Functionally Obsolete?By Dr. Sharon Pearson
April 22, 2008
Climbing stairs to new levels of life? Inner Bonding is a stairway to living functionally, beautifully, and joyfully! This article compares work on a 100 year old home to reconstruction of life in Inner Bonding.
So, why would I want to buy a 100-year-old farmhouse with obsolete stairs to the second story? Because I saw a marvelous creation that just needed a few adjustments! I saw possibilities! Why were the stairs in this old farmhouse such a mess? Well, they followed two rooflines and there were numerous other limitations to consider—the weight bearing beams, the size and arrangement of the room above and below, and the chimney at the head of the stairs. When the carpet upstairs was removed it was obvious that there had been a previous attempt to provide access, so mine is the third attempt to build a workable stairway!!! Why bother? Because the view upstairs is wonderful and the space is so needed for my life!
I called on a contractor to come and help build a new stairway. Together we determined that a more functional stairs would have to be built along the outside wall of the existing stairs. That would get it out from under the eaves of one roofline. And then it would have to turn to the right, away from that wall and then turn again to the center of the upstairs area. This was the only way to address the other limitations. The result of this plan was a loss of floor space, a real bummer since the square footage of the house is actually quite small!
But, with every disadvantage, there are corresponding advantages. When we tore out the ceiling to allow for our 3 directional stairway, the light from the upstairs window poured down upon the room, opening it up so that it looked twice as big! Not only that, but, the window that had looked out of place on the downstairs wall, because it was so low, looks just right now as it fits perfectly under the new deck of the stairs that lie above it. Another advantage is that the old staircase will be opened up to create much needed closet and bathroom space for the adjoining master bedroom.
It took a great deal of creativity and dialogue and hard work to design and build these new stairs! How wonderful to find a professional who loves to bring old houses back to life! The stairway is beautiful! The light dances between floors and the dogs love to lie in the patches of sunshine. The design is beautiful and delights the eye. And, it is so easy to get upstairs now! Even moving large furniture is not a problem. Yes, it took more time, and more investment than planned to get the job done! That is the nature of things it seems. And yes, it has been worth it!
So, what is an article about reconstruction of an old stairway doing on the Inner Bonding website? Actually, a functionally obsolete stairway is a great metaphor for your Inner Bonding work. What was functional earlier in your life just does not work anymore. You are bigger. Your childhood survival plan no longer works well—if anything, it stunts your growth and bends you over. It is no longer effective. The much used reference to ineffective ways of living and relating is “dysfunctional”!
When I started Inner Bonding I went into Margaret Paul’s office and asked (in front of an IB group I might add) “Can I do Inner Bonding in 6 weeks? I have 6 weeks worth of time and 6 weeks worth of money to be in this group and do this!” No one laughed. They could have. They could probably see my functional obsolescence sticking out all over! And, why was I such a mess entering into that Inner Bonding group? In the face of many limitations, I had tried to adapt and survive. I had worked so hard to be more healthy and functional. I had layers of attempts. One of the things I learned as I built my Inner Bonding understanding was that I had really good reasons to be dysfunctional —wounds create limitations until they are addressed by love! Another thing I learned is that some stairs are better than others! Inner Bonding is like a functional stairway getting us to upper rooms of life and joy.
There are wonderful opportunities inside your own “house.” Of course, you have to be willing to give up the old stairs to have new ones, beautiful new stairs that you can climb to all the levels of your life. A lot of dreaming and desire and creativity and hard work are required. But, reconstructing your life is a wonderful savings! That old house that no one else would pay a dime for does have possibilities. You, much more than any 100-year old house, are worth the investment and the labor of love. Looking for the possibilities, opening up to new ways of seeing and doing, and digging in for the long haul are the means to getting the job done.
The realtor says my new home is worth tons more now, way beyond the investment. She also says that because of its new beauty and functionality the house would sell quickly, even in today’s market. By continuing my work in Inner Bonding, I think that my life is worth so much more to me now— and maybe even to others. I live basking in the sunshine of healing and the joy of life.
Anyone else for reconstruction?
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Today, notice what you do when pain comes up - especially the pain of loneliness and heartache when someone is being unloving with you. Do you get irritated, angry or judgmental? Do you resist or withdraw? Do you people-please and give yourself up? Do you numb out with food or other substances, or with activities such as TV? Notice the ways you might be avoiding your feelings rather than compassionately attending to them.
By Dr. Margaret Paul