I’m back! Back in a place where I can write in this space, back in a place where I have something worth saying. Our family had a very, very difficult few months and I really let it get to me. My attitude went down the tubes!
Life gets messy sometimes. After moving twice in two months, and getting very sick in between moves, barely keeping the co-op from falling apart, and setting my hair on fire, mess would be the appropriate word. :)
Don’t worry, it is better now. Not perfect… but I’ll take “better” over “worse”! And hair has a handy way of growing back. Gray. LOL.
It was at about that stage of the game- when our living space looked like this, and I had just scoured the bathroom only to have someone puke all over it, that I was at my lowest. I was making scrambled eggs, and the bowl of eggs (the last of the eggs we had) was knocked over by a child by accident. I totally lost my composure, raised my fist to the heavens, and looked up at God, saying “IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT HARD FOR ME, I’M JUST NOT EVEN GOING TO TRY!”
Then I paused and looked at myself without judgment. Well, I tried to anyways… but I realized I was like a tragic comedy and started laughing, and laughing, and laughing.
And God answered back with an inner knowing, a flash of awareness of where I was at. I was able to take inventory of my spiritual and emotional life. I realized that I somehow felt entitled to be spoiled by the universe. I felt like things had been going so well for me, until some unknown entity stole the princess tiara right off my head. Bad things should not happen to good people, right? Ah, but there is a catch. I chose to view the things that happened to me as “bad”. And because of that, I started a war against the bad things, and whatever people or circumstances I viewed as bad. I was creating battles and setting myself up for the fray. I was mad at God because I didn’t perceive He had joined my side- you know, the side that was against “bad things” happening to me.
It is easy- and yet, incredibly hard- to fix this spiritual state. Rather than viewing the things that happened to me as bad, I just said two words. “THANK YOU.”
I am not saying we need to lie about it, and act as though we are thrilled about those less-than-stellar happenings in our lives.
But, miracles happen when we make the shift from being closed off, set against, and disconnected- to open, soft-hearted, and connected to our Source, those around us, and our understanding of our needs and values. When I approach things with an open heart, and set aside the judgment, the critical eye, the “what’s in this for me”, the sense of lack- when I choose to ask myself “Wow, this is an unexpected turn of events… where is the lesson?” When I choose to ask myself “How can I work with this?” When I wonder aloud “If I set aside my preconceived notions, my cultural conditioning, my self-serving desires, how can I view this in a different way? How can I welcome this situation in my life, while still clinging to my value system, and still honoring my needs?”… I move from being against things, and being a problem finder- to being a curious, inventive, adventurous problem solver. Sometimes my sense of things being a problem even “POOF”- disappears.
And really, we had much bigger problems than puke-covered bathrooms, spilled eggs, and bad hairdos. Things too personal to share, too hurtful to dredge up, and privacy to protect. But this brings me to another point…
Sometimes, when our problems are so freakin’ HUGE, we try to put ourselves into the “I AM AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE” category. You know, the place where we suddenly aren’t like the rest of those lucky people who don’t have problems as big as ours. We’ve got problems, you see, that the nice people down the lane couldn’t fathom, and would never be strong enough to get through- we are lucky we made it to the pathetic state we ourselves our in, after all, looking like something the cat dragged in, but still breathing.
No one is an exception to the rule. The work is the same, spiritual laws remain the same, and the bigger the problems, the greater the work to be done- but the work is not different, and you are not somehow in a category-of-your-own-of-special-or-hard-to-understand-work-for-the-highly-distressed. But lucky for you, you’ve got me, and other loved ones, and yes- even God- ON YOUR SIDE. Hand me a pitchfork and I’ll help you shovel some poo out of your stall. I’ll hand you your rose colored glasses when you can’t find them. Ah, and don’t fall into that other trap, either… the one where, once you’ve done the work, and learned your lessons, you now think you have a handle on it, or are above those lucky people who only have tiny problems… for as two dear friends have recently reminded me, “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. Some of us are roses, and some of us are oak trees. It is not better to be one than the other, but we would certainly expect the oak to handle a storm or a cold hard winter a little better, right? Yet where would we be without the beauty of the rose? If you are an oak, and you are facing oak-sized problems, you will make a great shelter from the storms of life the rose is going through, and her beauty will encourage and delight you. The universe is a place of harmony and balance, and to whom much is given, much is required. Conversely, when our capacity for experiencing pain is deepened, I believe our capacity for experiencing pleasure, also deepens, when we don’t close ourselves off and allow apathy, jadedness, self-pity, anger, or bitterness to deaden us and desensitize us to both the pain and the joy.
I’ll talk a little more about the work, about how to get your house out of chaos (as I do it, lol)- since I know many women struggle with where to begin when things get out of hand- and, I will be doing a series on Warmth and inviting an amazing friend, Waldorf class teacher, and anthroposophical counselor to guest post here- great things coming up for 2014!
I also want to say a huge “Thank You” to everyone who has been a part of Cedar Ring Circle, and especially those ladies who were incredibly patient with me during October, November, and December as my family went through those difficult times. There were many times I felt like giving up, and a kind word on facebook or by email from a mama kept me going. Thank you!