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Monday, September 06, 2010

It's what's happening on the inside that matters





Today I visited someone who has a heck of a time of it, in their own mind. We will call him George. As we were interacting and I looked around George's house with it's run down, dank vibe and realized how miserable they must be inside. The state of decrepitude of their house was not due to the fact that they were poor or indigent in any way. They are in fact, very intelligent, have their full faculties and are very wealthy. I realized via a juxtaposition of a person close by who is similar in demographics but the opposite in terms of what they were presenting to the world. This person's home was vibrant, filled with light and people, laughter and music. It has a sunny, happy vibe. Observing this stark contrast I had a realization that a person's home is a reflection of their inner life (that has nothing to do with wealth) including their attitudes about the world. George and his house embodied a lack of forgiveness for his own human frailty. The evidence for this was everywhere from how he mistreated his own body to a kind of cheapness of spirit and lack of generosity that has isolated him from all who would try to love him. It was a sad realization. It also made me realize that we can manifest a life however we wish.

What I mean by that is, that our life, the very quality of it seems to start inside, in our own minds. You are the creator of your own day to day world. I mean this in the pure sense of how you are going to feel about every event, every interaction and every choice you make, moment to moment. When you think of it that way, there's a lot of creating you get to do. To be clear, I am not talking about destiny or the fact that some things in life do indeed happen to us or as one of my favorite people likes to say "for" us. NO I am not thinking about that. I'll leave that to God and the higher powers that be.

It's the control of the moment to moment quality of life I am talking about as I have recently had a realization about this. Which is kind of amazing considering what a long hard road it has been these last 7 years. What I am actually experiencing in a moment to moment conscious enough to do something about it way is that there's choices every day that I get to make about how I want to be. They start in my own inner world. I think I turned a corner this summer in that respect. I found my own inner voice telling me at an important juncture to take it one step at a time. That I didn't have to figure it all out in one go. It was this whisper of kindness from a place I am not used to - it was from me. It said, take it at a pace that doesn't hurt so much. I needed that and knew that this gift came as a side effect of living a conscious life. I wanted to say aging there but it's more than that. George is over 70 years in age and many experiences with life that come with aging hasn't helped him live life at all. He is still pretty rotten at it. Never venturing far from his TV or house or life long habits of self loathing. Very sad.

But this inner gentleness I felt was so incredibly unexpected and soothing. I have felt so much pressure to get it right for myself, for Ellie, for Dave, for our life. And a lot of that pressure has amounted to good things accomplished but also a lot of stress. Recently I have remembered to take a deep breath and be still. I haven't made time for that in awhile. Also, Ellie has been teaching me this summer to chill out and laugh. At one point Dave and I were discussing something stressful about our mortgage and she looked at the two of us and laughed. We must seem ridiculous to her the way all middle somethings do to young children and wise old people. I loved it though, that she laughed and I felt relieved as she was reminding me that it's not all such a big deal after all.

I feel like Ellie is the person in this world who keeps me most grounded, in the present and loved. She rewards me all the time, with hugs, signing I love you, smiles, laughs, and the fact that she is growing up and doing all kinds of amazing things no one ever thought she would be capable of. This summer in visiting her 7 year old cousin it was clear that she is very 7 too. That is an exciting discovery. That it was a surprise is due to the fact that she can't tell me directly what is going on inside of her. So when her cousin asked her about things I would have never thought about and Ellie answered them. When her cousin watched Hanna Montana, Ellie did too, without complaint. This was a revelation. it was clear they were on the same page in many ways. That was so incredibly cool.

The best thing of all that Ellie has given me is the fact that I have not felt one moment of the deep and seemingly unending loneliness I felt almost daily, every day of my life until the day I was pregnant with her. I think in reality I am the one who has the most to overcome versus Ellie. She is happy, curious, loving, confident, and present. She's a good teacher. I wonder if all children are teachers for their parents too? Either way, it's really her who is saving me all the time, not the other way around.


*Picture Descriptions:
Ellie with Dave just after riding Splitty
Ellie concentrating
Ellie laughing at her Uncle Braeden in CPK

4 comments:

TherExtras said...

Impressive post, Kathryn.

(I know a person like you described in the first paragraph. Honestly, our child helped teach me about that person by just noticing the contrast between their home and ours. By bringing it to my attention I also realized more about myself.)

Your clear expression of new thought and Ellie's growth is encouraging and enjoyable to read.

Barbara

Kathryn said...

Thanks Barbara. I just took a look at your blog and will have to read more. ;-)

Peypeyoh said...

Hey, I loved this post so much, Kathygirl!

Anonymous said...

Dear K,
Your words mean so much. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I love the new blog design, too!