I wasn’t quite sure how to start this one out…perhaps something like this: During an afternoon Zoom chat group, the topic of lists came up and I said quite innocently that I don’t make lists. The group got very quiet…one person shyly spoke up and said, “you are truly living life on the edge!”
That’s not how it played out but my blog, my story!
The thing about lists. Pretty much every person I know has a system of lists. The lists left on the counter and checked off with the task completed. The list that is made and never looked at again. The grocery list. The getting ready for a trip list. My question to you list makers is….what happens when you depend solely on the list. A list takes fear away about forgetting something…something you need, something you have to do. Check…its on the list.
So what happens when you depend on that list and no longer use just your memory….what happens if you don’t write undergarments on the list before a big trip. You mark everything off the list and must vacation commando? What happens if you don’t write toilet paper on the list and end up not thinking about the need for toilet paper while at the store because it wasn’t on the list?
I look at those list makers in my inner circle and I just shake my head at the risks they are taking.
I, obviously, am quite confident and secure with the fact that there is no evidence left to betray my memory.
I’m a long time student of “TRYING” to give up enough fear per day to allow me to release opinions, judgement and those things I have no control over. A few years ago I embraced the fact that I really have no “control” over anything. Thinking we have the ability to control everything is an illusion. Might as well order a “safety cape” which can be purchased online for $9.99.
Judgements….we make judgements on how people look, their gender, their eating habits, their living habits, their ancestors, what car they drive, how they drive, how often they mow their grass, how they parent their children, why they don’t paint their house, how many children they have, how their children behave, their marital status, their sexual identification. Not leaving out the judgements on why people have ill health, “I knew this was going to happen to them!” I saw this coming because they….. I believe first we must become aware that we are making judgements. And how often in our day we are feeling safe and satisfied because we know “they” are wrong. Doing this work, I’ve often asked myself why does it feel so good to be right? Why does it feel so good to elevate myself to a higher position of knowing what’s right for everyone else in my own thinking?
Is this a learned behavior from our parents, our grandparents, our politicians, our teachers….in other words are we adopting our attitudes and judgements from someone else and often don’t even know why we judge or hold tight to “our” beliefs the way we do? Or are these judgements born out of fear….we are afraid…we judge other as some type of control maneuver that protects our physical bodies…our mental health…or the kicker we don’t even know what we are afraid of but what “they” are doing just cannot be right.
It’s a struggle!! But, moment by moment we need to be aware of our fear thoughts and judgements and heal ourselves from the inside out!
When my youngest daughter left for college, I was so excited for her adventure and her success. The next day I wondered what I was going to do with myself for the next 40 years. Most little girls born in the 50’s or 60’s usually know what they are to do. Get married, have kids and then the narrative ends. No one prepares us for the kids leaving home. I started collecting cats…..
Often girls also receive no instruction about the important things to expect after marriage…..like how do you merge the holidays. The options seem to be to give up on your family traditions and find peace with the husbands mother’s traditions, keep your family traditions and force the husband to disappoint his mother or wait until kids arrive and stand firm that you are making your own traditions and let the chips fall where they may.
Then your kids grow up, get married have children and there could be more grandparents than there are dining room chairs. NOW what. It’s possible to buy a day planner and schedule Christmas…everyone is kind of in the mood from Thanksgiving to New Years. That can work, I’ve heard.
But what I have found is you must release attachments about how Christmas is supposed to be. Learning to set aside “but they”…. I’ve always believed there was something special in the air about Christmas but I’ve learned that “we” have made Christmas what it is to us.
…….and I didn’t even want to touch on the religion aspect. Believe it or not, not everyone celebrates the same story about Baby Jesus.
I think the real question we need to ask each other and ask ourselves is this…..wherever we are in chronological age, do we have the same moral compass, the same opinions about other humans, race, sex, love and war that we did even a decade ago. How often and what exactly is the process for changing our opinions?
Without rules or an agenda today, my mind entertained me with questions and “answer” periods which seemed more like flashes of understanding. While I don’t really apologize for opinions I have honored through the decades of my life….they are illusions, anyway….thoughts and illusions of how I saw things based on how I showed up in each moment. These thoughts and illusions have changed often and each new declaration of opinion has been a barometer of my life…often liberating and somewhat painful.
I’m not really sure where to go with this thought process right now. I wonder if the answer is looking deep within ourselves individually and as a society in order to uncover what has made us angry, intolerant and hateful. When did we forsake humanity for selfishness and fear of “the other guy”? When did it happen in our personal timeline….when did fear become the prevailing emotion? Where, when and how does it stop?
Yesterday I did this! I went for a walk around the pond and just kept following my feet down the path for about 1/2 a mile. It was warm when the sun would peek through, a fall breeze blowing fall leaves…I embraced the smells, the beauty, and wind blowing through my hair. The best part was I stopped several times…there was no destination, there was no goal. It just felt like a walk with my dad as I chatted with him and asked a lot of questions.
So many gifts he handed down to me. For a short time I found myself teary….why didn’t I get out of the house all summer and fall, why didn’t I ask my dad more questions, why didn’t I this and that!
Until I realized I just didn’t. The past is the past and I did exactly what felt right to me in the past. This is now and I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Each time I embrace the right now and let go of the shoulda, I find peace. This is also one of the shouldas that followed…why don’t I do “this” all the time? Because its just not what is right for me in that “all the time narrative” that I like to have preprinted for my life. Right now is right now.
I came back and jotted this haiku that had formed somewhere in my soul!
