I’ve become a blog reading addict. I spend nearly my entire afternoons reading peoples stories, poems, looking at their photographs, and learning about life through blogging commentaries. It’s fascinating and illuminating to see not only other people with similar issues they’re struggling with but also seeing words that are written from the authentic self, that place of calm coming from the heart.
If I go through my day with my eyes open, I find that even in my life, where I’ve basically sequestered myself from the rest of the world, I can see where I respond to things with that sense of duality — a sense that someone is doing something to purposely annoy me or pushing my buttons in the wrong way. I find that here in my haven is the best way for me to gradually identify those triggers, because they’re just big enough to annoy me but not enough that I can’t identify and work on my reactions to them. If I go through my day blindly, I don’t even notice them, and then I miss the chance to learn from them.
One example is my mother’s modem. When my brother packed up her apartment, he threw everything into boxes and threw the boxes into U-Haul. That’s ok, that’s my brother. But it meant I had to track down how to pay Comcast for the modem that we didn’t return. Comcast charged me $40 for this unreturned modem which I paid. So instead of just transferring the $40 I paid Comcast to their requisitions company, Comcast credited me for $40 and let the requisitions company harass me for another $40. When I tried to get Comcast to explain to me what was going on, he clammed up when I told him I was my mother’s POA (Power of Attorney).
“Oh you’re her POA ? If you’re not the owner, I’m not authorized to tell you anything about this account.”
“Look, I’ve been paying this bill for the past 6 months. See that permanent address on the bill? It’s mine. My mother is out of the apartment. All I want to do is resolve the payment of the unreturned modem.”
“Sorry, no can do. I need to speak with the owner of the account.”
“Ok, I’m the owner.”
“But you just told me you were her POA .”
“I’m not any more. I’m her.”
“It’s too late. I can’t help you.”
So now my heart is going “thump thump thump” because I have to deal with this sort of silliness all the time. This is the joy of being a POA (Power of Attorney). So I pay the outside requisition company another $40 and tack up the Comcast bill showing $40 credit up on my wall. It’ll be a to-do item to follow up on it if I don’t get it refunded.
But now it’s all in the past, and the follow up is in the future. From here on it may go perfectly smoothly, one day I’ll get a refund check of $40 in the mail and they’ll be out of my life. Or not, it doesn’t matter, that’s in the future. If I take a deep breath, the present moment is still preserved. The minute I hung up the phone and paid the second bill, that task was off my plate and the stress should be gone because now there’s nothing in the present moment going on.
I have to analyze every interaction I have with people and determine whether I’m responding to them from deep within my heart or from some sort of knee jerk reaction because they said something that reminds me of something that happened to me as a child. I also have to recognize when I’m doing the same to them, because if someone gets angry with me, getting angry back just adds to the fiction we’re building around the problem. We’re heaping our egos on top of the root cause of the discussion, and therefore unable to clearly identify or discuss the matter at hand with clarity. Sometimes I have to accept that people will always see me a certain way. That’s the cloud in their minds, and I need to make sure I don’t regress and confirm their assumptions about me. When I’m with my family, especially, it’s very easy to jump my mind back 50 years and relive those relationships. How can I accurately remember 50 years ago, though? I can’t even remember the movie I watched yesterday.
Reading other peoples blogs, I can see into other peoples lives and see that some, like me, carry their childhood around forever, like sacks of old, rotted flour on their backs. Now is the start of a new life. Now the child in me can come out. I can give her the nurturing she needs and the happy-go-lucky freedom to run through puddles and live in a loving household without punishment or expectations. I can give her a second chance.
That’s what my purpose is right now. Learn to listen to my breath throughout my day, keep reading blogs and books to keep myself inspired, and be dedicated to my exercising, yoga, and meditating to keep my physical and mental healing progressing.