People say that to me with an accusatory tone. I am not sure how they expect me to respond.
If I have not changed in a year, in 10 years, I would be sadly disappointed in myself. I work hard on making sure I have changed. I spend time with myself. I put effort into learning. I ask questions. I research. I listen. I pay attention. The call is always to deepen my understanding, to push beyond the comfortable, to not be satisfied with status quo.
I find out over and over again that my understanding was limited, superficial, and even completely wrong. That inspires me to dig. I cannot continue to say and do the things I used to say and do when I know that they no longer serve me because I have found so much more. It will mean that I may not be on the same page with people that I once was.
To the person who reached out yesterday, hurting more than human beings should ever have to hurt.
I was so overcome with your pain when we talked that all I really wanted to do was to cry with you and just give witness to the frustration and hurt that all of us have been feeling about this situation. We all share a profound sense of powerlessness to direct any of it to a different outcome except one where you are unfairly the victim of it all. Continue reading →
As a human being you are guaranteed to make mistakes. I told my teens that it was their job to make mistakes because no-one gets it right the first time, every time. What mattered, was not the mistakes, so much as the lessons learned. When they were babies they learned to walk and they fell…often. They also walked funny, they only walked a few steps, they clung to chairs and walls … and eventually they used all that information from all their efforts, including the falls … to learn to walk. Continue reading →
Sometimes people insist they want nothing to do with other people, citing something that person has done – often it is something that happened a long time ago. That kind of response is usually accompanied by a line like “Until she gets her act straightened out . . . ” or “Until he apologizes . . . ” etc.
We all do stupid stuff when we were kids. We have all done things in our lives that we are not particularly proud of and often, with time and distance, we see how we could have/should have done things differently. It is not always possible or practical to ring up people or send announcements about how we have grown or changed. You can be pretty sure if more than a year has passed that person is most likely in a completely different head space, just like you are. Life is movement. Some of us jump in and swim with the flow and others are taken prisoner and carried along with the rest of the debris, whether they want to kick and scream, sleep on a bit of drift wood, or just hang on for dear life. Continue reading →
“I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it.” Hermann Hesse
It took me awhile to understand that there is no place where we get to where everything is perfect. There is nothing that is going to be better than, or take the place of this moment. There is only this moment. Sometimes the moment teaches us with pain, sometimes it brings complete pleasure, but every moment is a gift. My greatest sadness comes when I am unwilling to cherish the moment and I long for something that seems to me to be more than what I have right now. Continue reading →
More and more I understand the importance of being open minded, of acknowledging that life is a journey, that we change and grow daily and that holding on to anything and fearing change is a decision to stop life from the flowing energy it is meant to be.
The greater challenge has not been so much about allowing all that for me, as it has been to remind myself it applies to all people. It is not fair of me to judge anyone based on something they did 10 years ago. It is not even fair for me to judge someone based on what they did yesterday. Every moment of our lives change us and that is good, that is positive. If we can begin to accept that we are flawed, we make mistakes, and those mistakes are some of the most brilliant teaching tools we have. If we can allow other people to make their mistakes and graciously facilitate their chance to own their learnings and make the changes they need to . . . I believe we will see the power of love in action. Continue reading →
As a parent you start with a bundle they hand you at the hospital. Only it takes but a few days for you to begin to see that this is not a blank page on which you get to write. This is not an empty glass you get to fill with those things that are important to you.
This child has its own ideas and needs. It has different interests and ways of being, and really, all you are is providing the environment in which this person will grow and develop into who they are meant to be.
Often the person they are meant to be challenges the very core of who you are meant to be, and so the process is a journey you both travel, with the wise parent learning, as well as teaching.
In the midst of my husband’s illness, before he died, we were at our lowest as a family. I say that in reference to money, options, lifestyle, family support and friends. I had spent almost 2 years of my life, dropping everything including my job and writing to being there for my husband 24/7 in the time he had left. I had no idea what day it was other than how many days until the next refill of his prescriptions. Days and nights were irrelevant. He slept when he could and sometimes was awake all night. The time he slept was divided between getting things done that required me to go away from him and catching the little sleep I could. Often my time was spent going to and from the hospital to see him, fighting with doctors and the people around me who made a tough situation worse but who I would not let make it worse for him, and sitting in a hospital room alone not knowing if he would make it through the night. Continue reading →