Photo by J.Scott Bovitz
Feels funny to be sitting down to blog--like it has become a bit of a foreign world to me after a week with my kids home for spring break--like the part of me who writes, the part of me who finds it exhilarating to collect and share moments of my experience here, (who hopes to find a nugget of clarity or insight thrown into the mix), has been on vacation too, perhaps when she was most needed.
Nevertheless, as always, there has been much learning--more awareness of deeper beliefs to unravel.
Spring break began with an air of excitement and a little dread. Not used to having full days with one another, the girls became territorial. I began to crave silence, a pause in the noise for long enough that I might regroup. Eventually, however, I found myself only adding to the noise: commanding, demanding, reprimanding.
I didn't get my silence, but I did become invisible, as the girls, tightly raveled in their stories about one another, continued to draw battle lines.
In the end my refereeing became more about stopping the game all together. Lots of room time. Lots of penalties. I found myself wound so tightly, that I couldn't see this natural process of my girls riding rough waters with one another in an attempt to feel safe enough to allow themselves to finally coast together--let go of all their demands and find their fun.
By the end of the week they did. They were playing so well together, it was like watching a Hallmark movie. (Do they make those anymore?)
After all my efforting to bring peace, I was spent! You'd think I'd stop efforting by now!
Even after the quieter times settled in, I remained vigilant, on guard-- in a state of bracing myself for the next storm--contracted.
One evening when the kids were with their dad, and I had some adult time with a friend, I realized that I unknowingly had brought along my constriction. I found myself hindering my speech, keeping sentences and thoughts short and concise, apologizing if I felt I was taking too much of the conversation up for myself.
My friend responded to my apologies by telling me to please continue, to keep talking, that she actually wanted to hear what I had to say.
I looked at her blankly.
She wanted to hear what I had to say?
That is when I realized that in not feeling heard by my kids, by having the feeling of no control over them and their dramas or my own, by not being able to make them understand that I so needed peace and quiet in our home, I had become contracted in fear, and remained so long after the difficult moments had passed. My world-view had become restrictive, and I was carrying that restriction into all the moments of my life, even the easier, more expansive moments.
I am so thankful for this deeper awareness.
It always gets deeper!
I had no idea that I was being so affected by what was going on. I had no idea that I was holding on so tightly to the story of needing peace and quiet, of needing control, of needing things to look a certain way. It just wasn't obvious because I was acting from my emotions, relying on the outside to heal my insides, which never works.
How many other painful stories am I carrying into all aspects of my life that I am not aware of? Good news is that something in me is determined to find them all, and keep working and letting them go! Removing the nasty parasites!
Yesterday, I was driving with the girls, who were making much noise, and although it was happy noise, I found the familiar craving for quiet overcome me. All of the sudden the thought came into my head.
I Am Quiet
In that moment I had a feeling of being quiet at the core of my being. And I felt the quiet! I felt it hold me there, and the noise just swirled about me, but couldn't penetrate the truth, that within I contained all the quiet I could ever possibly need.
Then I heard:
I Am Peace.
I Am Love.
I can't tell you whether it was that these qualities were contained within my core, and hence, my perception shifted, or if by understanding what I was allowed these qualities to create themselves around me. But, I can tell you that last night was different.
As I showered my girls and washed their hair (usually our noisiest moments, especially if soap gets on the forehead), as I massaged their little heads, washed out the shampoo, dried them off, lotioned them up, got them jammied, fed them dinner, read them stories, and put them to bed, there was quiet, there was peace, and there was love. There was a softness, a slow quality to time, an appreciation, a unspeakable simplicity in the air.
I was present to see it.
Could we really be so powerful as to change the very fabric of our beings, and in so doing, change the fabric of our lives, in less than the time that it takes our heart to beat once?!
I say this is worthy of further exploration!