Saturday, March 1, 2008

Do I want to be 'right? or, Do I want to be happy?

I have added a new process in my morning ritual. After making coffee I sit and meditate by the fire, letting my mind free itself from conscious thought, from processing, from directing my thinking.

As I quietly sat letting my thoughts drift through my mind like white fluffy clouds on a summer's morning, tears pricked at the edges of my eyes lids and began to flow. Thoughts of my mother passed through my mind. Sadness. Sorrow. Tears.

My mother has never been a happy woman. I can't remember laughter or even songs of joy. I don't remember doing things with her without the fear that there was something I needed to do to make it all perfect for her. In my memory and experience, my mother has always worried. Always been fearful. Always been frightened by life and men and what might happen and what people might think and what might be if....

My mother has lived with fear throughout her life.

Yesterday, my mother signed the papers for her room at the assissted-living Lodge where she will be moving in the next few weeks.

Big change. Big adjustment. Big fear.

My eldest sister and I were speaking this week about mom's insistence that she be allowed to take a large piece of furniture with her. My sister has tried to convince her it's not a good idea -- it won't fit. You'll be too crowded. You won't have room to move, she's told her.

I don't care, my mother replied. I'm giving up everything else. I want this piece of furniture in my room.


Usman B. Asif said, "Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop."

My mother has lived in a darkroom most of her life. Frightened of exposing her fear to the light, she has remained lock in a world where negative values overwhelm the positive.

And yet, she struggles to find peace. It is her greatest wish -- to have a peaceful heart.

In giving up her independence my mother is confronting her greatest fear -- she is frightened and she is doing it anyway.

Perhpas it's time to celebrate her accomplishments and let go of my need for her to do it the 'right' way.

There is no 'right' way for her to move from living on her own into an assissted living lodge. There is only the way that gives her the most peace.

I owe her an apology. In my desire to ensure she was safe and cared for, in my desire to ensure she no longer abuses drugs and alcohol, I thought I knew the right way for it to happen.

I don't.

My mother doesn't need me to tell her 'how' to do this. She doesn't need me to criticize how she's doing it -- she needs me to support her in her fear, applaud her for her courage and above all, love her for who she is -- not who I want her to be.

It was a beautiful meditation today. It brought to light the negative pull of my desire to control the world around me.

I can't control the world around me -- I can stand in my light and get out of the way of controlling where it shines.

The question is: Where do you focus on doing things the 'right way'? Where do you let go and experience the gift of letting things unfold in the light of awakening to your truth?


Anonymous said...

You are so supportive Louise. Thank you for being there for me today.....I was really out of my element, and beside myself. You opened your heart and your home - thank you for being my beautiful jane xo

M.L. Gallagher said...

Love you too Jane!