©2012 Joan Newcomb
This week I had coffee with my cousin and we commiserated about our mothers. They're both in their mid-80's, hers is in a ritzy retirement home down the road from her, I'm living with mine.
Her mother is a uniquely difficult personality, something that's become extreme with age. As she was recounting the most recent embarrassing incident, it struck me that her mom was just trying to get taken care of (albeit in an overtly loud and controlling manner).
It's both similar and opposite to my late mother-in-law, who wasn't loud but still manipulating, and needed to be the center of attention. They each look(ed) different on the surface but the same message underneath.
It's hard for my cousin, as it was hard for my husband, since they weren't all that close to their mothers to start with. In order for my husband to care for his mother through her death earlier this year, he had to undergo a huge transformation which began with forgiveness.
My cousin isn't in that space yet, and her transformation will look different.
And it's so different than my experience with my mother, because I've always liked her, and we grew quite close in the past 15-20 years. Unlike my cousin and my mother-in-law, my mother has been single and taking care of herself since my father left her in the late 1970's. She's rigidly independent and resoundingly resists my attempts to take care of her. I have to practically wrestle her to the ground in order to do things that she really needs done for her!
Although it's been painful for all of us, my cousin, husband and myself, in dealing with our mothers as they decline, I think it's easier for me because of my mother and my basic affection for each other.
All of this has brought up the issue of taking care of ourselves. The physical and emotional stress of caring for an elderly, ailing parent is equalled only to caring for a newborn. And with a newborn, they're going to grow up and become more capable of doing things for themselves!
We're all seeking to be taken care of, and yet we really don't want someone else to do it for us. We like feeling cared for but don't like feeling disempowered. And it occurred to me that we don't really want what we think we need to be taken care of!
We think we want financial security, but money isn't really the sustenance we're seeking. We think we want love, but someone else's adoration won't nurture us if we don't love ourselves first.
But it's not as cliche` as that as that.
It's our body-personalities that wants *Our* attention. Our physical body, our personality, our inner child, really desires Our Essence, Spirit, Higher Self, Inner Being's presence and focus. It's the car wanting a driver, a horse needing a rider. It's form that was designed by Us for Our Embodiment in the physical realm. If We aren't in there, it feels empty. It fills up with other things, distractions, comfort food, drink, addictions, pain relievers but it's no substitute for Our unique vibration.
In order to come into form and take care of yourself, you need to shift your focus. Instead of being the body filled with wants, imagine yourself as the Infinite Being that you are. You can be your own Wise and Loving Parent, and you can energetically give yourself *everything* you, your body/personality, needs.
We are all desiring to return to Source and yet we are all *already* Source. No matter how disconnected we feel, we as Source is there. When we're aligned, we feel it inside of us. When we're filled up with other things, it feels outside of us.
Change can come in an instant, but usually when an excruciating breaking point is reached. Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie are examples of instantaneous enlightenment but you don't have to get suicidally depressed to create transformation.
Baby steps are equally effective. Take small moments of time to pay attention to yourself. Try a meditation with an in-body focus. Journal a dialogue, writing to yourself as Your Higher Self. Imagine giving yourself an energy healing. Act as your Higher Self, take action to care for yourself.
Try these things for the next 7 days and see what happens!