Friday, April 09, 2010

I'm a Porcupine, You're a Porcupine....

This last weekend I bought a book that I have to admit is probably one of my MOST favorite books EVER!! I find myself underlining favorite or appropriate things and making notes in the margins. I LOVE this book.
"How to Hug a Porcupine" by Dr. John L. Lund is my NEW love.
I have to admit, I bought this book HOPING to fix those Porcupines in my life. I have several people in my life that I feel are toxic or behave in toxic ways. (A porcupine is anyone who has toxic personality traits.) Instead of ONLY finding them in these pages, I'm finding my OWN toxic traits...and it's scary! I don't want to be a porcupine! I want to be a fluffy muskrat.
The number one thing that I've learned from reading this book is: "The ONLY person I can change is me. I cannot change ANY toxic person, I may persuade or love them, but I cannot make them change."
It's SO fascinating. I've had my eyes opened and I am LOVING it.
For example, did you know toxic people cannot or will not give you the validation that you want? They'll also with hold love to assert their power over any given situation. They will chose a "favored one," so that the rest of the people that they deal with have hope to one day BE that favored one. And something I've always said, "You do it because I said so," is a forerunner to rebellion.
I'm learning that I really DO have a good relationship with my husband (despite what other people think) and that the way I've BEEN treating the porcupines in my life has been appropriate.
There are things that I've learned that I'm SURE will take time to sink in and for me to understand. Some of those are that love and trust are NOT the same thing. That the "art of parenting is not the art of hanging on, but the art of letting go."And that I really need to transfer responsibility to my children for their own behaviors and emotions.
Now, mind you, I'm only half-way through this book. I've read chapters about how to identify emotional porcupines and what some other people have done to deal with these emotional porcupines. NOW I'm at the point where he's giving me the "armor" I need to protect myself from these emotional porcupines.
It's SO fascinating, and SO helpful! I'm SO glad that this book was recommended to me (by several sources) and that I listened to them.


SunnyMomma said...

I'm reading this book too! It is good.

Rebekah said...

I'm gonna say it... I TOLD YOU SO! It's kind of a freaky realization knowing htat you have all that inside of you, isn't it??? I have a love hate relationship with that book. Our marriage counselor we had when we were first married told us to buy it and read it. It was very hard to accept those things and change. Having children, living on our own, and being married longer than a year and a half has really helped me mellow. =)

stevie kay said...

If you liked this one, check out John Lund's For Time and All Eternity. The bishop has it on CD, and I'm sure would let you borrow it.

Rebekah said...

I'm with Stevie on this one. Anything John Lund has done is amazing. I'm lucky I worked at an LDS bookstore. I was able to borrow demo discs and books and read until my eyes fell out of my head. It's where I learned about Fablehaven and got to read all the boooks before each was officially released and also a couple of the Leven Thumps series as well. 'Time and All Eternity' has helped me a lot. Love it.

doug & mary said...

I am SO glad you are reading this! I just finished the last few chapters on Sunday. It has been eye opening and I keep telling Doug he NEEDS to read it. I have several porcupines in my life and it has really helped me learn to deal with them better...I still try to limit my exposure to them though! Also, I realized that sometimes I use parent-child vocabulary with Doug instead of Brother-Sister...dang it! Anyways, keep us posted on your progress. I can't remember if I told you this, but Dr. Lund goes way back with my family. He was in our ward and was the Bishop just before my Dad was. Also, he lived in the house that I grew up in before my parents bought it. I was talking to my Mom about him the other day and she said he is so funny. She remembers him saying one time that his wife said he is pretty easy to be around EXCEPT when he has a toothache. Then, the only way that anyone can tolerate him is if he gets himself a motel room. :)