There is a word I have said nearly every day for the last six years of my life. A word I often say without considering its full meaning or intent. That word is Namaste. As a teacher and student, Namaste is the custom closing to a yoga class. To look up its meaning, you’ll find any number of ways to basically say, “I honor you. We are one.” Recently, I came to the eye opening realization that I’ve been doing a sufficiently crummy job of living up to this word.
As part of a six week meditation course I participated in, we were asked to consider a person in our lives we felt stuck around. A person where our flow of love was blocked (This is an exercise I was first introduced to by Baron Baptiste at my Level One training more than two years ago. Since then I haven’t revisited it.). Without thinking too much I wrote down, MOM. The exercise continued with our listing reasons why we’re stuck around this person (i.e. what’s wrong with them), what the other person should do to fix the situation (i.e. fix yourself so we can have a better relationship) and finally, what we’re missing out on by holding these stuck feelings. As I wrote my responses I became more and more ashamed of myself. As my page filled up I saw the point – I was the problem.
As long as I can remember I have held very strong opinions of my mother. Opinions about what she should and should not be doing with herself and her life. I was right. She was wrong. In just about every situation you can imagine (clothes, vocabulary, lifestyle, health, career…). By choosing to live this way, I have never seen my mother for who she really is. I have not honored her. And I certainly haven’t regarded us as ONE. Any ‘stuckness’ that I felt between us was put there by me and me alone.
With this new found clarity I had to do just one thing. Apologize.
The next time I saw my mother was when she came to babysit. As I sat next to her while she held my youngest son I simply said, “Mom, I am so sorry for always assuming I know what is best for you. All my life I have held such strong opinions about your choices and I have no right to do this. I am sorry.” Then, in true mom fashion, she simply smiled. She told me she loved me and that everything was OK. Then, she went on to tell me about all the great things happening in her life – her health, her relationship with my dad (which is stronger than ever in 30+ yrs of marriage), her exercise regimen (which includes YOGA) and her absolute love and devotion for my boys. She lit up and I finally allowed myself to see her shine.
Because of my Ego, my assuming, and my expectations I had been missing out on my mom. My vision was clouded. My own insecurities and self-judgments (because if I’m being honest, the things that bothered me about my mom are the EXACT things I need to check myself about) kept me from enjoying her.
Now, I honestly have new eyes. My heart and soul feel light. And I am looking forward to getting to know the woman I’ve known my entire life.
I love you, mom. Namaste.