely this option).

And without understanding that my point of view is the piece that is off, I will attempt different actions, changing attitudes, releasing legitimate dreams and goals, question my values and standards, and still not end up with the results that I want or the sense of satisfaction that I desire.

I discovered in this process that one of my conclusions is I’m not perfect enough to deserve to be loved and cared for by eating in a way that actually produces the results and sense of satisfaction I long for. I’ve discovered that my point of view leads to me thinking that I am in fact dysfunctional when it comes to food, defective, and constantly misbehaving. I figured out how I poke holes in the tires of my “vehicle” and I withhold fuel from myself. A few ways: compare myself to others and to previous versions of me (especially 2002 me that lost pounds while lifting weights and ended up a very desirable (in my eyes) size 4); I complain about being too much of something and not enough of something else; I complain about the food industry, its executives, its practices; I complain about all the junk I have to walk by in the grocery store; I criticize myself for thinking and feeling most of what I think and feel about food.

I withhold many other forms of support and I end up distrusting and disrespecting myself. I end up causing the long-term opposite of what I want.

Food is only rocket science if I am trying to eat like the perfect woman. God, she is a pain in the butt. She makes all of her own stuff, shops at the farmers market, grows her own extremely luscious and healthful food, cooks a hot meal every morning and night for her family, certainly gets her little Kepler to eat better than he does, never ever eats or even wants a caramel frappuccino, eats no pasta, bread or rice ever, always chooses the very best option in a restaurant, asks for the substitutions that will make her food even more healthful. She’s not really somebody who’s fun to be with. She’s uptight, tense, and unforgiving.

I’m going to make this vow here and now. I give up the right to emasculate myself. I give up the right to criticize, complain and withhold support from myself. I give up the right to allow the perfect woman to be any part of the conversation about food.

And I can’t wait to see what happens.

I Just Found Out I am Married to a King

This post is dedicated to Gregory Taylor, a man I first met in 1982 at a serendipitous breakfast meeting, and am still having breakfast with some 33 years later. I am truly blessed among women to have the love of this man, to share a life with him.

Earlier this week, I wrote about the incredible material Alison Armstrong has written about in her book The Queen’s Code and how it has radically altered my understanding of my long-suffering husband in particular, and of the common dynamics between men and women who are in relationship, be that father-daughter, mother-son, or man-woman in a myriad of arrangements.

I have been released from the prison of having to fix my husband. I think I knew my prison cell was dark and dank and lonely and I think I had a sense that his journey was tinged with a bitter realization that his wife didn’t know much about men and, sadly, didn’t think there was really much more she could or should know.

Here are some of the practical outworkings of getting out of the joint, of finding my freedom:

1. When my starting point is that my husband has a very good reason for the things he does, I have no need to correct him, fix him, punish him.

2. Amazingly, my husband is perfectly, eminently capable of finding a good parking place, knowing where to turn, how to talk to people, finding his way from point a to point b, making sound decisions.

3. Even though he easily could have called me a bitch, or just bitchy, for it was certainly 100% justified many more times than I care to admit, he never ever did so, which speaks to the goodness of this gem of a man.

4. When I laid down the whip of “straightening him out,” my mind became relaxed, able and desirous of hearing about the many thoughts and ideas he has. For instance, today I learned the difference between Formula One racing and NASCAR. I never knew and really never cared. Today I cared and was amazed.

5. Life goes from completely dark to incredibly rich when one doesn’t have to fix one’s lover and can instead actually be a lover.

6. Without the constant vigilance of making sure he does everything right, I can stay more focused on a conversation, holding onto the thread through interruptions, instead of being complete thrown off by every single little detour.

7. What I understood about men, in general, could have been written on the head of a pin, with room left over for the Emancipation Proclamation, the complete Harry Potter series, and the entire Cheesecake Factory menu.

8. Without being on guard every second to correct his “misbehavior,” I am released from the tyranny of trying to be perfect to “show him how it should be done.”

9. Even though he hasn’t changed a bit from last week before I knew anything about the queen’s code, my estimation of his capabilities, caring, and choices has undergone a 180 degree shift.

