The Cook Awakening

Shining the Light

August 19, 2012
Posted in: Life on Life's Terms, Seasonal Change

I wrote this post a few weeks ago, and am just now getting around to posting it. Things have changed rapidly here, and hospice is with us now, caring for my mom is what is looking like her last days. I’ll wrote more soon. Blessings.

I’m chronically self-sufficient. A bit of a control freak.

I talk a good talk, I know the drill—it takes a village. We can’t do it alone. I know it’s okay to ask for help, in fact, it’s important to! I practice it in small ways with my husband. (Sometimes.)

I’m getting better at saying no when I’m asked to do something that I know will push me over the edge into abject Stressville.

But, I haven’t really learned how to ask for help. It’s even hard for me to recognize when help is offered. I tend to give a reflexive, “No, thanks, I’m fine! I can handle it.”

In my last post I wrote about my mother moving here. She finally has a diagnosis of gastritis, duodenitis and esophageal constrictions (which were stretched successfully). That’s basically a lot of inflammation in her upper digestive tract. So, eating and drinking is not much fun for her. The good news is it’s not cancer. Although what’s going on at the other end of her digestion is still an unknown, she opted not to let anyone take a look. Which is her right.

My boys are now 8 and 11. They are smart, talented, self confident, aware beings. They make me cry for joy. And, they still need me to be their mom, to be strong, human and present. My work is not done with them.

My husband needs a wife. That was part of the agreement when we got married. That I will be there, in all my humanness, showing up in the most aware state that I can muster in any given moment. It means I don’t get to check out without first checking in.

And, ahh, my beautiful, amazing self-created business. I asked to be of service in the world, and the world has responded by showing me how to harness my gifts and telling me over and over, “Yes! What you have to offer is helpful, useful, and necessary. All of your gifts, not just your skill with a knife.”

All these beings in my life need something from me. Different things at different times—these relationships require my attention, effort, active love.

Oh, did I mention myself? Yeah, I forgot that one…. Funny, because it’s the first one I mention to most of my clients. “Are you taking care of yourself?”

I admit that my self sufficiency is wearing a bit thin. Frankly, there’s more on my plate than is humanly possible to take care of. And I’m finding that “myself” is too often the optional dessert, often skipped.

Healer, heal thyself.

I have this little tag line on my emails:
“It is enough to shine the light on an issue. Whatever needs to be done will happen naturally out of that skillful seeing. Bringing parts that have lived in shadow into Knowing is enough. The idea of effort is often counter-productive, awakening the shoulds that strangle a sense of fun and living.”

I love it. I wrote it at the end of a powerfully transformational workshop series with one of my favorite coaches, Lasara Allen.
People often comment on it, that it moves them.

But you know what? I don’t always trust its truth.

Here’s what I mean. A few weeks ago I realized I needed help. That I wasn’t functioning very well. My work was going well and my mom, kids and guy were hanging in there, but I was flailing personally. And I had no idea what to do.

So, I just talked about it. To everyone who would listen. I realized there’s nothing shameful about this, right? People call me when they don’t know what to do, when they reach the end of a particular rope.

Sometimes that’s what “shining the light” looks like. It’s just saying, this is what’s happening, this is what’s true. This is what it feels like, what it looks like, what it tastes like. I don’t know what to do. So, I’m just taking the next step. And the next. And the next. And sometimes that looks like just taking a fucking breath.

That’s when the miracles start happening.

I don’t have to make them happen. I just have to say yes when they do. Which, as I wrote earlier, is challenging for me to do.

I find it humbling when people are kind. I have some idea of what is reasonable to expect from certain people in my life. When care above and beyond that, or when people with very full lives make an offer of help, I’m a bit bewildered.

Suffering in silence is highly over rated. So is expecting the world to take care of me. Somewhere in the middle is a tremendous gift. When I just show up and tell the truth of this moment, something listens. Call it what you will – the Universe, All-That-Is, God, Atman, the Beloved, Suchness, Self,… . Perhaps – I? Whatever you call It, It listens.

And I know, It won’t listen if I have an agenda. It’s the open attention and surrender to what’s true that calls in what’s needed, and the kindness and compassion of those able to care for me when I can’t care for myself.

My job is to say yes. Thank you. And to take the care offered and make the best of it. Release the worry that feels unreleasable.

I’m just back from a wonderful, relaxing week away from the city with my family. My mother was well cared for by dear friends while I was gone. And I allowed myself to do a whole lot of nothing. I feel steady, my cup refilled.

I just said yes.

Are you saying yes? Are you hearing the offers the universe makes? I’m not even talking about asking for help, although that’s one I’ll still be working on. I’m just asking if you are saying yes to the care and love that come to you naturally in the course of your life.

I invite you to say yes. Life is good, even in the midst of seeming chaos. Don’t hide your vulnerability away and feel like you can’t show it.

How will the universe care for you if you never show that you need it?

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 19th, 2012 at 5:10 pm and is filed under Life on Life's Terms, Seasonal Change. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


5 Responses to “Shining the Light”

  1. Lasara Says:

    You did it again, Durga; made me cry! And I love you for it. Keep sharing. The world needs what you have to offer. Your words, and wisdom, and skills.

    And for everyone’s sake, please keep taking care of your self. You are the chalice that allows others to gain nourishment. Fill yourself up.

    Thank you for the mention as a “favorite coach”. It’s a huge honor. (You are also a favorite client! You do your work, and create change quickly and deeply.) This post reminds me of the values work we did together in the last round. Remember that bathtub! 😉 (If you don’t remember it, check over your notes.)

    Love you so much. Thank you, deeply, for being in my life.

  2. Tawny Says:

    Beautiful! Reaching out is hard for me too. I will practice saying what is true for me today. Take the next step and the next and breath.
    Thanks for being you.
    Much love to you.

  3. admin Says:

    Lasara, I do remember the bathtub! And this post definitely describes some of the results of the values work we did. Although, I have to say, in the recent heat, taking a bath sounds more like torture than self care. 😉

    I love you back, dear lady.

    And, Tawny, as you know, the next step is all you ever have to take. Love you, too.

  4. Yolan E Says:

    “Healer,.. heal thy self”. So true, you can’t heal others if you need healing yourself. It’s like trying to carry someone with a broken leg, when you also have a broken leg. Thanks for another insightful post.

  5. admin Says:

    Yolan, you’re welcome. Thanks for checking in. And, that’s a great analogy. I also like the one commonly used about “placing the oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping anyone else if the plane is going down.”

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