Glimpse Through A Sunroof: Increasing Our Inner Capacity

This glimpse through a sunroof tells a story. I did not know this when I took the shot. I only knew I just bought a new car and had pulled it into my driveway after saying goodbye to my mom, who was recently discharged from a hospital into a nursing home. 

Leaving my little mom who is, as she says, “not aging well” in a stark room, is that darker cloud hovering over the others. The other clouds are the week that had just ended. It was a week of juggling work, family, self-care, and my mom. The glimpses of blue sky are the new car and the experience of holding all of this while maintaining steadiness, stability, and even some joy.

This is the individual story. 

The larger, universal-soul story is we have tremendous capacity to hold any and all of what comes to us. Yet, many of us cannot because we are full to the brim, often running over, with clutter. The clutter is both internal clutter and external clutter. When we are filled to the brim with clutter, we are at capacity. When we are at capacity we do not run efficiently, and therefore, either do our lives and relationships. 

This used to be me—I was at capacity and not running as well as I am capable or as I am now. My clutter expressed itself in controlling behaviors and overall rigidity. It also looked like shutting down and isolation. Don’t get me wrong, I am still in the recovery process, as these patterns were deeply rooted and honestly kept me sane for a long time. One of my more useful patterns is being VERY organized. Being organized kept the overwhelm at bay. My most useful companion on this journey is my burning desire for space, order and understanding WHY. 

I compare myself to the Princess and the Pea. I am sensitive to discomfort. It does not matter if the discomfort is internal or external. If I feel it, I deal with it. Dealing with internal clutter takes diligence, patience, commitment and courage. What comes from this process, at first in small glimpses and then expanded ones, is self-knowledge, flexibility, enthusiasm, inner spaciousness, creativity, freedom, healthier relationships, clarity, calm and overall graciousness and generosity toward ourselves and therefore, others.

This is our potential. Our promise. Our possibility. And, it’s an ever-evolving process that I desire for us all to be consciously attuned to. It is also my desire to be a companion on this journey. So, follow here on this site, and here @adailyglimpse Facebook and Instagram for more. 

Stay tuned for a breakdown of internal & external clutter.

The Dying of the Light

I came down on my kids kind of hard yesterday. Sometimes we need to say what needs to be said.

My oldest streamed tears. My youngest sat stone faced.

I am learning—of course now when one is grown and the other is near—that parenting, good parenting is simple. I admit I have not yet found this simple application, but I have observed my own parenting and that of the culture.  We have moved from an authoritative paradigm—do as I say because I am the adult—to liberal parenting—tell me how you feel. Not sure either work well. I was never the authoritative type. I like giving my kids as much space as possible. I am a believer of expressing feelings, and went the more liberal route. Now, I’m not sure. Now, I am wishing I would have been more strict, voiced more of my expectations and even pushed them.

girls

I work with kids who call teachers bitches and if confronted they say, well I was mad. This is one result of liberal parenting/schooling. I am second-guessing the tell me how you feel paradigm because can kids really do this? Can they really process their emotions? Adults can hardly do this, although perfectly within their capabilities if they choose to do so. But  kids— I am not so sure. If anything, kids just learn how to work it: well I was mad….well my dad is in jail….

We took my daughter and her friend to an amusement park this weekend. We bought them dinner and gave them two free wrist bands for unlimited rides. When we went to meet them, a grandmother was talking to the girls. I asked my daughter what she was talking to them about. I got the usual—nothing. My husband went to find the woman and ask her. The girls were flicking small children in the ears and telling them they are annoying.

I waited until the next day (yesterday) to unload my disgust. She  needed to hear these are not our values. That her insecurities about herself does not give her permission to harass the vulnerable. Stone faced. I am not a perfect parent. She has seen and heard some things I wished she hadn’t. Life has been tough for her already. But— I have been here for her. I have been (mostly) stable. I am supportive and have put her first. And, I feel I have lost control. This stinky society of social media and bad television and sex obsessed music is raising my child. I tried, with a Waldorf education for her first few years of school to shelter her, but I lost the battle. Or I gave up, feeling weaker than the culture.

It’s time to take back the reigns.

My oldest does not harass the vulnerable, but I fear I sheltered her too much. I wanted her to have all I didn’t. I supported her acting dreams. I gave her stability and comfort, thinking this would be a foundation on which to stand and make a life better than my own. I feel she is afraid to step out and do so. I wonder where is her courage. This is what I got on her about.

I told them both it is unfortunate they did not see me when I was in my 20’s. When I was brave. When I had a child at 20 and took care of her. When I faced demons inside of myself, those of my upbringing. And let go of a relationship that was too dependent, faced my fear of being alone so I could find myself. They missed the days of their mother’s courage. Mostly what they see now is the mid-life wreck that is left—the worn out and tired mom.  The disappointed mom who can’t wrap her head around what I thought was the right thing in my parenting and seeing that maybe none of it made a damn bit of difference. That I missed whatever simpler parenting is.

As I ask—or as I did yesterday—demand to see the courage of my children, I demand to see my own too. Courage is what the youngest will need to feel her feelings instead of protect herself from them, to release herself from the cycle of numbness to the point of hurting others. The oldest will have to find hers so she can build a life she wants to live, or just a life beyond the comfort of our walls. And I have to have the courage to trust life and myself again, resurrecting from the wreck.

I look for the light. I long for it and my looking and longing are finally turning into something stronger. I am more willing to fight for it- to fight against they dying of the light and this takes courage.

May our New Year be filled with more light and more courage as we live our days,

The Soul Reporter