I am starting to notice that my ability to hear well is fading. I turn the music up louder. I ask people to repeat things. I strain to hear words. My ears feel blocked and I know it’s not a cold or allergies. On the cell phone, I hear static, interference. I sometimes get words wrong, so I’ll ask the person on the other end, what does that mean? The word can be as simple as process, and I think I’m hearing profess (with the wrong enunciation), while at the same time I’m trying to figure out how that word even fits into the conversation. Turns out I knew the meaning of the word all along.
I once believed I had the ability to wade through the static in conversations. I thought I could really hear what people were saying or trying to say. Sometimes I would try to finish their sentences. As if I knew what they were going to say. As if I could predict the future. I’m not sure I was really listening. I need to listen…
My hearing is a great metaphor for where I am at this point in my life.
I tell myself, Listen. Slow down. Take time to process. Use the sacred pause.
If I do these things, if I create space around the moments, I start to relax, to open my heart.
It’s impossible to always get things right. Get words right. Take the right action. If I pause, pray, I can move through each moment with some ease. I can pause before I take action, before I react. There is still some discomfort during the pauses. My chest is tight, my stomach hurts. Sometimes when I pause, breathe, and feel, I find some sort of release. At least I can cry. That helps. Someone in a meeting once said “it’s like God is washing your windshield when you cry.“
I always have an opportunity to connect with my higher power. Anywhere. At any time. When I am doing the dishes. Folding laundry. Walking my dogs. I remind myself that when I slow down I can make contact. Sometimes I contact my higher power when I am driving.
Doing this is simple if I pay attention. I don’t need to complicate things. My natural inclination is to complicate things.
Be kind, don’t hurt anyone or myself in the process.
When I move in the right direction, which to me means moving in a loving way, I have hope. I always have hope and faith.
I don’t know where things will go, I cannot predict the future. I am powerless over all of this. The sacred pause helps me get through.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you may remember I am swimming through some rough waters with my son. I am extremely grateful that I am not doing this alone. My husband and I are in this together. It’s taken some time and a lot of work for us to get here. Although we have what I would call a great love, one of those love affairs that you don’t hear of too often these days, it’s been a very challenging 29 years. We’ve had our share of stressors. His family. My family. My alcoholism. Our co-dependency. Our children. Our lives. I was once told by a professional that our lives are enmeshed. We came upon this honestly.
I am grateful for the program of AA and Al-Anon. Both of these programs help us sort things out.
We’ve had such sweet moments over these years. Take our dogs. Our oldest now, a sweet Golden Retriever, Annie, is 12 1/2. She is our second golden. Our first golden, Putney, was a wedding gift from my sister, who raised goldens in Vermont. Putney was a true red-head, like me. She lived to be 14 and died one night on the floor next to our bed while we were sleeping. We miss her.
Annie is getting feeble, she moves slowly these days, especially when the weather is cold. On our beach walks down south last week, she came alive. The warmth of the sun and the expanse of the beach lit her up. She’d walk on the beach, breaking into a trot at times, but she slowed down rather quickly. She moved at the right pace for herself. She intuitively knew what to do. She hesitated before crossing the small rivers formed by the tides. My husband said, she must not want to get her paws wet. I said, she doesn’t want to trip. She stumbled a bit, our walks weren’t as long as they are if we were out on the beach with our two little dogs. Annie has arthritis, just like me.
I wish I could think like a dog, feel like a dog. Be in the moment. Sometimes I am. Those are good moments.
Gilda Radner once said,
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
My husband and I are finally united in what we are doing about our son and that is progress. It has been a long haul. For him it’s a century, He bikes a LOT. For me it’s a series of connected moments that I cannot yet define. I’ll keep moving. I know I will if I listen to my heart.
We are getting professional help for the latest problems with our son. I asked our counselor a question near the end of our session last night, the question for which there is no answer, What do we do? The easier question is, What do we do next? What is the next simple right action?
Do you really want my opinion? our counselor asked. Let him go. Work the steps around your son, he said. Do steps 1, 2 and 3.
So how do we lovingly detach from our son? How do we love him and set him free? I keep asking this very same question. My sponsor says, give him the dignity of his choice. Whatever choice he makes, it is his to own. HIs choices may have a horrendous impact on our family. He could take his own life. That is the unfathomable. The worst possible thing. But whatever it is, it is his choice. I need to remember that. It’s certainly not my choice.
It’s helpful for me to write this down and put it out there for others to read. Other people who may be struggling in their lives, whether they are in recovery, or not. Thanks, Syd, for your suggestion on my other post. You said to tell my son I love him. Thanks for the reminder. I hope he believes me.
This morning I was texting him about some stuff, asking him how he was doing. He’s staying a hotel that we put him up in for three nights. It was the right thing for us to do at that moment.
This morning while I was looking for something else, I found the journal I wrote for him when he was born. I wrote this for him because I wanted him to know someday how much I loved him and what I was doing, thinking and feeling during his early years. I wanted him to know me. In the middle of texting him about finding the journal, I wrote, “No matter what happens please remember I love you.”
He was born on a Tuesday in May, the day after Memorial Day. For me it was Labor Day. I love that kid. I remember that day. This is what I wrote.
We arrived at the hospital shortly after 6:30AM and after being examined by the resident, I was told I was 5cm dilated. About an hout later I had an epidural, which took effect at about 8AM. Soon thereafter my doctor checked me and said was 9+cm and you were ready! Things went very quickly from then on- I began to push and before I knew it you were crowning. I delivered you at exactly 9AM. What a breeze! You arrived red and healthy with a full head of hair and a 9 on both apgars. We are so lucky, so happy, so in love with you!!!