Posted by: innerpilgrimage | May 8, 2011

Mother Superior, Mother Inferior, Mother Balance

      Mother’s Day 2011 has been a wonderful day for practicing conscious abandonment of expectations.

      I got the non-traditional bouquet of D.I.Y. dead flowers on Friday from a national mail-it-to-’em chain. I feel bad for the mothers who will receive dead flowers today from the guys in the brown shorts, flowers which spent their travel time baking in solar ovens without any reprieve of having a moisture pack. I feel worse for the fathers who, in their effort to express love to their wives, will find that the messengers of love will show precisely how much THEY care about the wives of these men who spent tireless hours waking up and caring for their children. Who make breakfasts with bed head that would make a punk rocker proud. Who stumble out bleary-eyed to start their days, fueling themselves with coffee to push aside the exhaustion of yet one more sleepless night.
      This morning, after years of wanting breakfast in bed, I went ahead and followed the rule of actually having breakfast in bed . . . not getting up completely. I worked the night before to make it easier, setting out what my two men (one almost-teen, and one adult husband) would need to make breakfast. I sat in bed, hoping for the perfect breakfast and expecting it to go awry as usual. When I realized I was doing that (part of recovery is accepting that I will think like an addict; I then actively choose to let go of expectations–trying to will control like some sort of giant-headed superhero with mind-control powers), I let go actively. I told myself I was having expectations. Then I accepted it would be wonderful, simply because it was made out of love.
      I did get up long enough to answer questions about what I wanted–one slice of bacon and one egg to go with my waffles. Yep, my boys were making a breakfast that normally is part of my realm. I am Queen of the Breakfast Faeries in this home, and I make breakfast magic 99 times of 100. Yes, about three days a year, nothing goes right. The rest of the time, it works pretty darn well, with regularly fantastic breakfasts coming out once a week or more. So releasing my crown and setting it down in order to accept the possibility that the breakfast bell is going to come from the smoke alarm? That is a struggle of controlling that which I cannot change.
      I let go and accepted that breakfast would be made from love, that they would bring to it their sense of me . . . not themselves. And even if it was a breakfast all about them (which I knew wasn’t happening, since they were definitely focused on making me happy in word and action for the last week), I could be okay with it because of the years I did the same thing. It’s a process to leave the self and join the party that is life. I dance in order to show other people how I celebrate their souls and their paths as equal members in this cooperative human race. So, I accepted that if the waffles were burned, it would be funny. If the bacon was undercooked, it would be just as tasty. The eggs, I started to say when asked, could be any style. Then I stopped and made it easier, asking for a style which I knew would promote success. I did what I could to set everything up for success, for not requiring me to leave bed to make my own breakfast then run back and wait.
      It was precisely wonderful. The waffles were done right; the amount of syrup left in the bottle was precisely the amount I needed (seriously!); the egg was cooked just how I like it; and the bacon . . . my spouse and I like bacon differently, and he went out of his way to cook mine longer. It turned out exactly, and I mean exactly, how I like my bacon. I got coffee, which I asked for milk and my Stevia to muddy up, making it easier by letting them know how much and where it was. Imperfectly measured? Not a problem. Breakfast turned out exactly how for years I had expected and assumed it should and had never gotten.
      This is how recovery works in my life. When I practice conscious joy, reminding myself that others’ actions are what they are? I can let go and enjoy. When I consciously choose not to expect? No one can fail the Queen of Breakfast Fairies. And when I let go, inspiration took hold of my dearly beloved chefs, and I got precisely what I wanted. Very, very, very powerful lesson about letting go. With a mixture of clear messages (footwork) and letting go (detachment), my Higher Power rewarded me with a beautiful morning that surpassed everything I had expected before. I got out of the way, and I got what I needed–which was what I had wanted when I was putting pressure on people. I was making it harder for them to relax and just do when I burdened them with the shadow of my expectations. When light was allowed to come in? Everything was illuminated and beautiful.
      And my cards were sweet–both had butterflies, like I had asked. The kind words that came from the hearts of my son and spouse made me cry in joy (feeling emotions as they come is also part of recovery practice), and I felt connected to these wonderful men in my life who challenge me to grow and align to life as a spiritual being in a human vessel. They’re supportive of this, and I am working toward a balance that I practice daily. I have been fortunate to surround myself with people who are excited about the changes, and this is awesome. And as I begin to live a more peaceful and serene life, I find that peace and serenity flows throughout. And with that comes the gratitude and joy in the moment.
      Today is a day with a strongly connected start. I am relaxed. Peaceful. Loved. And the lessons of letting go have been getting rewards equal to the letting-go challenge. Like a mirror is put up to it, and the depth of how far I have to retreat in real life is how far my Higher Power will go in the reflection. The challenge is met with equal reward. Yes, even in “failure”, if I walk backward and it ends up going all awry? The lesson from that reflected “failure” contains an equal-reward treasure. There is no losing in this life any more. No wonder I’m so optimistic most of the time!
      This is my recovery. This is how, by walking within I found the Universe. I am still learning about how to travel the path. Compassion for others means not meddling (giving advice that is a lesson about how *I* should handle things if that would happen to me in my life . . . not how another should) or rescuing (disempowering others and myself by assuming I know better and planting expectations and resentments all around–which I will most definitely sow as conflict in the future). Releasing expectations and assumptions means that I cannot be disappointed. Choosing to strongly perceive failure and mistakes as easy lessons because of the aversion to the result (this is a thought, which has changed from self-abusive guilt and shame to what it is now) makes life easier. Letting go (disentangling myself from others’ opinions and lives, ceasing to become human kudzu to anyone who crosses my path) makes life easier, since I “go with the flow” and align myself with reality instead of constantly do battle with it in order to set the world neatly around me and scold anyone who tries to move anything at all. I don’t feel lonely when I’m alone any more, which is nice. And I am learning that filtering the silent truths through my mind and mouth and writings can be rejected easily by others with different truths–it really is better to stay quiet about them (something I am learning slowly). I am learning that my path is mine, and when I write or speak, I am merely giving the location of one trailhead that a person can choose to start from or to ignore. I worry about even talking about it sometimes, since people will read what I write or hear what I say and perceive I am wrong or stupid or any number of things. But if one person reads or listens and is inspired to go their own way, to set out on a journey of their own instead of fighting in the arena of society’s expectations? This is good. And when they communicate with me, I feel hopeful. Every person is a teacher for me, even those who come up to me thanking me for lessons.
      Even if the lesson is to detach from the good opinion of others, which is very hard to do. See, attaching myself from the good opinion of others means I also attach myself to the bad opinions of others . . . simply because I am attaching myself to the opinions of others. Hard lesson to overcome. Definitely a challenge, but one which has the reward of serenity and peace and service from compassion instead of obligation.
      So, as a vessel which brought two souls into the world in their own vessels to grow? I am pleased that one has made it to adulthood with a sense of love and wonder and the other is growing into an adult with a sense of love and wonder. It’s a good time to be alive and in the now.
     
      Life . . . is beautiful.
     
      Jess. Addict. Food. Approval. Disentangling. Journeying. Learning. Recovering.
     
      Joyfully.

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