Today is the first morning all summer (since the end of May) that I’ve been alone. My husband is at work. I have no guests, meetings, or events. One child is back in school, and one just went to camp for several days. I am in a state of bliss, despite the piles of laundry, puppy messes everywhere, construction noise, and backlog of phone calls, emails and work I need to attend to.
I grew up as an only child on a big quiet farm. Though I was very social, I thrived on being alone and really understood this about myself at a very young age. There was never a time when I wished for a sibling, except perhaps when I was a teenager getting in trouble. (I would have loved for someone else to have taken some shrapnel when I got in trouble or at least gone before me so that, when I did something stupid but normal for a teen, my parents would have not been so shocked). My dear sweet husband knows me and respects my need for “aloneness.” The older I get, the more I realize I need a little space everyday or I morph into some type of monster that may, when provoked, may eat small children and even husbands who cross my path. My children clearly have a different definition of “space” than I do. Never mind the fact that we, like most folks in Hawaii, have a relatively small home. I’ve seriously fantasized about how to turn my closet into a sound proof capsule. For now, I may have to resort to wearing a sign around my neck that states “Beware of Monster” when I’m edgy.
I was in full-on Monster/Drill Sergeant mode with my kids yesterday when, in between shuttling them to various places, I read an e-mail someone sent me about the 2015 Forbes “Top College’s List.” My alma mater, The United States Military Academy, was #11. On most days, I’d be proud. Yesterday, it was like food for The Monster. I considered driving myself off a cliff… or onto base to see if I could actually go back into the Army where I might at least have a chance in hell of some young private listening to and obeying me. My children could give a rats ass where I went to school or what I did before they came along. I could have easily chosen to stay in the Army or go into corporate America like many of my classmates instead of dealing with them all day everyday. The sadistic thing about this whole mental breakdown is that, the more I got mad at them, the worse I felt about myself. I am the first one to admit that patience is not my greatest virtue. I have a quick temper and a mouth of sailor (or in my case, a female paratrooper that developed a few rough edges in her day). Fortunately I am good at apologizing and reminding others that I love them. I just need to direct more of that apologetic, unconditional love my own direction I suppose. I am keenly aware of how guilt, remorse, lack of forgiveness, and general negativity affect my body, mind, and spirit. I feel it in every cell… every fiber of my being.
This morning I sat and did some meditation and spiritual reading. Synchronistically, I picked up Nana Veary’s book called, Change We Must and flipped right to the part about ho’oponopono. Her words are like salve to my soul.
“What is most important in ho’oponopono is getting right with God [and by this she also means God withIN]. When you are right with God, you are right with your fellow man, and the pressures, tensions, and guilt causing the illness [including monster syndrome] are released.”
Aunty Nana also reminded me of a practice that, when I get in monster mode, is easy to forget. She writes,
“Today I recommend meditating twice a day as your own kind of ho’oponopono: once in the morning to give thanks to the source, and once in the evening to ask for forgiveness. This cleanses your life daily and nurtures a reverence for life.”
Needless-to-say, all of this is much easier when no one is asking me to be a short-order cook or tracking dog poop through my house. Yes, I chose to be stay-at-home mother/work-from-home entrepreneur/Special Forces spouse with Flexigirl superpowers. That is why it’s so important I build up my internal fortitude in the quiet spaces of my life. I trust I’m not the only mom (or dad) who can resonate with these thoughts and hope that, if nothing else, you know you are not alone. At best, maybe you’ll be inspired to grab whatever space you can and get quiet for a moment… maybe even twice in one day.
Ho’oponopono is good monster repellant.