I compartmentalize. It’s how I get through most days. There are things I can’t control so I tend to focus my attention on where I can move the needle even if just a little bit. I’ve mentioned before that in order to feel safe I’ve always tried to control the things and people in my life.
Through my journey of becoming I’ve been focusing on letting go of the need to control. This also includes allowing my emotions without judgement even when they bubble up at inconvenient times. That doesn’t mean I can allow myself to fall apart whenever or wherever but it does mean that when a difficult emotion emerges I can acknowledge it, allow it, explore it, and nurture the part of me that is feeling wounded or vulnerable. If I can do this for myself I am more capable of finding that compassion for others in their dark moments.
This morning when offering assistance to someone I admire greatly, some very complicated feelings arose around my relationship with my mother. I found myself in tears and I didn’t know why. These emotions were inconvenient and frustrating and my first instinct was to disregard them and to push them as far away as possible and to replace them with resentment for the person I was trying to help.
But in a moment of clarity I decided to allow them instead. I sat with the deep sadness I feel that my mother’s mental illness has kept her from being able to be fully present as my mother and has required me to build strong walls around myself for my own protection.
For many years I thought her illness was my fault. Even now knowing it isn’t I still find myself conflicted and confused as to how I can make sense of having a mom, but not having one too. I don’t talk about this a lot because I don’t want to hurt her. I love her and I pray everyday that she can find the peace she so desperately seeks. But this I my story too and I have to allow it to be so that I can forgive myself, her, and the Universe for making this the reality that we both face.
I stared down those difficult feelings and put love in the world instead. I didn’t let my fear, anxiety, and sadness keep me from being the person I most want to be. I’m not always successful at this but today it’s a #TinyWin that I’m proud to have achieved. The circumstance of my life, or anyone’s, are a convergence of free will, genetics, generations of people living within certain systems, and the constant pulsating energy of the Universe. We have control over so little but in this we have complete control if we allow ourselves the space, consciousness, and compassion.
The cycle of compassion begins when we are able to forgive ourselves for being fully human. We are all just finding our way. Nobody was born with the instruction manual to life. Nobody knows what the hell they are doing. Happy Friday, Shabbat Shalom. I love you all.