I am having dinner with my youngest daughter. It is a regular bi-weekly event for us though it’s been a few weeks since we’ve had our mother/daughter get-together. January was busy and before that Christmas. We were due this time together!
We talk about current events in our lives, work, her plans for the future, a recent trip and then our conversation turns to days long ago. The pain we both felt and the power of time to ease the strain of what was as we learn to accept the power of love to heal all things in the here and now. She tells me she has found there is value in all things, it’s just sometimes it’s hard to see it until you’re far enough away from the source of the pain.
“What is the value you’ve found in being diagnosed with epilepsy?” I ask.
It was four years ago when she got the diagnosis. It was a surprise. A shock. There had been no symptoms, nothing to suggest its presence. Over the years I’ve watched her navigate the uncomfortable waters of change, watched her learn to accept and live with the consequences of the changes its demanded in her life. It wasn’t always easy but she has always surfaced above it with grace. She’s even made jokes about it and let her friends tease her about it. It is her nature. “There’s not much else I can do,” she says. “I can’t change it.”
And that is the value its taught her, she tells me. To let go of trying to control everything.
It is a powerful lesson.
Motivational speaker Brian Tracy said, “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”
I have in my life been known to try to control everything. I believed if I could control the world around me, my world would be under control.
Time. Experience. Life has taught me otherwise.
I cannot control the world around me. I can only control how I respond to it.
Being in control is my ego’s fear based response. My ego likes to look like it has all the answers. Like it knows what’s goin’ on, what’s goin’ down, what’s goin’ round.
My ego is not my friend. In its fear based responses, it leaves me exposed and vulnerable to outside circumstances slipping in and messing with my hearts desire to know and experience life in all its richness right where I’m at, as I’m at, with all that I’ve got in that moment.
My ego would like me to believe I am powerful enough to create, change and cure everything that happens in my life.
It just isn’t true.
What I am powerful enough to do is create and change how I act, what I do and say. I can’t control my immediate emotional response to circumstances as they arise. I can’t control my thoughts swooping in. I can control how I let my emotions dictate my responses. I can control how I let my thoughts sweep me away or strengthen me to respond with grace. I can control what I do with my emotions. Where I go with my thinking.
I saw this in action the other night as I drove past a motel where long ago, the man who loved me in ways that were killing me and I once stayed. It was the beginning of February, the month we would leave Calgary without a word and I would wait everyday for the next four months to die. The night was bitter cold. Ice particles hung in the air, my tires crunched along the snowy road as I drove. I have, over the past several years driven past that motel many times, and never had a reaction. And then, on this night, unbidden, tears began to flow. Not a lot, but they were there.
My immediate reaction was to condemn myself for being stupid. Ridiculous. Silly.
It’s been 11 years. Get over it already! my mind ordered.
My heart knew better.
It’s okay, it whispered. You’re safe. Let the tears flow. This is just a memory looking for release. No need to control memory. Memories are of the past. And the past isn’t real. It can’t hurt you. Let it flow free.
And in its flowing free I felt the release, and relief, of knowing that was then, this is now.
And in the here in now, I am wildly in love with my life today.
In the here and now, I am living my life for all I’m worth. Celebrating the moment with all my senses awakened to the beauty and wonder and awe of living each day in the truth of who I am when I live on purpose in the rapture of now. I am an alive and radiant woman, touching hearts and opening minds to set spirits free.