Watching the Biden/Harris acceptance speeches from Wilmington, Delaware tonight, I felt peace! I felt a sense of safety and Unity! I am emotional thinking about what is possible for my grandchildren and especially my granddaughter now that Kamala Harris not only broke through the glass ceiling but demolished it.
I also know that RBG, John Lewis, John McCane and Elijah Cummings were there celebrating with us. Their energy, their love for America, their goodness was there with us in each tear, in each breath.
I put my right foot in, right foot out but it took me awhile to turn my thinking around this morning. I did not watch back to back election coverage last night….in fact I watched an old goodie “As time Goes By” on Britbox. I wondered if I was the only one chuckling through the hours while fear and uncertainty was overwhelming the nation. THEN I reasoned with myself that I should just check Twitter before I went to sleep just so I would know.
Know what we have come to expect. A multitude of talking heads just talking and spewing like a grade school play ground….he said this, she said that….here’s what’s going to happen…no it is not. Nothing accomplished in my decision other than I was able to align myself with fear of the unknown and start down that well worn path of OMG how will we live through this if the right character isn’t leading our government.
What is mine to do? Where I see myself right now is living in the moment. This moment with a cat on my lap, drinking my coffee with the sunlight shining through the East window blinding me. Right this moment in my life am I ok? Not my thoughts and fears about the next moment and not my memories of the past…right this moment
Letting my emotions run wild with fear and anger over something I have no way of knowing or changing the outcome is useless. Right here and right now I must just experience this present moment knowing that the future moments will be lived and experienced as everything changes with each new breath.
I’m learning to opt out of participating in human drama whether it be in my own head or participating with all of my senses with everyone else here on earth. This has actually brought me some peace of mind during the pandemic as I have removed myself from politics. I read the headlines in order keep up on what is going on in the country? What I am finding is when I actually “click” on the occasional news story nothing has changed from the last time I clicked. There is only fear-generating expressions of opinions!
Each fall, members of Unity Village Chapel read the same book….individually, then many of us join together in small groups to discuss the book. This one, Embracing Uncertainty Chapter 3, had me overwhelmed with insight. Thus the cut and paste project I worked on last night. It was a very effective way to concentrate on energetic phrases from the chapter to cement them on my heart and in my soul.
“Expectations create attachments…a hope something turns out a certain way”
Often we are unable to let go of our expectation….
“Expectations carry disappointments rigidity, anger, impatience and obsession”
“The moment expectations appear in the form of hope, desire or a wish, close your eyes, take out the imaginary scissors to cut the cord of expectation. Release it like a balloon drifting away from you.”
Tuesday was a very pleasant day for us…especially since we have not been out much in the past 5 month quarantine. We have had many conversations about “if we could only go camping” which would require us to purchase a camper…and a pickup to get the camper from point A to point B. For entertainment we have been dream searching for a truck on line which in the back of our minds we had no intention to buy solely because I could not see myself spending hours and hours with other irritable people at the DMV during a pandemic. I could end the story here by saying we went “out there” to search and there is nothing out there…most dealerships we visited had shockingly bare lots. It would have been easier to find a heads up penny in the parking lot than an affordable used truck….or an affordable new truck unless we had enough money laying around to buy a small house.
But this is really a story about attachments. As we sat in the socially distanced show room with a salesman, I told Phil that this is the very first time I didn’t have an attachment to the outcome. Normally I have had my sites set on the vehicle I wanted…firmly set on the outcome that I would buy a vehicle before I left the dealership. Through the crazy discussions … especially those crazy discussions in my head always waiting for the conversation to play out as if I were directing it. Always knowing I could walk out but that really wasn’t a real option because through tunnel vision there was no real option other than signing on the line.
I could also feel neutral energy from him. I knew we were not operating from a place of fear or scarcity. I felt I could think clearly while acknowledging that my happiness and continued blessings and gratitude were not tied up in whether I would/could get my way on someone else’s playground.
Bottom line, we spent an enjoyable afternoon together doing what we have always liked to do together, drive through car lots and dream…envisioning ourselves driving around enjoying the new car smells…in our vision….that will come in the right time.
This morning one of those wormy kind of things wiggled its way into my consciousness and I recognized it as a symptom of my fear of scarcity. I won’t head dive into everything I’ve learned in the last couple of years about the fear of not having enough…whether it be money or toilet paper or love … but Once I recognized it in myself, I started questioning if this is the fear that has many hoarding toilet paper and chlorine wipes during this pandemic. This fear was a cloud I remember over my childhood…it probably goes without saying that a child should not grow up aware of their parents fear….but we know what sponges children are. My parents were young adults during the depression so I get it!
With that in mind, it is obvious when you look at my overflow closet in the basement that I buy in bulk. The difference in buying in bulk to save money and buying in bulk because of the comfort of always having what I think I need when I need it is a very thin line.
Just like all of my spiritual ah ha moments, I’m not sure why this realization showed up this morning…but I know it comes to be healed. I buy coffee in bulk …a box of 72 keurig morning blend and one box of dark roast. It used to be when the stash got down to 12 or 13 K cups, I knew it was time to reorder. Similar to a friends wife who sent her husband to the store for cartons of cigarettes when she was down to one carton in the closet.
This morning when I lifted the lid I realized that another 2 boxes of kcups arrived this week…I obviously did not need to order. The realization hit me that this is a bigger issue than I realized…this fear of running out. I think the pandemic and the run on toilet paper inflamed my “lack” nerve. Instead of irritation with the lack of toilet paper on the shelves of the grocery store, I send grace to those people who, perhaps, are also suffering from an unrecognized fear of lack. I need to offer grace to everyone who is not exactly like me because I have NO IDEA what their lives and their fears feel like to them!