We can’t seem to stop from writing the story of our lives. We are prolific in our creation of our realities,both future versions and packaging of the past. We daily practice crafting air tight plots that don’t allow for disagreement. But what if the plot you are writing daily is causing you stress? These versions of your story you write are boxing you in, depressing you and creating self judgments that would shock any ordinary courtroom. To illustrate this I’m reposting a piece I wrote about a year ago. The story is an ordinary one about my mom coming home from hip replacement surgery. The inner dialogue she writes though is a reminder to me and, I hope, to you, about choosing daily how we will talk to ourselves and what we will actively choose to believe about ourselves. This is a moment by moment practice so now is an excellent time to start writing a new story.
I’ve been spending the last few days helping my mom get settled back at home after hip replacement surgery. She has been doing really well in terms of recovery, taking only Tylenol for pain rarely and getting up and down slowly but ably.
Being with my Mom these past days has offered me a clear life lesson t in the struggle we all have in being with what is.
Scientific studies show that our minds spin thoughts of the future and replay thoughts of the past in a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” show and are almost never here in the present. So, it should have been a small surprise those five days after her surgery, my mom sat in her chair in the kitchen and looked quite put out.
“I just don’t understand why I don’t feel well”
She was genuinely concerned about this, and my dad and I could only look at her with perplexed faces.
You don’t understand? This is thought and not said. But (insert sarcastic tone here) “Could it be that you had a bone cut out and a piece of mettle inserted in a six inch incision five days ago? Could it be that you are having to spend your days prone when you are used to walking and gardening? Could it be that you have trouble sleeping and haven’t had more than 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep since that operation? Could it be one of the 7 different drips/medications you have had piped into your body?”
I think you see where I’m going with this. My mom isn’t really being with what is happening right now. My mom is with her self of last week. The women who is Linda who does x,y and z. Not the women who is Linda who had surgery this week, who is still Linda, even though she can’t do x,y and z.
I saw with such clarity that peace is available if we can be with what is. Not a false rosy glass view filled with positive thinking, and not the clouded over storm clouds are coming view. Just what is. If we cannot be with what truly is, then we cause ourselves worry, we get frustrated, angry, we push against it and we are often unkind to ourselves. Our dialogue becomes, as my mothers did:
“Hey what is the matter with me; I can’t understand why I can’t do this today. Am I sick? Am I just getting lazy?”
Compassion for your self is available if you allow what is to be. You aren’t good or bad. You are where you are. It is what it is. Act from that knowledge and give yourself the gift of peace.