The Four Agreements
Another week has flown by in a haze of days that seemed to last forever; I write this blog on a Wednesday, no Sunday Spirit which this blog has been nicknamed since the inception of MDC.
To say that life has changed, is to say the sun is hot, the sky is blue; so obvious a statement it is ludicrous; beyond ludicrous. But, the fundamental core value of of my life has not changed; let love and kindness rule, live by the Four Agreements; hope for the best and expect not much... and try to accept not control outcomes.
Acceptance and controlling are my life’s work. Being honest with my word has always been easy; infusing my words with kindness and good timing, not so much. My own experiences and struggles with depression, PTSD, body image, and the favored companion of modern life anxiety; of course, color both my views and my words. I am sure I have inadvertently (as we all have), triggered hurt or discomfort in friends or students; I have stayed up at night feeling bad about having said something being taken the wrong way. I have lost sleep looking at conversations from all sides, I think most women have, and in a moment of Seasonal Generosity, perhaps men too.
It’s why I felt so free when I discovered The Four Agreements. Don’t take things personally, don’t make assumptions, speak the truth, and do your best. This I can do.
It has freed me from Mama Maria’s cunning digs, and shenanigans. It allows me to laugh when she says Hooper is a draw for visiting, as I don’t assume the implied, you, Liz, are not. It allows me peace when a student or parent is upset with me. I know I do my best. Some days my best might not be great, good or even mediocre; it was the best for that moment.
I do my best, I don’t try to do my best, I do.
Like Yoda, I am not a huge fan of try. Either do or don’t, is my life philosophy right now. Time is limited and days full up. Weeks and months of worrying, and laying groundwork have come to fruition, and the juggling act is real. Luckily, I am a good juggler.
I am good at starting again, facing what needs to be faced, and simply getting off the couch. It is this will that got me through Covid. I literally dragged my exhausted and febrile body off the couch and fought off the virus with breathing and yoga. I start every day with meditation and intention setting, I do the work. I am not afraid to look the difficult in the face; often; I almost feel a laughing, oh you again, bored feeling when persistent worries or anxieties pop up.
So it has been with some surprise that I am dealing with something quite new. I have found out that someone not quite in my life, but with a profound effect on my life hated me. True hatred, fueled by envy and mental illness; this hatred was/ is a life changer. It is based on made up info, (dare I say fake news), a skewed reality, sickness, and something else that is beyond my nature to understand. This hatred and my discovery of it is unsettling, and if I am honest, causes a small bit of fear. It is the thinking of the sick; but also the thinking of the irrational and violent. Uncontrollable. Hard to accept. My personal white whales, alive in a way I can’t fully understand.
To accept now means to be more on alert for threat; yet, still live with openness and love.
I will need to open my heart to even more forgiveness and compassion; as I need to forgive the perpetrators, the victim and myself for not seeing things clearly before. There is no controlling the source, just my reaction and actions. A perfect zen lesson, the heart of all life. We can only control what we are in control of, the trick is learning what that is.
It is a gift of sorts, an advent if you may.
After an extraordinary year of hardship, sickness, ugliness and beauty; I will heed my resolve in the last couple of weeks of 2020. Will I live with love and a giving heart? Or will I let anger, bitterness and fear. I will listen the birds at this break of day and choose to start again with love... there is no try.