Friday, December 14, 2012

Making Room for the Best of Things

It isn't a pretty subject, some might say it is down right rude to even bring the subject up.  Bringing up the topic certainly isn't ladylike, but I have to tell you where I started in order to take you with me on the journey.  I had a colonoscopy this week.  I know, it's a procedure that makes grown men cringe and one necessary to promote a long and healthy life.

As any one knows who has ever had one, it is not the actual colonoscopy that is arduous --  its the preparation that causes one to reconsider it's importance.

The whole idea is that before you go in for the test that probes your very innards, you must remove all obstacles by completely cleaning out your intestinal tract.  That is the indelicate portion of this post.  Quite simply -- you drink lots of this ghastly medicine that makes you go to the bathroom -- a lot. 

By the time I was propped up on my bed, waiting for my turn, I was completely exhausted and in a rather foul mood.  Can you blame me?  For at least two hours I waited, so I had oodles of time think of all the things I could be doing and to ponder the very meaning of life.

It occurred to me that we, as the human species are pretty good at coming up with and carrying out multiple tests and procedures to make sure our bodies are as healthy as possible.  What an incredible thing it would be if we could have such tests to monitor the health of our emotional heart or the passion of our soul?  Who would be an expert?  Who would be able to obtain the education and experience necessary to proctor such a test?  Who would decide what is healthy and what isn't?  Would I even want another person to measure my emotional or spiritual health?

Before the nurses, doctor and such came to whisk me away, I arrived at three important conclusions.

Important Conclusion #1: It isn't up to me to tell someone else of their spiritual or emotional health. It is up to me to be supportive and serve as a sign post when called upon. By the same token, I don't have the freedom to pass the buck and let someone else serve as the decider of my growth.  It is my responsibility, no one elses.  I can't blame any one but me for my lack of growth.  Judgement stays with me about me.

Important Conclusion #2:  You have to get rid of the garbage, the waste, the stuff that is no longer needed, the crap in all areas of life.  With a society of hoarders, we do attempt to keep all sorts of things longer than we should -- hurts, old out dated ideas, hate, negative emotions, grudges, judgement.  Just like I needed to clean out my colon, we need to clean out the house -- both the one built of mortar and brick and the one that represents the heart and soul. 

Important Conclusion #3: When we've been cleaned out, we are hungry for something good! I was starved after many hours of fasting.  I wanted a warm bowl of soup or a salad full of healthy vegetables. Once the crud is cleared out of our emotional and spiritual house, we are starved for something nutritious that helps us grow and be healthier than we were before.

I got through the test just fine and my colon health is set for another five years or so.  Isn't it amazing how something so unpleasant can cause one to be pushed a bit further on the journey of growth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Nest is Emptier

Nicholas 2 and Arden 4 -- about 16 years ago.
As a young person I couldn't get out into the world fast enough.  I was ready to conquer the world and was grateful for the springboard provided by my hard working  Mom and Dad.  Only, I didn't realize then just how hard working they were and how much they did for me.  Truth be told, I thought I was done with my parents.  The folly of my youth. It pains me to admit it, but it took me years to get past that misconception.  A little confidence and knowledge can be an unruly evil beast when not perceived fully.

As I young mother I laughed in the face of the "Empty Nest Syndrome." It would be a lifetime before I would have to worry about such psychological psycho babble.  I would have a thriving successful career, lots of friends and more than enough to fill any relational void my children would leave.

I did make an effort to embrace every phase of my children's lives. "Oh what a relief it will be when the children are out of diapers!" friends would offer.  "Such independence you'll have when they are off too school all day" and on the sage advice of hurriers of times passage.  My least favorite comment was when folks would tell me -- "If you think this age is tough, just wait until they are teenagers."  Great.  Thanks for the encouragement.

I needed my parents again -- sometimes close by, sometimes more of a distance was what I wanted. There was a growing sense that my parents were always going to be in a relationship with me.  One day I fumbled with my words as I tried to tell my mom how much I loved my children. "Honey," she interjected, "that's how I've always felt about you."  At that moment love crashed in and I finally understood.  I didn't just discover parental love, it had been going on for the ages.  I finally had an adequate emotional experience to understand my mom and dad's love.

My children are incredible wonderful young adults.  They are smart, loving beautiful people and I am so proud to be part of their journey. In the picture above, my son Nicholas is now almost 18 and a senior in high school. My daughter, Arden is 20 and in college.  They are both independent people eager to make their own way in the world.  That is how it should be --- it is the way of life. 

They spend less and less time at home with me. And, yes, I know that is the normal thing.  BUT I am not completely happy about it. This empty nest thing is real.  There is so much space in life that used to be filled by all the things of having children. So, I'm on the next stage of my journey.  Change is not my favorite thing either.

 Adventure is something that I do enjoy.  I am so very fortunate because I have four best friends -- my husband, my mom, Arden and Nicholas.  I am loved and I love completely and whole heartedly.  Sometimes it hurts to do that, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

My nest? For now I'm fluffing and refeathering it, looking for what's next.  Whatever I do, I am quite sure that my heart will never be empty.