Two ways to perceive this picture of my baby girl!
I am choosing to see the sweetness and love more and more, not the mess.
My daughter and I were watching a home video of her when she was two. We were making a chocolate cake. We had all the ingredients in a bowl, and she was ready to dive in and stir the mix, to do the honors of breaking those big yellow yolks, to watch them disappear as if by magic, to watch the color of the mix darken into thick, rich chocolaty goodness. But, alas, I took control. I stirred first, telling her that it was a mommy job, that I didn't want her to get powder everywhere, but that I would let her stir when I was done. Ugh!!!!!
When I saw that video, I immediately grabbed my little one who is eight now. I am so sorry! I cried! that I didn't let you stir first! I am so sorry. I was so afraid of you making a mess. I am so sorry I took that experience away from you!
She just laughed. It's okay.
But it really wasn't. I felt the pain flooding through me. But I knew this was my point of power. This guilt would only keep me in a place of having less to give right now. In fact I could spend days just on this, beating myself up for it.
I instantly held myself, and forgave myself, going right back into this very real pain.
I remembered that exact moment in time when we'd been making the cake, and I felt understanding and compassion for a mother of a two-year-old and new baby only days old, leaking milk, and uncomfortable all over-- how the thought of another mess by the hands of a toddler was unbearable. What was I doing making a cake anyway?
But there is something at the heart of this kind of experience that is coming up for me, to show me the pain and the possibilities, to show me my progress, to teach me now, so I don't spend the rest of my life running from joy.
I let it teach me.
There is something about living fully and joyfully, and even a little messily, that translates to every part of my existence, that I am searching for like a treasure.
My heart's desire: I want to live joyfully, no matter what is happening, no matter who or what I find difficult, or who or what finds me difficult, who maybe even curses my existence!
There is something that opens up life when you can embrace what is.
Enter: progress, love, appreciation
Our little house sprung a leak, and this weekend the girls and I had to live with the water turned off. It felt like we were camping--okay not totally like camping--we did shower at the gym. But when we were home we drank from pitchers of water, and cups of it to brush our teeth and wash our faces. We didn't flush toilets, but once a day.
House cleaning which had already been on hold out of busyness, was on hold even longer.
This morning dishes are piled up to the ceiling and laundry carpets the floor. The house is needing some serious cleaning. And I know it will get done--that it has its own perfect time for being completed, and there is no need to stress.
We can function around it. What a gift to know this! How symbolic for all aspects of my life!
Perhaps the biggest secret I've discovered. I can let go! What a gift this water leak has shown me that I am capable of this, really capable! Because there hasn't been even a little part of me unable to flow with the disturbance. In fact, most of me has been feeling into the magic and the release--and all the possibility that can come from this state of being!
Other lose ends have been able to be tied up, some practical, some of the heart.
But, nothing can get in the way of joy!
I am taken care of. I am loved. I am open to love. I can feel the joy, despite the discomfort. I can lead with joy.
I am starting to really believe that I am loved by everyone!!!! Even if they don't know it yet! I love everyone, even if I don't know it yet. Step by step.
I am taken care of. It wasn't even I who discovered the leak. It was my piano student's father who saw the notice on my door, and then he took it in his charge to take care of it, as it just so happens that he is also the wonderful contractor that my ex-husband has used for some gorgeous renovations. (It has been so nice to watch all the creative energy of my ex. He is taking flight in so many ways. And I know that a small part of it is that I got out of his way, and allowed him space to feel into his amazingness-- and I am so thankful that I can see this--because I wouldn't have been able to, if the fear was still there, if I still held onto my contracted, and limited little vision of living).
One friend calls me and thanks me for our conversations, that have set her free to find her peaceful way with her little one, and her family. She lovingly offers me her washer, and although I don't take advantage of it, I know I can. What a gift to be told that her life is flowing too, even with the leaks. What a gift to be offered help in my own situation.
Another calls me and tells me that her life has sprung a leak, but that she sees this as the necessary movement to take her into a new life. She is feeling into the fearlessness, and honoring her feelings and the watery emotions coming up. She is yielding to them, and letting them take her down stream.
Leaks are good. Leaks bring new vision, creativity, freedom, trust, gratitude.
So, I haven't had to really think about fixing this leak at all, because nothing ever felt broken. The leak is fixing itself.
My inability to experience joy, is fixing itself, bringing exactly what I need to open, to show me new ways of doing things--to let go of the guilt of not being perfect.
Ease, abundance, joy, love, vision, even when things aren't working as they should.
And then I understand that joy encompasses all of it, even the dark parts. They are the opening to the lessons. It is all there as whole.
Yes, perhaps the biggest lesson for me in this life: life fixes itself, in its own time, when the lessons are learned and we don't need them anymore. We need only be patient, trust and open, and watch how it all unfolds when we loosen our grip.
My life now? Moments of awe.
Awe, that at the moment little undercurrents can't take me far out of a feeling of love and well-being. I am feeling braver to just be me. When I feel scared or worried, I just drop into that feeling, wrap my arms around it, just like I would a little one who needs to be comforted. Then I let her stir first!
I feel my power returning. I no longer feel like I need to hold myself back from goodness, that somehow I don't deserve it. I don't need to hold others back either. That is a pattern that is feeling old and foreign to me.
So, on this lovely Valentine's, I feel the love, and I send it out to you! I send you the courage to cultivate this lovely ability to be with what is, and just love the heck out of the experience, no matter what!