Notes from an Ordinary Morning

It’s 46 degrees outside this morning, and my son has dressed himself for school in his normal chosen attire~ athletic shorts and a t-shirt. As I watch him sitting on the floor in his skimpy outfit tying his shoes, I make my routine protest: “Ezra, it’s cold outside now. It’s not Summer anymore. You have to dress warmly. Put on some pants and a long-sleeve shirt please.”
 
Ezra (8) looks up at me, makes direct eye contact, and says with strong, clear assertion: “Mom~ this is MY body, and my choice of how to dress it. When I run around outside I heat up. If I get cold then I will learn my lesson that way, ok? Please don’t be so controlling of me.”
 

What can I say to such well-reasoned sensibility and self-assured clarity? I look at him, humbled, and say: “Ok. Well at least put on a sweatshirt?” He nods compliantly, finishes tying his shoes, and jumps up to go grab his sweatshirt. So completely himself.
 
Meanwhile, Arayla (11.5) comes out of her bedroom brushing her long honey hair. We french-braided it last night while it was wet, so today it would have some wave. She’s frowning now, and says to me, sadly: “It’s all frizzy though, look…” I head to the sink, get my fingers wet, saying: “It looks beautiful! Let’s just run a little water through it.” As I run my fingers through her hair, I look down into her shining blue eyes… and then, oh no: “Are you wearing mascara Love? You know you can’t wear make-up to school.”
 
“Mom~ I’m NOT.” She attempts to mask a guilty smile, quickly turning her head away and scooting out of reach, disappearing into her room. I call after her: “Take it off please! It’s ok on weekends… but not to school.”
 
I sigh and think to myself~ really, what’s the harm with a little mascara?~ as I return to the task of making breakfast and packing their lunches. Sometimes I feel like I’m stewarding these ancient, wise, self-respecting souls temporarily housed in children’s bodies~ and all of us feel the ridiculousness of me telling them what to do and how to do it.
 
Such an interesting phase~ each of them stretching into new versions of their amazing selves, perfectly outgrowing my reach, discovering what calls them to independence and unique expression, while needing my ongoing containment, my vigilant tracking, my loving guidance as much as ever.
 
There’s a wondrous way in parenting we get to lean into the stretch, over and over again over the years~ through all the transitions. We get to feel the stretch pull on our hearts and minds, as we open wider to let life change us all, grow us all up more, always insisting we loosen the reigns without neglecting the road.
 
Mundane moments with my kids are my heart’s most treasured mirror~ where I get to see what’s current, what’s real, what’s presently alive in our living. Sometimes the mirror is painful and hard to receive, sometimes touchingly poignant and rich with love. Always it holds the key to evolution and the recipe for gratitude.
 
Dream Prayer: Loving The Thief

Dream Prayer: Loving The Thief

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Heading into prayer space this weekend. So deeply grateful to have the chance to gather with kindreds around the flame and sit with what is churning in our hearts, and in the great heart of our world in these tender, troubling times.

I had a potent dream a couple of nights ago that I am still working with deeply. The dream was about my car (a common symbol for me) getting stolen by an irreverent, narcissistic, nonchalant and arrogant drug-lord thief! I tried everything to get the thief to give me back my car. I got hysterical, wailing and pounding my fists on his chest. I tried getting scary, threatening him. I tried appealing to his empathy, pleading with him that I needed the car, as a single mother of 2, more than he did. He didn’t flinch. I tried insulting him, meanly, and castrating him with my words. Nothing impacted him.

Finally, at the end of the dream, suddenly and surprisingly overcome by compassion for this drug lord thief, I wrapped my arms around him from behind, one hand on his chest, the other scooping around him on his belly. I just held him, breathing, and loving him. He asked me, accusingly, what was I doing? I told him: “This is what I do. I help people rediscover the love within, that they have been looking for in all the wrong places. I help them remember that they ARE the love they seek; that nothing else is needed.” This big irreverent macho thief started to cry then, in my arms, and pulled my arms close, tighter around him. After a little while, he said: “You can have your car back now.” And I woke from the dream crying deeply myself in my bed.

I’m working with this dream very personally, but also as a powerful dream for these times. What is it that I have been demonizing, internally and externally, within myself, and out there in our world? What do we most judge and hate and want to destroy in this life? What do we polarize against~ whether it’s the politicians in their embarrassing puppetry, or the cops seemingly standing on the wrong side of every issue? The big bad oil companies, Monsanto, Fukushima, Isis, and all the rest. The dark, cruel, life-killing one. The irreverent, narcissistic, arrogant thief~ who steals that which we cherish, who ruins that which we hold dear? And what about that which we judge and hate and wish vehemently to destroy within ourselves? Whatever that is~ the fat, the poor, the addicted, the liar, the cheater, the cruel one, the bad mother, the distant father, the failure, the one who is terrified of life? All that we justify as being hate-able and judge-able~ inside and outside.

Do we dare embrace it from behind, sneak up on it with our healing love, and courageously remind it of the truth?

This is my current dream, my inquiry and my prayer, Beloved Friends.


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