Friday, January 22, 2010

The Answer is...

"There is no secret ingredient." 

-- Po, Kung Fu Panda

This is my revelation for the week. It feels sort of silly to call it a "revelation" because it seems so obvious in some ways, but yet, it is the illusive truth that I struggle to "find" again and again and again...

Last weekend I spent a night in a nearby hotel to engage in some very urgently needed "alone time." Parenting two kids full-time for the past seven years, eleven months and 22 days has left this introvert with my cup of patience, tolerance and ability to be around people nearly empty. Last week it bottomed out.

I literally could not bear to return one more phone call, speak civilly to one more neighbor or honor politely one more request for fish crackers!

This used to result in an explosion of anger at one or more of my family members, but all this spiritual work I have done in the past seven years is obviously paying off - I didn't yell at anyone this time! I just told my husband, "I think I need some time away."

To which he responded, "How soon can you leave?" (Perhaps I wasn't handling it nearly as well as I thought : )

Here's what I took with me to the hotel: my laptop, five books (A Course in Miracles, The Path to Love, New Chakra Healing, Brida, The Stages of our Spiritual Journey), two journals (my gratitude journal and my regular journal ), a foam roller for practicing bioenergetics, some pjs and a change of clothes.

My plan was to read, write, and stretch out on the foam roller to release old, negative patterns and blocks to love. And, hopefully, attain enlightenment in the 20 hours I would be holed up in my hotel room. Needless to say, things didn't go as planned....

I had a great time at the hotel. Ate some dinner, took a bath, read a chapter out of The Path to Love. Spent some time on the foam roller. Read some more, wrote in my journal, downloaded a new book from Amazon for my iPhone Kindle app (because I just didn't bring enough books with me!), read that for awhile.

I finally went to bed around midnight, woke at 8AM and spent the rest of my time in the hotel on the foam roller. It didn't feel quite as good this time, like I was getting to some of the really deep, negative crap, and when it came time to check out of the hotel I was in no mood to go home.

I called my husband who very kindly gave me the rest of the day off and I spent it a various coffee shops and bookstores doing more of the same.

At night I decided I needed to be in some water to help slough off the negative energy that I was releasing so I went to the Olympus Spa, a female-only day spa near Seattle, to sit in the tubs and decompress.

It was awesome as usual and afterward I felt ready to go home, but not quite ready for the kids so I called first to make sure they were in bed. No.

So I ran a few errands, hung around another coffee shop and then went home. The lights in their bedroom were still on.

So I sat in my car for twenty minutes reading on my iPhone. Lights off. Whew!

I gathered all my stuff and went inside. As soon as I closed the door behind me I heard the pitter-patter of little feet and my sons ran into the kitchen screaming, "Mommy!" with huge grins on their faces.

It was so nice to see them and to receive their hugs and love. "Snuggle bed?" they asked.


This was exactly what I had been trying to avoid: Snuggle bedtime. Where I lie with them until they fall asleep. On nights when I have it in me I love it and it is one of the best things ever, but on nights like tonight, when I don't, it can turn into a real nightmare. Still. How could I say no? I'd been gone. They were so cute and so clean (dad had even bathed them!).

"Okay. Get in your bunks and I'll be in in a minute."

So I said Hello to my husband and I went in.

They had decided to sleep on the floor that night so I nestled down in among all the blankets and stuffed animals and with one under each "wing" snuggled in to wait for sleep.

That's when the farting started. And the screaming and the wiggling and the giggling. And there were polite requests and warnings and threats and then....I had to leave. I couldn't do it anymore. I could feel a yell coming on and I didn't want it to end that way so I just got up and left.

There was disappointment and confusion and there were tears. But I just couldn't do it anymore and I was mad about it.

I was mad at myself, mostly, and mad at God that I had spent more than 24 hours working on myself, reading about spiritual stuff, clearing out the old, negative crap and here it was again - again! - my anger.

I hate my anger. I am so done with my anger. I am angry at my anger. And so I did what I always do when I reache this place with something. I lost it. I yelled. I cried. I despaired. And then my husband came in and talked me down - as he always does thank God - and here's what he left me with: There is nothing you can do. There is no answer. There is only now and what you do with it. In other words: There is no secret ingredient.

And this time I kind of got it. I had just spent 24 hours working, working, working. Trying. Striving. Grasping. Doing the very thing all my reading and experience tells me NOT to do. And nothing helped. But somehow realizing that nothing helped, helped. A lot.

So that is what I have been doing this week. Nothing.

Well, not nothing exactly. I am still doing the workbook exercises of A Course in Miracles. I am experimenting with Ho'oponopono, the ancient Hawaiian forgiveness process. I am still reading my books, and writing in my journals, and seeking for truth where it can be found. But I am not expecting any of this to help. To solve all my problems. To make my life perfect. To give me THE answer. 

Because now I know: there is no answer.