I wish I had this quote yesterday. So yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I don’t know about all of you but one of the most challenging forks in my road to being a better, more peaceful, calmer, and more compassionate person drives right through my family. It is a bumpy and unpaved road. Yesterday was yet another day to prove the rule.
I won’t go into all of it. Suffice to say my mother, who I love very much, is addicted to a certain kind of chaos and martyrdom. She says yes to the wants of everyone and the care of every person, except herself. My sister, who has battled depression and eating disorders, throughout her life continues down the same path she has always travelled. When that path is on a downward trajectory her greatest pleasure is piling as many folks into the car as possible on the way down. Sounds like fun? Would you like to join us for a Fourth of July Barbecue?
Normally, I would have suffered through dinner, drank more than enough wine and actually, if I am being honest, have helped raise the discord because I have been unable to not take the bait I have been conditioned to take. This time was different. Their moods and idiosyncracies became their own. I no longer needed to respond. Instead I focused on Mom’s big heart and how tough she is. I was able to fully celebrate all of who she is as a woman without the judgement. For my sister I found a new profound, compassion. I can’t imagine being that unhappy having that much pain. Stripping the joy from even the things you love. She was remarking how her dogs, her passion, are nothing but a burden now. I had a flash of my cats and how they, along with so many things, feed my soul.
Today I was off of work, because I have to work through Saturday and instead of just saying “sure I will do that.” I found a day in my calendar with nothing scheduled and told my boss I was switching days off. No long explanation. I don’t have to work an extra day. That has always been a choice. There will be times when I feel I have to, but today was not that day. I found my sister on my mind as I got up this morning. I saw my husband off. I went to my mediation space did a little yoga and sat. After that I had a healthy breakfast and went for a run and a bike ride. While on the trail looking at people and nature, listening to birds and feeling my strong healthy body, I felt my soul recharge. I felt that compassion for my sister and my mother. I have not always been as diligent about these issues of self care in the past, but I have also never been like my mom and sister.
Today as I fill my soul and get ready for the week, I hope that my family can strip away the pain and find the purpose and the joy in even the difficult or mundane things. Tomorrow I head off, for purpose driven work I enjoy. I have a new softer place of compassion for my family. The freedom of realizing their choices don’t have to be mine so I don’t have to be judge and jury.