Last week, I was with my mom in Iowa, moving her into a retirement community. She’s 86 and this has been coming for a long time. I’m grateful that she finally agreed to go, and that, a week in, she seems to really like the place.
Early in the week we got frustrated with each other a lot. Whenever I was moving at a different pace than her she would yell at me.
I had a huge insight when we paused for a minute one day, sitting at her breakfast table.
Over the years I have spent so much time being frustrated with my mom. With the fact that she still yells at me and tries to make me feel small. With her politics. With her rapidly diminishing capacities and her very slow pace.
And for a moment, at that table, it all dropped away.
I saw her with love. I saw her courage and her struggles. I saw how much she had taken on, and how exhausted the move had made her.
And I saw that my own struggles were entirely of my making.
That the only thing that was wrong was that I wanted things to be different. That I wanted her to be different.
But her whole life, all of her experiences, some of them incredibly difficult, had brought her to this point. My perspectives, my desires, were based on my life. They make no sense to her!
And when I stopped trying to change her, I was finally able to be one hundred percent present. I was finally able to be there, with her and for her.
In that moment, everything was perfect. Not because it was the way I wanted it to be. But because I stopped wanting it to be different.
I could have sat at that table for hours. Pure bliss. Pure love for and with my Mom.
I started to think where else could this help me in my life? Where would simply loving the present moment be revolutionary?
Where is your struggle just because you want something to be different?
And what if you could see, just for a moment, that it is already perfect?