I have the best friends on Facebook. They make the best spiritual and introspective posts, many of which I share on facebook.com/innerlightgazette along with my own thoughts. But this time, something happened where I didn’t know what to reply to a “comment” and sat with it long enough to birth this essay.
My friend wrote about her wonderful son and how he had helped her with more than a half dozen projects around her house. I was so happy he did that for her.
I thought of one of my own sons and felt sure he would not have been able to do that for me. I noticed how I felt sad, but loved him just as much as my other children, who might help me in that way.
I wrote, “Ah, the good son. We love them. Somehow we seem to love the not-so-good sons just as much. Mysteries of unconditional love!”
She wrote back, “Luckily, I only have the good variety – with both my sons and daughters. Whew!”
I sat with that for a long time. I had no easy reply. I felt this son of mine was maybe not what we would call “a good son,” but he was nevertheless a “good person” struggling within his personal journey.
No, he would not be inclined to help me around the house. But what is a “good” adult child, after all, both sons and daughters…our own children, or ourselves to our own parents…or for that matter, what makes us say we have or are “good” parents or friends?
What do we mean by “good?”
At first I thought the usual sorts of things: helpful, caring, communicative, friendly, show they love me…then I thought, “they let me love them, receive my love, appreciate me, keep their commitments.” Oh, now I see. This is more about me than any of them, not really a surprise once I stopped to look at it.
Well, if I look at it from this new perspective, a more accurate definition of a “good” child, parent, friend, boss, etc. might be “someone who acts in ways I like, when I want them to”.
Darn! Smack up against my control issues, once again. Giggle, giggle. Why giggle? Because this is such a well-known place to me that it actually becomes funny to find myself here once again. Ha, ha, ha. Sometimes I wonder if there is any issue that doesn’t come down to being about my control issues when it’s really stripped bare.
OK, so if we take that as our working definition, “good = someone who acts in ways I like, when I want them to, ” then I can go into this familiar dynamic and realize we have once again arrived at my main maxim in life: “There is one reason and one reason only why anyone or any event is in your life, and that is to bring up whatever comes up inside of you in response to that person or event.”
Oh, my goodness, such a gift! I literally feel my heart expand as I write this realization. When I felt maybe I had one child who wasn’t a “good son,” my heart contracted. I felt sorry for myself and for my son. The energy in and around me plummeted.
But now, oh joy! I am bathed in a state of Grace. I feel everything is perfect. I am blessed and he is blessed. We are blessed simply because we exist. And all existence is perfectly coordinated to bring up whatever comes up inside of each of us in every moment.
This was one of those moments. First I had an opportunity to get knocked off center. Then I wobbled around, buffeted by the dropping energy. And finally I resurfaced, resplendent in Grace and joy.
Now maybe your own issues do not revolve as relentlessly as mine around control issues. Maybe you have other prime issues. But in any case, the dynamic is the same:
1. getting thrown off center by something really important or seemingly insignificant
2. flailing around like a drowning person (at least on the inside)
3. and finally coming back up on top, in all your glory.
Waking up does NOT mean you don’t go through this dynamic anymore. It simply means you get thrown off center less often, and come back into balance faster and more easily.
So rather than looking for any of my children or friends, etc. to be “good,” I am once again grounded in each of us being on our own journey, miraculously intersecting in ways that give us the gift of opportunities to have our “stuff” come up, so that we can blossom and expand in response.
We are blessed one and all, at all times, even while the personality is struggling to surface from the murky depths, and maybe even in pain. It’s all good, it’s all a gift, it’s all a blessing, though sometimes it’s an unseen blessing at first.
I’ve placed a link to my Foundational Practicing Presence Meditation below. It is Presence that helps us rise more swiftly from our downward spirals and the benefits of even short meditations are cumulative.
Much love to all, Cari
Please join me in the below meditation.
Foundational Practicing Presence Meditation (8 min.)