Baby Steps

You’d think that having support from my minister, my therapist, my Zen teacher, my OA sponsor, and my personal coach, I’d be pretty damn enlightened, but no. Spiritual awakening is a process of realizing how unconscious I am much of the time. Each of these people accompany me through different facets of evolution.

This morning Claire got angry at herself and a toy she was playing with, a teeny dish cupboard with even teenier dishes and utensils that wouldn’t stay put. It happened yesterday too. Her anger feels intense and out of proportion to the problem (and it’s been this way for a number of days). In my very sleepy morning state I said to her, “Why don’t you choose something else to play with?” She replied plaintively and angrily, “Why do you always want me to QUIT?”

Yikes! I took a breath, and then another. And then I replied, “I don’t want you to quit but I can see how it sounds like that. I was feeling triggered by your response to the situation and it made me feel anxious. Lately you’ve had a lot of anger. My self-talk is that I must be doing something wrong with you and I get uncomfortable. I try to take away that discomfort by redirecting you.”

She was quiet awhile and played. Then she said, “I figured out a different way to use the dishes.” Then I announced breakfast, and she came willingly and cheerfully. The energy within and between us had shifted, and then we had peace.

As a result of this interaction, I’m a smidge more aware of my story about how Claire shouldn’t be angry, how ungrateful she is to be angry (because she has such a wonderful life), about how her intense angry responses suggest something wrong with her or me, and how I’m leaving both of us when I live in that story. And THAT is enlightenment.

Explore posts in the same categories: Buddhism, Journal, Motherhood

2 Comments on “Baby Steps”

  1. Chad Says:

    How has Claire’s anger been? August is also frequently angry when things don’t go to plan, but it used to be much, much worse.

  2. Kathryn Says:

    It varies. It goes in waves…