Everyday I look for something new. Something I've never seen, never experienced, someone I've never met. The older I get the more difficult this seems to be. I find myself often thinking, "Been there done that." I try to keep the idea of your never too old to learn alive. What I learn most from, still, is people, and the challenges they confront, endure and sometimes how it affects me and life in general.
Lately, and with out going into detail, many family members are going through some pretty life altering challenges. I try to be supportive by mostly listening. Trying to only give advice when it is asked for, although, honestly, sometimes I will do it whether it is asked for or not. Being a mom, and because its just the way I am wired, I have to fight the over whelming urge to rush in and solve problems for the people I care for. At times this takes a huge emotional toll on me.
I have very few people I talk with. I am a fixer and a listener. I do for people they don't do for me. Because my inner circle is minute, by choice, finding someone to vent to is an issue sometimes. If everyone in my inner circle is going through challenges I don't feel that it is my job to add to their challenges, so what do I do? All this has a point and it will connect so bare with me.
Recently I took a huge leap of faith and reached out to someone I normally don't. This person has, on many instances, shared that they would be there should I need them. In short I took her up on it and it turned out, I can share very happily, to be absolutely true.
I learned that reaching out to someone who you normally wouldn't proves exceptionally beneficial. Not only did I add someone to my inner circle whom I can now trust with many thoughts and feelings that I wouldn't even share with others in my inner circle, but this person gave me some very valuable, nonjudgmental insight.
We were able to share our frustrations over certain circumstances that we share which was helpful to both of us. This person also gave me a fresh perspective on a few things, one of which was very valuable and helpful, which is the point of this blog. Some wisdom learned and worth sharing for others to benefit from.
At one point of the conversation, after sharing all that my loved ones were going through, and how utterly helpless I was to do anything but listen and stand by and watch, I said, "I don't understand why all of this is so difficult for me. I'm Buddhist, I understand the concept of suffering, things beyond my control, and being honest, stating what you feel and backing away from it; but I cant state how I feel under any of these circumstances because it wont help them, it is all beyond my control."
She looked at me with a little smile and a understanding look in her eyes and said basically that the control rests with me. How I choose to deal with the circumstances. I remember looking at her and thinking, how the fuck did I miss that? (I may have even said it out loud.) Well I missed it because everything that I am dealing with has to do with people I love.
I suddenly remembered some social work advice I use to tell many care givers/parents. They should never advocate for their loved ones, get some else to do it for them. Share what you want with the advocate and let them speak for you. Well that advice doesn't exactly apply here, but the feeling they would have when confronted with that choice does. Not being able to do what you really want to do for someone you care for. It is realizing that you must trust someone else and that things are beyond your control.
I meditated on this for a few days and I suddenly had an epiphany. The Pith of the Matter. It came to me as many things do, in a huge wave of peace and realization. The old child development phrase. Gain control by giving control.
I believe and tell others, often, maybe too often those close to me may state, that the universe has plans for us and it will push us in the direction we need to go. Sometimes things feel hard because they are; we need to just push through them until we get it. Sometimes they are hard because we need to let them go. Knowing which is which is the hard part. The only way to know which is which is to keep moving forward until the universe shares which it is. This feels like an agonizingly slow process sometimes.
When dealing with those around you whom you love and care for its pretty obvious which way to go. You sit back, watch, and wait, for what seems like and eternity. Sure most of think we have the answers, we've been there, we know exactly what needs to be done; but sometimes the answer is not giving the easy answer. So instead you meditate, pray, breath, hope, and trust, have faith, what ever faith is to you, and wait. And wait. And wait...
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could fore see every outcome to a difficult situation? It would make life so much easier, but we can't. All we can be sure of is our own behavior. All we can do, give, is what we all have to offer. Love, patience, compassion and kindness. That's it, simple really when you think about it. Those few simple things give more strength to yourself, and all involved then anything else you can do. Love really is the answer and that is not beyond your control.
Emaho Namaste Peace out
― James Frey,
― Terence McKenna
― Steve Maraboli,