10. Life is hella fun with him when I relinquish the behaviors, actions, and attitudes that are emasculating.

I want to tell everyone. I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WAS MISSING. I knew THAT I was missing something but I had no idea at all how to figure out what it could be.

Maybe it has taken me 53 years to find out that everything I thought I knew about men was completely wrong, but once the right teacher came along and sowed into the receptive soil of my hungry soul and hurting heart, it took me about 53 seconds to jettison the faulty foundational assumptions I had.

Normally, I would distrust a change this radical, not believing that it could be legitimate, because how responsible would I be if I just trusted that everyone else might actually not need me to take care of them? Turns out, that’s not the right question.

I haven’t even talked about how this new understanding has impacted my relationships with my three sons, my brothers-in-law, the man at the coffee shop, myself, my daughters, my sisters, my mother, and pretty much every other living thing.

I bought a new album the other night in the middle of the night and I think this song is a perfect ending to this post.

Everything

by Anathema

Needed time to clear my mind
And breathe the free air find some peace there
I used to keep my heart in jail
But the choice was love or fear of pain and

I…
Chose…
Love…
Cos everything is energy and energy is you and me…

Light shines in through an open window
Shines inside your heart and soul and
Light will guide your way through time
And love will help you heal your mind and

Life…
Will…
Be..

Cos everything is energy and energy is you and me…

OH EM GEE HOLEY MOLEY

After rave reviews from my sister, I decided to attend the online conference “The Red Tent.” Tonight I learned that we all start with a point of view, to which we add our values and standards, things that just are automatic and seem true to us. The sum of these things yields our conclusions or beliefs about what we are looking at. To our conclusions, we add our goals and dreams, then implement actions and attitudes, which yields the sum of our results and sense of satisfaction. Why is this so ground-breaking, earth-shattering and I feel the earth move under my feeting?

Because when we don’t get the results we want, we usually back up one step and try adjusting our actions and attitudes. We try many different things because we are convinced if we just change our actions and/or attitudes, it will change our results. But no. Eventually, we may decide that it’s our goals and dreams that are really the problem, so we try to change them, or deny them or just pretend like we don’t really want them anyway.

When that doesn’t work, we try changing our conclusions. You know, looking at the bright side of the situation even if it isn’t feeling very bright to us; trying to find the silver lining in the cloud of our conclusions. After that doesn’t work to give us the results and sense of satisfaction we want, we back up one more step and try to adjust our values and standards; try to fit our square peg self into some round hole; decide that maybe we are just wrong about the things that seem true to us.

Here’s the kicker; the plum that little tommy tucker or whoever the hell it was pulled out of the pie; the piece de resistance; the answer. The problem is the point of view in the first place.

These talks are being given by the author of the book The Queen’s Code, Allison Armstrong, and are primarily focused on relationships between men and women.

Allison asked us to complete this sentence: Men are ______. Her experience with thousands of women over the years is that there are three top answers given across cultures, across ages, across all demographics. The top three answers are … wait, let me clarify that the point of this exercise is to help women and men find more juicy, more satisfying relations and understanding some things about men and women are essential for that to be able to happen.

I’m at my most vulnerable here when I tell you that being married, even to a wonderful man, is hella hard work. And because we both believe in the gift of marriage and the incredibly refining crucible that it is, we continue to try to adjust our understanding of each other. It’s a big job, and when you add in the normal stresses of life and perhaps a few abnormal stresses as well, the process can be pretty daunting.

I really don’t think I can do justice to Alison’s message here. I will link to her website, and I would be glad to answer any specific questions, but I don’t know how I can express here the impact of this information on my understanding of why Greg and I function like we do, and what this understanding might mean for a brighter future together. This learning is like a sacred vessel to me and I want to treat it as such.

This link is to the videos on Alison’s page:¬†videos.php¬†Before I heard Alison speak in person and experienced her beautiful feminine warmth and wisdom, I had tried reading some of her book but had a little trouble getting into it. Tonight is day 3 of her talks in the Red Tent Revival online and I WILL be there. I cannot think of anything I have ever learned in my entire life about men and women that has impacted me the way this has.