I am traveling on the East Coast, which is where I was born. In the past, my visits have left me bewildered, lost in old stories and lost to the self I was trying to grow into. Each time I visit now I feel acutely aware that this might be my last try at making peace and accepting the past for what it is. So here I am again with a singular focus of being the person I aspire to be.
It is strange how easily we can lose touch with our better selves. I remember the last time my best laid plans disintegrated in front of my children who easily were able to maintain their teen perspectives. My son gently reminded me “Your family doesn’t bring out the best in you.” It was a moment of compassionate breakthrough between us at a challenging time in his development. In a moment, all of the demands I had made on him to connect to me and to his siblings came clear.
I have no designs on healing anyone but me this time. I think that is a good start. I also have clear boundaries with my own space and car so I can measure my capacity for kindness and stay clear in my listening. Most of all, I am dedicated to not making it worse. This form of true heart patience could change the world I believe, if we would all commit to letting the painful places exist in and around us without the urge to fix it. This is like standing on hot coals for most- this holding place where we witness the painful, broken mess and commit to not making it worse.
Rest is a friend here and time zone changes don’t help. Today I lost it at a US Airways attendant who didn’t announce the third gate change, which required schlepping back through an overheated, dirty, under-construction airport terminal. I heard my voice raised almost like I was watching someone else and thought “Here I am making it worse.” That is how we catch it, hopefully a little closer to opening the mouth each day.