I had such an interesting realisation the other day. It went like this:
The glass is not half-full or half-empty, it is half full of liquid and half full of air.
Well! Life is going to be SO different for me lived from this perspective.
I think I often live in ‘half-empty’ and use it to escape the moment I’m in by looking at what it’s lacking; “Oh, this is so nice, if only I had X it would be just perfect.” Those of you who’ve read my previous posts know, I blame this on my ancestors.
But what if there is no half-empty? What if what ISN’T there, is actually what IS there?
Bear with me people, I haven’t lost it yet. I think…
Ok, for instance, my child is NOT listening lately. He is testing the boundaries and making me feel totally inadequate as a controller of children. Yes I know I’m supposed to be a collaborator with, not a controller of, children but for heaven’s sakes to collaborate you need both sides to be LISTENING, right? And it only makes me feel worse that I know so damn much about this subject.
So, I am wallowing in the lack of his listening, the lack of my ability to get things as I want them, the lack of a feeling of competence, the concern that I’m a hack…
But what if what I have is not a LACK of anything, but an experience of something else?
Hey I didn’t say it was going to be easy, just different.
Many of the things that make us feel really awful are illusions. We make ourselves feel bad about pretend things all the time.
Let’s use my blessed child again shall we?
So there he is not listening and there I am feeling small and powerless and unimportant. Horrible, uncomfortable scary feelings – and horribly familiar too. The themes of being human.
But are they true? Let’s look at it:
Am I small? Well what does that even mean? If you live your life quietly in a cave and reach enlightenment but no-one knows about it are you small? If you live a famous grandiose life and do a lot of damage in the world are you big? What makes us big or small? Is anyone actually small? Am I small if my child is going through a phase of testing boundaries by not listening to his mama? Oh please!
Am I powerless? Well what does that even mean? Do I have no more choices? If my hands are tied and my mouth is gagged do I no longer have the power to choose my reactions? If my child is not listening and doing things that could be dangerous (like club his little brother on the head with a heavy metal object) can I not run, hug him tight and keep him close by? Am I powerless if I feel I have I no influence to make things go like I want them to? Do I no longer have the choice of fighting against or opening my heart to how things are?
Am I unimportant? Well what does that even mean? Who gets to decide if I’m important or not? Who would we ask? The masses who give me the thumbs up or thumbs down? The publishers who want or reject my book? My neighbours? My children? God? Everyone comes from their own perspective so who gets to say if I’m important or not?
And my blessed child is making me look at them up close and personal because, when he does that not-listening thing that triggers me like that, I’m pushed into seeing that I believe it’s possible for me to be small or powerless or unimportant and that belief is making me feel bad.
So I’m not getting the ‘listening-child’ experience that I think I want, I’m getting the ‘not-listening-child’ experience I apparently need.
The glass is always half full of water and half full of air. When you have water you are learning from that, and when you have air it brings its own blessings. Which means I have no more lack in my life – after all, ‘not having enough’ is also an illusion.
Are you listening ancestors?
I love the air – water thing. I fully get how our kids uncover the work we need to do on ourselves. The stronger my reactions, the more time I need to spend untangling the weird assumptions I have about myself. I cry, laugh and let go …until the next time
…and the next time, and the next… Thanks for this. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my weirdness 🙂 – and my strong reactions. I’d be interested to hear how you do untangle.
love that, Elizabeth: “I cry, laugh and let go… until the next time”.