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full and still at the same time

by Judy
December 18, 2012 

I’ve been up north for a week and coming back now to be with my mom, I notice changes. She is more restful in herself, not crying so much and has been sleeping most of the night. Also I can hang out with her and carry on quite long conversations. It’s like the ground is readjusting to the traumatic earthquake (the stroke she had) and pieces are coming back into place…the landscape is becoming more familiar.  And of course that has an effect on all of us who are taking care of her. I notice I feel more comfortable to shut the doors to my room and do some of my own work.  Yes, it is a big relief that is noticed in subtle ways. I’m actually able to sleep at night without waking up all the time. I feel more comfortable talking on the phone to friends. It’s not like everything is great with my mom, but relatively speaking it’s better and that’s enough to be very grateful.

Reflecting now upon change - change can be for the better or for the worse, but there is place in all of us that transcends both. It is deep, never moves and is untouched by all the external changes that happen in life.  I think now of my brother who died at the young age of forty. He was two years older than me, but I felt he was more like my twin, especially as we got older.  It was like we were from the same flesh; different for sure, but made from the same essence. I was with him the last eight months of his life almost non-stop and as you can imagine, it was tremendously difficult. There was no getting better – his condition got worse and worse. But during that time for about five days, I went away and was in a totally different environment that was full of joy and possibility. It was a time spent with my spiritual teacher. Initially during that short but totally full time, I felt like an emotional wreck  but very soon I was lifted out of that collapsed state and felt so totally present  and full – not holding onto my brother and all the pain of the past months. Something happened during that time that gave me enormous strength and perspective and which enabled me to be with my brother and mother in a very different way when I went back. The closest way I can describe what happened is my brother was no longer “MY” brother and all the attachment and sentimentality that goes with that “my.” He was for sure someone I loved and was committed to, but a kind of stickiness had dissipated and that enabled me to have so much more space inside. It also enabled me to be a strong support to my mother. I could not articulate why this happened at the time, except that it did, but in retrospect, I feel that for those five days I allowed myself to let go of the past. It was a risk I took. And in letting go, I reconnected with that place in my self or the self that is untouched; that place one contacts in deep meditation or just in the stillness of stopping from the rush of life. And that made all the difference!

That place is always with me; it’s the backdrop and background of my life. It’s almost like a humming that is full and still at the same time and that gives tremendous strength and perspective.

(Originally written August 16, 2012)

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