Yesterday I tried to write a blog. But it just became one long confused ramble that I couldn’t cut and paste to make work. So here is another stab at what I was trying to say.
Yesterday I woke up in a funk. Didn’t know what it was about. Nothing was really wrong, but I just felt like everything about life in general, and especially me, was just plain wrong.
I kept having an image replay itself in my mind. It was of my mom from the morning. I’m staying at her house and I get out early to go to the gym. Even though I’m quiet and try not to wake her, an alarm on her front door wakes her up, signalling that someone is entering or leaving her house. She loves to know what is going on so she gets out of bed, and goes to the window.
I look up on my way to the car. I see her struggling to open her bedroom window. Finally she gets it open and starts frantically waving her hands.
I open my window and wave back. I blink my brights. And on the way up the street, I beep my horn. I want her to know that I see her. She always asks if I did.
On the one hand, it is adorable. She wants to say goodbye.
On the other hand, when I finally allow myself to feel my emotions, I am just sad. And I think I shouldn’t be.
- I am lucky to have her
- My life is going great
- I am doing well at work
- My kids are thriving and we are very close
- I have nothing really to be upset about
Recognizing I am sad is hard, but allowing myself to FEEL my sadness is even harder. There’s a few reasons that I’m noticing:
- I’m afraid I will disappear into the sadness and never come out
- It hurts
- I think I’m not supposed to be
- I’m supposed to always be happy
- I’m supposed to “get over it”
- It’s a downer
- I’m just not supposed to be
When I can finally allow myself to be sad, I cry. This week I’ve cried in the car. I’ve cried at Whole Foods, and I’m crying now.
What I’ve noticed this week is that afterwards, I feel surprisingly free. And light. And present. I can’t believe it. Feeling my feelings allows the sadness, heaviness and wrongness of life to dissipate.
And I can get real with myself. I can see I’ve been frustrated about not being able to:
- help my mom remember things
- have my sisters get that she’s not helpless
- have my sisters treat her like a person and not an invalid
- reverse aging and go back to how it used to be
- forgive myself for being so annoyed by my mom’s questions for so long instead of just appreciating her for who she is
- have her get how much we love her and are so proud of who she is
Last night my mom came up to my room and sat on my bed.
“I guess I’m a problem,” she said. She looked so sad.
What had happened was that a tracking device that my sister had planted in her wallet was missing. [It was supposed to help her not lose her wallet, but also help my sister track my mom down when she is worried because she can’t reach her. My sister spent hours trying to find it. Phone calls, questioning my mom, etc. My mom couldn’t remember touching it or moving it.]
On the one hand, my sister cares about my mom and wants her to be safe.
On the other hand, she treats her as if she is not capable of taking care of herself.
I don’t know what the truth is. I just hate to see my mother feel that way. It breaks my heart.
This is life. I know that. And I don’t have to like it. And I can cry and be sad whenever I need to. Because that frees me up to be present with her and the rest of life. Resisting my sadness makes everything 1000% worse.
All I can do is love my mother as best I can. Have her see that she is a blessing and not a problem. Enjoy the moment and not project doom and gloom.
I never thought that crying and sadness were pathways to freedom. But, for me, they have become that. I am really surprised that the heaviness and wrongness disappeared just from feeling my emotions. It seems so easy now, even though it wasn’t at the time.
What will I discover next? Who knows?