I’m a little bit anxious today. I’ve been a little bit anxious for a few days, actually, in anticipation of this day. My Mom is coming to see me today. Just my Mom, just me. She’ll be here for a week. The last time I had her all to myself was when she rode out to the middle of the country with me and dropped me off about 19 months ago. Both my sisters have kids, everyone is somewhere on the east coast. It’s just easier for me to go home than for anyone to come out here. So, that my Mom is coming out here for a week just to be with me is…everything. In this moment it’s a whole lot of overwhelming tears, actually. If my Student Worker were to turn around right now, we would have an awkward moment, to be sure.
My Mom has been tracking with me in my Summer of Self-Care. She’s who said, “Come on, let’s go,” because something needed to be done and so she took me to her quacky-doctor. I love homeopathic-y, naturopathic-y people. They are -we are- so weird and wonderful. We are all these mystical, created by God beings. As such, our dirt and spit-made bodies know what they need and these wise healers know the language they speak. Growing up, I saw a homeopathic chiropractor for my allergies and, well, for everything. It was normal and nothing at all questionable, except to my friends who didn’t go to one and then it just sounded like cooky witchcraft. I suppose this might be true in the case of some alternative healers, but this hasn’t been the case in my own experience. In fact, my own version of spirituality has always been respected and incorporated in my natural healing practices because integrated healing and self-care really is a Total Body Experience. So I am thankful to my Mom for taking me to her new guy (since we don’t live in our hometown anymore), and I’m thankful to God for using that guy to tell me my body was a “crap-bag” at the time, how it got that way and what to do about it now.
The reason my Mom is coming out here is because I’m having a little procedure done on Friday. Not a big deal, an out-patient thing. It is like the unhealthy version of me, the one who sometimes lives in scarcity and unworthiness, to make an even lesser deal over this so I wouldn’t be any trouble for anyone. But, truth? I need my Mom to be here.
Awkward moment of tears again…please no one walk past my window right now…
I want my Mom to be here. When I told her I had set it up, I didn’t ask her to come. It turns out I didn’t have to. She’s had a very full summer with my sisters and their kids, and July is a packed month for summertime in the South. Plus, tickets are freaking expensive, and I would have understood if it just couldn’t have worked out. I wouldn’t have asked.
Facilities guys just walked in. Crap.
They pretended like they didn’t notice I was wiping my nose with a Kleenex when they came to replace our coffee station. Or maybe I just overcompensated. Close call.
Who am I kidding. I cry, y’all. Not tons, but my tears aren’t really that locked up. It’s just that sometimes I cry over real things, and then sometimes I cry over…real-er…things. I live and work and breathe and have my being in an environment where if the Spirit moves, then I can’t not cry and it’s okay and even encouraged, even though I have to remain, you know…semi-professional. Actually, though, my tears are not unique to my environment, I just cry sometimes is all. My tears know no geographical bounds.
So I didn’t ask but I was secretly pleading with my Mom to come out here. I didn’t ask her not because I didn’t think she would come but, like I said, just because I didn’t want to trouble her. And I didn’t want to set myself up to be rejected, so I just didn’t ask. My Mom. Who never seems to be troubled by me at all. In fact, seems less and less troubled by anything or anyone, and only becomes more and more engaged in my life without really even trying because that’s the way of a good Southern Mama. She is just precious and awesome.
Isn’t that strange? I know it’s not right-thinking, and I know for some people to spend time with their parents really is a devastating or abusive thing and I do not mean to compare nor diminish either of our experiences. If that has been your experience, please know my heart breaks for your broken heart. I am so sorry and I am holding space now for you in mine. I really am. For the little girl who grew up in my bedroom on the back side of the big red barn-house, the one who felt like she was too much and not enough, the one who grew up to be an ego-maniac with a self-esteem problem and is becoming right-sized in both her head and her heart all over again, this is the way she sometimes still thinks. She – I – started thinking this way all over again when that thing that happened happened and then un-happened, but for the Grace of God.
Do you know what my Mom did for me then? Nothing. That is, she listened and allowed and supported without encouraging the situation. She and one of my six aunts even found a vintage dress for me when they weren’t looking. If she worried, she did not show it. I think mostly she just trusted because she knew it was she all could do. She knew she had to wait it out, and allow into being what was never meant to be, so that I would know there was space for me when it all came undone. And there was. She stood still in her own Spirit, not willing to lose her sweet and wild and stubborn-as-hell daughter again but not willing to fight except in the Spirit for her, and then to trust the Great Spirit with her.
It seems all our best fighting -mine, anyway, and that of this woman- is done standing still in strength and in peace and in freedom, holding onto Love. She is probably my greatest teacher of this even now.
This is what she did when I was drinking, too. On the way to my bottom, after my last very rowdy birthday party…well, we had a moment, she and I. A very quiet moment shared in the dark that was light that I will always remember and will ever be a step on my way down so I could come back up. Gosh, she is so brave and so strong and present. She has always been a great Mom and an incredible woman. But as we have all gotten older and each set off on our own pathway to freedom from our family disease, she became even more of the Mom she always wanted to be. That’s the Mom I have now. And she’s awesome.
And that’s who is coming to see me today. I didn’t ask and I didn’t have to, though in a place of worthiness and okay-ness I told her it would mean a lot to me if she could but I would understand if she couldn’t. But she and my stepdad just sort of got on it because I guess that’s what parents do for their children if they can. I don’t know why it’s surprised me, though. Perhaps because I’ve always lived within driving distance of my family until I got out here. They’ve done it for my sisters, why would I worry or doubt they would do it for me? So weird, but that’s the false belief of a girl who is just understanding she is worthy. And so now I get her all to myself for a whole week. Because I’m a daughter -a very classic Middle Child of Three Girls, actually- who is worthy of a Mom who loves her daughter who loves her mother, and she does and I do very much. I am very much my 36-almost-37 year old self in this moment. And I am also very much my 6-almost-7 and 16-almost-17 year old self, too. Isn’t that always how it is between daughters and mothers?
We’ll keep it simple, no extravagant plans. I have some loose ideas. She is spontaneous and fun and we love to do a lot of the same things. But usually the best plans I make with my Mom are the ones we don’t make at all. I look forward to showing her my world out here in the middle of the country, introducing her to my new people here, and her to them. I want them to know each other, so they can know who gave and gives me life and she can know who is my oxygen out here. Mostly, though, I’m just looking forward to being with her sans interruption or competition.
In my Summer of Self-Care, I am learning all over again that it’s okay for me to state what I need and say what I want just because I can. In fact, I must. It’s a gift, this. And then to stand still in my own Spirit and receive from my Father those very things, because I am worthy just because I am His Daughter. Also a gift. I am also learning that people aren’t my Promise. God is both the Promise and the Promise-Keeper. He alone makes them, and He alone keeps them. He is my Hope, and He is my Assurance of all things. However, somehow this “Hope and Assurance” used to look an awful lot like believing I was meant to settle for leftovers. “Poor in Spirit” was just plain poverty of soul. Scarcity. Every man for himself. Live or die trying. And this is just not God’s way. Love’s way.
These are all Truths I once knew. Shared them here, to be sure, because even if I may not have believed any of this to be true for me, I really did know it was all true for you. Oh, the vanity. But here I am now learning all that’s True -or a lot, anyway- anew, all over again. And this time I’m learning that what’s True of you is all True for me, too. There is plenty of Plenty to go around for all, and no one has to go without. But first, to trust Love.
Since laying down my armor and freeing up my arms, I have been in greater position to receive Love’s gifts.
And today, this day, is one of Love’s gifts.