i’ve been told by my teachers, and now have found it to be true–the only true happiness in life is when you serve others. i’ve found this by…you got it!…being in a position to serve, or else!
my mom, who just turned 90 and for whom we just threw a grand, well-attended (over 70 people from all walks of life, all ages) surprise party, has been found to have a “leaky valve” in her ticker.
i’ve been lord flea’s jitney for her, going back and forth for the last 3 days to mayo clinic, an hour’s drive one way. many tests. moniters. consultations, all a result of the very first sign of some physical challenge, new to eve, who’s always been healthy, always enjoying a med-free life for her 90 years. up to now.
serving mom as jitney, as companion, as selfless daughter and yes, friend, too, is indeed my pleasure, my honor, my delight.
it hasn’t always been like that though.
our relationship has not been what i’d call a happy or very fulfilling one for either of us–until very recently. not through any fault of hers. i take total responsibility for our relationship having been so strained since i left home and became the adventuring gypsy i chose to be. the onus of a good mother-daughter rapport has been totally mine. truth is, i couldn’t be with her without crumpling in a heap of self-pity, anger, and horrible, crippling unresolved angst. through working on myself, i got over this hurtful stage of “blame and shame.”
first i had to get over my addictions, then i began to forgive mySelf, then finally i ended up doing “rapid eye movement therapy,” quite the buster of the deeply rooted neurotic triggers i had going with my mom all my adult life.
for years i had to stay away from all my family. i simply was too angry to be any good to anyone, including mySelf. when i was with her, we fought. i couldn’t get beyond the bad feelings that overwhelmed me by her habitual criticisms. her well-intentioned comments triggered a certain madness within me, and i’d go berserk with anger, or insecurity–or both. for literally decades i had bad times with her, or none at all.
why? i simply wasn’t ready, in those days, to let go of my resentments over the stupid silly childhood issues of mine, that I hadn’t yet figured how to resolve. yipes! how long do we have to work before we let go of things that hold us back? for me it seemed ages before i stopped being pissed off!
but finally the day came when i said “i’m ready! i surrender.”
what did i surrender to? i’m so glad you asked. first i had to surrender to the addiction of putting mySelf down. i had to learn to Love mySelf. because LOVE is the only thing worth surrendering to. Self love first, and then, afterwards, love for all others. “see God in each other,” that’s my motto. and now i know, by experiencing it, by continually practicing it (through positive thought, meditation, chanting, and other yogic practices) that by surrendering, i am truly victorious over any obstruction in my path, that i too, am perfectly worthy of experiencing happiness.
now i’m no longer a slave to my anger, resentment–or (hardly) any of my old negative addictions, chemical or emotional. i am glad to report that i am freed of the stupid silly, crippling feeling of separation, of being different that Love itSelf. now, finally, my heart has melted entirely: i have learned to forgive mySelf for my shortcomings, and I have learned (and worked hard at) to forgive my mother for her shortcomings, too.
she only did what she knew best…and who am i to fault anyone, especially my own family, for not having done what i, little me, perceive to be best for me, for anyone?
maybe what was best for me, in the long run, was to have all the hardships, the alcoholic father, the trying-to-survive-alcoholism, critical mother; all the confusion, judgement, the crushing feelings of not being supported or acknowledged for who i felt i was–because what has resulted in this life of mine, from having experienced all these challenges (common to many), was to push myself to become the very best, the most true, most loving spiritual warrior that i can possibly become.
thus, i am yours truly, lord flea, writing this to you. in hopes that it will touch you, and help you.
and for this, i am smiling-heart, soulfully grateful to my mother, and my departed dear father, but especially my sweet, sincere, and now scared of not being as healthy as she’d like to be, and used-to-be, ever-strong, ever-robust mother, eve.
in sacrificing my time, my energy, and my strength to uphold my mother during her personal crisis now, during this challenging time of hers, i add so much to my own emotional and spiritual stature. i feel myself grow from giving. i can feel the goodness of sacrificing my wishes, for hers, flow into my veins like an invigorating transfusion of oxygen into stale blood.
it’s one thing to say “i love you” to someone–to a mom, to a lover, to a friend. but it’s entirely another thing, a more real, more magnificently human thing to actually “act out” the love by sacrificing, by sublimating our wishes to fulfill someone else’s needs. to make I Love You an active state of Being, a gesture of sacrifice, instead of merely a cliche, a trite, overused statement.
to give of our time, our funds, our life’s strength–for and to our love.
ahhhhh, it makes us so much more whole to give to others. we become so much more human. in doing so we also become so much more attuned to our highest potential. truly, this is what all great scriptures from time immemorial, talk about when they mention how the state of “being human” is the closest to touching, to “being” and “actualizing” the state of the Divine.
God dwells within all of us. We are One. we are all tiny cells within God’s universal body.
with great love, great respect, and great sacrifice–for each and every one of you, (my sharing is my sacrifice, in case you’re wondering what could she mean…sacrifice…what??? for me??)
your pal, lord flea
ps. next post i’ll talk about my time in savannah at the jazz festival, which i attended last weekend. since then–i’ve been helping dear mom.