There's nothing you really need to do but show up.
Ever wonder why you're here? Or wish you felt more prepared for Life?
There's nothing you really need to do but show up.
I used to drink to excess and play with drugs, mainly to feel some relief from a sense of powerlessness. I felt like a victim in many ways. I felt like a victim of my own emotions. I had a degree of control over the highs and lows of drugs and alcohol, but the dramatic mood swings I’d dealt with since childhood seemed to have me utterly at their mercy. I coped the best I knew how. Over the years, I have found better and better ways to soothe myself, but even today I have moments when I feel I might die if I can’t satisfy some craving – maybe for sugar, or a kind word from someone.
During an especially low time a few years ago, when I thought I might have what some call bi-polar disorder, I seriously considered going on some kind of balancing pharmaceuticals. But I made it through the down-swing, and began to rise back up. Feeling stronger, I knew that I wanted to know how I was feeling – to listen to the pain and respond with a clear head. That way, I thought I had a chance of moving through stuff. Of healing.
I began to explore natural medicines like yoga, creative expression, meditation, exercise, and a balanced diet. These practices have served me well, and have led to even deeper exploration. I now have a “medicine chest” overflowing with techniques to address anxiety, depression, and more physical forms of emotional blocks.
One of the blessings of big highs and lows is, of course, the highs. I am able to experience blissful states, where I feel deeply connected with myself, others, the Universe…
But as lovely as the up-swings can be, I find myself more and more interested in the in-between times. The ones that used to feel boring. Or even threatening, in their unfamiliarity. Now they are growing, under my nurturance, into very alive moments. What once was skipped over as fast as possible is now seen to be where it’s all at. It’s the biggest secret, the best joke! Running around in circles for years trying to find love and answers, when all along, they’re right here. In this unassuming little moment that opens like a sun-blossom upon closer inspection.
Words like gentleness and balance are becoming very meaningful to me. I ask myself, when feeling low, “What would help me feel just a little bit better right now?” When feeling wonderful, I aim to simply rest in that, rather than grab on with both hands. I aim to just enjoy it, and allow it to come and go. When a craving comes, I know nothing but what I find inside me will really satisfy me now.
Maintaining balance requires awareness. Awareness requires letting go. Letting go requires trust. And trust… it comes a bit at a time, with practice.
If you’re on a path toward balance, just keep walking. The most exciting thing in the world is the ground that comes to life under your feet, and the journey that unfolds, one
“I relax my belly and inhale deeply, exhaling with a sigh. Through what looks like tangles and sharp edges, the spirit of gentleness moves like a breath, a kiss. Tight things unfurl, frozen things melt.
-from my Inner Diamond Gentleness card
There’s a part of me that sometimes wants to curl up into someone’s lap and live there forever. I would be small and loved and protected and nurtured and not have to make any decisions. Like an infant. Or a cat. Another part of me knows we’re not here to stay always small and still, or to give our power over to another person.
Maybe this knowing part of me is that which the other part of me – the weary one – can curl up into. Considering that Mother’s Day is coming up, let’s call this knowing aspect of ourselves the Perfect Mother. She is a shining facet of the inner Diamond, and we all have access. If you feel unacquainted with her and want an introduction, simply start keeping your eyes open for her. We create things by looking, and expecting to find. Or do we just… uncover them… re-discover them?
If I’m used to seeing myself as unable to take care of my own needs, then that’s who I’ll continue to be, until I choose to see differently. Until I choose to see my Perfect Mother, I’ll keep reaching out, instead of in, for what I need. And that’s fine except I’ll never get it. At least not in any consistent or lasting kind of way.
My mom was never taught that taking care of herself was important. She learned to be ever-vigilant for the needs of others, and I learned the same. Now I am learning something new – that I matter, and that my needs matter, and that I have the capacity to address them.
What does that mean – “taking care of yourself”? I see it as important work. An ever-changing process, as we evolve. It’s the behind-the-scenes sweaty stuff that often no one but you and the few others doing the same work will know about or appreciate. An essential part of the work is seeing that I’m the only one who needs to understand what I’m doing. What’s happening on stage isn’t important while I’m setting the background, the tone, and making sure the basic mechanics are solid.
Only you know how best to care for your body, mind and soul. That is, as long as you’re taking direction from the Perfect Mother and not the needy child in you. What would the ideal mother be like? (if you’d prefer to imagine a father or deity or angel, fine.) She might exude a warm, nurturing heart. She might shimmer with moon-y gentleness, innocence, and purity. She would accept you utterly, offering unconditional love and a never-ending flow of forgiveness for mistakes made and yet to be made. She sees the path to your happiness.
And she is you, really. Whenever we turn within for sustenance instead of thinking we can get it from the world, we access her; we become her. And when we’re acting from that space, we are happy to be busy behind the scenes, because we see that it’s where all the juice really is. The stage is often rather a barren place. And being our own Care-taker becomes not a chore but a rich, delicious, adventurous way of life. It’s tapping into perfect, non-stop love and approval. And the miracle is that as soon as we've hooked into our inner nurturer, the outside world begins to reflect that kindness back to us immediately.
Tomorrow, Friday, is the New Moon, which is a powerful time to begin something new. It might be fun to simply recall, every morning for the next 28 days, (or 7, or 2!) the idea of an inner Being who knows and loves us, and ask Her to bless your day.
And this Sunday is Mother’s Day. Let us celebrate the women who gave us birth and feeding and watering and bathing… and in many cases so very much more. Let us honour the aspects of her that we appreciate most. And let us truly begin to get to know and celebrate the Perfect Mother in ourselves, who will be there for us in full resplendence, every single time we call.
Ann Marie Cross shares current insights & stories on the path to the inner Treasure.
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