Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Change is inevitable; growth is optional.

I'm not sure it would have been helpful or not if one of my teachers (I can't remember who taught me about Ancient Greece) had given me a heads-up that my life would be---or had the potential to be-- a whole lot like Sisyphus'. This is really just the "victim" in me talking, so indulge me for a minute or two. Sisyphus ended up pushing that same damn rock up that same 'ole mountain, only to have it fall back down again to its starting point. Day in and day out. Same rock. Same boulder. Same mountain. Yep, a labor that was both futile and hopeless. Anybody? More Sisyphus' in this studio audience? We've all heard that saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results." So, why in the heck do we allow ourselves to get caught in this cycle? Hmmm. Some days I know. Some days I don't.
Yesterday was one of those days I didn't know, but by golly, I was not about to push that rock aside and walk back down the mountain without it. Gee. I am so persistent and hard-headed. Others? Are you in this club with me?
Taylor was in a lot of pain yesterday. I can tell because (1) He says, "I hurt so bad." Although he cannot then go on to describe the pain or tell me where it located. (2) He says the same thing over and over and over again until I just want to scream. He says, "Boo" times 1000 and then he says, " What's wrong?" times 10,000. His little eyes are vacant, yet pleading. I feel completely impotent and not capable and unable to "fix" him. Oh my goodness, I hate to feel that way.
So, I push that rock up that mountain. The rock yesterday had a huge label that read, "You can control all things. You can fix this. You know what to do." Heave. Ho. Push, Grunt. Frustrate. Heave. Shove. None of it worked. No matter how hard I pushed, no matter how frustrated or tense I got, his pain did not go away.

I am not sure what came over me late in the afternoon, but something did. I took a chance. I breathed. Oh, I so love how words overlap and connect, 'cause if you hate the word pray, then go with the word breathe. Breathe is from the word spirare--spirit--spiritus---soul, courage, breathe. I breathed.
I opened myself up for a shift--internally--inside of my mind. I just quit fighting. And, then, I asked, "Is there any other possible response (from me) to what is going on right now? Is the only way I can see this is through anxiety, "failure," fear and frustration?" It's funny. I sort of took myself to my own course in "Inward Bound." And, yes, I prayed--breathed. I stood in my very own kitchen and I said, "I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to be thankful for this. I need help." I stopped---even for a few hours--pushing that same rock (futile!) up that hill. Are you reading me? Is being in control an issue for you? Do you think you can "fix" things even if you know the words in your head that say, "You are not in control."? There is a higher power at work here, so just relax? Arrrggghhh.....God's wife was showing up and showing out. Yikes!

My friend, Terry, was telling me something this morning about a friend whose life is in a landslide. Everything has changed dramatically for this family. After asking how they were, Terry observed, "You know how people say that brown is the new black? Well, when you say things are "okay," you may mean the new okay." The new normal. The new change. The new way of seeing things---feeling things....knowing things.
I know this: everything I resist.....persists. Every time. The more I resist, the more the feeling/thought/belief just stares me right in the face. My worries are just waiting for me to sit them on my lap--like I would a young child--- with kindness and gentleness and love. I am not trying to be all "ooey-gooey bag"/encounter groupy here, but my feeling/thoughts just want to be heard, noticed, acknowledged---so I can put some love around them and then......let them go. Chances are good that they will come back, but maybe next time I can welcome them (these thoughts...these feelings...these rocks/boulders)) as friends--not enemies.
I know that some of you are totally turned off by what I just wrote. That's okay too. It's the new okay.
So, here's my big, fat, spiritual question for today:
What rock are you pushing up that same mountain today?
Are you willing or able to stop and breathe (or pray)---just for a bit?
Would you be willing to allow for change....just for one minute---ten hour?
And, then, of course, there's growth---in case you're interested.
The growth part, of course, is optional--for you. For me.