The Celtic Peace Knot:
Symbolizes peace within oneself & peace in one’s relationships with others
I’ve lived in Steelers Country all my life, and from the time I was born until my dad left when I was about nine, football—the Steelers—was not a priority in our household, or to my dad. He has always been the type of man who places family above everything else. My maternal grandmother told me once, “If you ever wanted to find Kenny, all you had to do was find you kids”.
When my bio-mother remarried, the situation changed dramatically—in more ways than one, but we’ll just stick with football for this story. My step-father was a HUGE football fan and the Steelers were his FAVORITE team. He NEVER missed a game and we kids were REQUIRED to put OUR lives on hold for his sacred ritual.
I vividly remember one game, when I had a friend over, and we were apparently not quiet enough and my step-father had a fit and hollered at me; embarrassing the hell out of me. I couldn’t help but think, My dad never treated me like that over a stupid football game! I believe it was THEN that my hatred for anything football began. After all it was a GAME. A game with people he didn’t even know. I was a flesh and blood person living under the SAME roof! Someone he supposedly cared for! I swore THEN that I would be like MY dad and NEVER put a damn sports game before my children and I vowed to never learn a damn thing about stupid football (to this day I know what a touch-down is, but don’t start talking first and tens, etc., because you will sound like a Chinese-speaking person to me).
Years later I met my boy-friend (my now husband). Lo and behold he and his seven siblings were HUGE Steelers fans (yippee). I made it perfectly clear that I did NOT like professional sports, especially the Steelers. He made it perfectly clear that he DID and he WOULD watch the Steelers. It was a full-blown Mexican stand-off.
For years he sat in-front of the TV with his eyes glued to the set ignoring me. Our lives were on hold Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings; something that ticked me off to no living end. To compensate, I shopped, and shopped, and shopped. Being a football widow was NO fun and the shopping didn’t fill the void either.
Over the years, with maturing and therapy for my dysfunctional childhood, I learned that I NEEDED to let go of my past and I had to forgive. My step-father had been a raging alcoholic who said and did things that caused me pain and there was nothing that would change that. I couldn’t continue carrying around baggage due to HIS shame and HIS dysfunction. I also couldn’t think football was the great evil anymore. I didn’t like it; I didn’t have to, but I DID have to come to terms with it. I stopped “football” shopping and began filling my time with more creative, constructive endeavors. I stopped bitching about Sunday/Monday football games and began joking about it rather than being so defensive about it and even began calling it “Stupid Ball”. It’s now a running joke in our home.
I began encouraging my husband to attend Stupid Ball parties; however, I stayed home, reveling in the solitude of having the house to myself! Then I began to notice that my husband wasn’t as adamant about Stupid Ball. If I was going out, he would ask if I wanted him to accompany me! When I mentioned that a Stupid Ball game was on, he would say something like, They aren’t playing very well this season or, It’s okay, I can watch recaps on ESPN (Everything Stupid Playing Now). I thought to myself, WHAT happened?
Well, what happened was, I STOPPED trying to control HIM and he came around. Not that that was my plan, because it wasn’t. He still watches Stupid Ball but not nearly as much as he used to and if there are other activities going on, he’ll pass on the Stupid Ball game to participate. What’s nice is, HE has HIS thing and I have MINE and we do them if and when we want.
Our pasts have a way of influencing us, good and not-so good. Our not-so good past experiences can interfere with our futures, if we permit them. One of the most important lessons I learned is knowing WHERE my thoughts and feelings stem from. Once I know THAT, I can forge ahead with the SAME actions; business as usual, or I can CHANGE. I can accept the SAME thought process and feelings; or I can change, if my thoughts and emotions are causing me undue stress and pain.
In this case, my actions, thoughts and feelings were causing me too much anxiety and grief. I NEEDED to change. I had to let go so that I could move on and enjoy life to the fullest extent possible. I OWED myself that.
I still don’t like sports. I have NEVER watched a Stupid Ball game, Super or otherwise, and I don’t intend to, although I make it a habit never to say never. I am willing to permit others to be who they are and enjoy what they like and I expect them to permit me to be ME and enjoy what I like; it’s called respect.
But if you want peace and quiet while watching your Stupid Ball game— watch it in your own house!