I suppose I have reasons for it. I have tons going on, in work and in life, and much as I’ve learned to let it go – or to at least try to – I still at times have a perfection drive flaring within me. I want to do it all flawlessly. To do everything and to do everything well. And there isn’t enough time and I don’t have the bandwidth. So I get tense.
I have a house full of people, which is great and a blessing, but also work. I have more people coming tomorrow. And my dad is here. The only way I handle that is to put up a “wall” around me, for protection in case it’s needed. That’s tiring and tense-ing. He hasn’t blown at me in years, but I protect myself, just in case.
It’s hard to see him as he is. It’s hard to ask him to change his clothes, which he doesn’t like to do. To help him change his clothes, which isn’t easy to do. To notice how challenged he is and how unhappy his life is. And at the same time to notice his love for me and my family. As always it’s there if you look for it, but sometimes it’s hard to find. To notice how maybe I discredit the love – like the fact that he played Sorry as a family game even though he couldn’t see, or move, his pieces.
So, I suppose I have my reasons to be on edge. But I don’t like feeling this way. So I sat for my “quiet time” – waking at 5:30 is a benefit with a house full of guests, because no one else is up but me, and I can sit with my cup of tea and remember what’s right in my life and the power of my mind.
I was able to sit and see the sunshine. To hear the birds. To mentally call out how hard my dad tries to be engaged and involved – to notice that he endures pain as he walks but still shows up for my kid’s graduation ceremonies. To notice that he has to climb on a stool and hoist himself into my car with only one working leg and arm, but still he shows up.
I think through each person in my house and how much I love them. I listen to the quiet and realize that what will get done will get done and what won’t won’t. I remember that today I get to go to my killer yoga class – my temple of quiet and self-nurturing.
I work my way through all these positive thoughts and I feel the release. The softening of my edge. The determination to maybe not be perfect in what I do today, but to do my best to notice the best in each moment and let that ease me. And to hopefully do that perfectly.
My son tells me it doesn’t work for him to make himself think positive thoughts. He can’t move his mind from one space to another he says. Well, it works for me. I can’t say that life gets better. I still have too much to do. But I certainly feel better, and for me that’s enough.
How does the power of the mind work for you?