I subscribe to the belief that we are all here anchoring love. *that’s* what our job is, know it or not. Everything else we do is sorta like what’s going on at the local park. Those kids are having all kinds of dramas and scenarios, but really, just being is the job. Just being is teaching them all kinds of fine and gross motor controls, social interactions. Just being is more than enough.
I also think of it sometimes as walking through a meadow wondering if the drama that plays out beneath the ground looks like human drama: the fight for resources, the posturing about who/what is most important. I used to fear the flowers/roots might be bickering (when my life had more bickering in it). Now I’m pretty certain there is a symphony going on, a beautiful dance of resource request and allocation, sometimes denial, beginnings and endings, stopping and starting again, all of it being “ok” — all of it contributing to the expression of life itself, new in each moment.
I read “the secret life of trees” by an old-growth forest manager, talking about respiration, communication, even emotion displayed in the forest. So uplifting. That was the shift in my metaphor, from wondering if the beautiful meadow was secretly a neurotic, grasping mess (a lot like I viewed society) to knowing the beautiful meadow is also a complex exchange working in harmony, or more accurately the constant dance of creation, expression and destruction. It’s a much nicer way to feel/think/put it.
Things are swirling in my life today, so many facets it doesn’t make sense to list them. One key factor is the passing of my mother-in-law, God rest her soul. I have a lot of appreciation for my mother in law because I love my husband. Credit where credit is due, and some is due to her. The last decade she declined deeper and deeper into dementia which was sad, but makes her passing a blessing in many respects. But, no matter how evident the blessing, the death of a parent is complicated and brings emotional upheaval to even the most balanced individuals. It’s a moment in time, in between realities.
I never really got along with my mother in law, and she held the strings to my father in law, whom I loved, so I never really got to have much of a relationship as I’d like to have had with him. But what I did have was really a treasure. I have an image in my head of a relationship that might have been possible with them, but it never panned out though i doggedly spent the first 10 years trying to get them/her to discuss what she needed for us to be OK. I now understand that it was so deep seeded that she didn’t have words for it. It was reaching into a primal need and not only was I not filling it, I seemed by my very mentioning of it to be assailing it. It was tough, on all of us, but between geography and illness we didn’t see each other much and so the last 8 or so years were marked by more empathy and less exposure. Best we could have hoped for, realistically.
My insistence on talking about the elephant in the room has served me enormously countless times and allows me peace between my ears, but it has a pretty high price as well. Key relationships that could be better if we just agreed to <some subtly different reality> … Honestly, I don’t think I could keep them straight if I didn’t believe in them, so it’s probably best I opted out of those charades. And we can always pray for each other, even if we disagree and/or don’t interact. It’s an interesting study on what I truly value and why.