I’ve been living with some kind of exotic creature-maybe you’ve heard of, or seen, or even been one yourself—-an adolescent.
And though many days are relatively smooth sailing, there are phases where I become the object of my adolescent’s angst. Which basically means, I don’t know how to dress, I look “weird” when I eat and I have a funny walk.
Being the focus of scrutiny has been less than enjoyable (to say the least), and I started getting activated and agitated. My mind was vacillating between worries of OMG, if she is like this now, I’m REALLY in for it in a few years—to whoa, this hurts!!
It doesn’t exactly help to put on my Developmental Psychologist hat and recognize that this isn’t about me, but her need to establish her own identity. And, keeping it real, it only slightly takes the edge off when I put on my yoga hat and remind myself to breathe deeply. I needed more radical help to get through.
The help came in the form of a perspective-shift. In the midst of one of these irritating moments, it dawned on me–in a few years, this lovely being that I call “mine” will be off at college. This sometimes wild, sometimes hilarious, often hormonal transition we are bathed in is precious and fleeting. Though at times that thought gives relief, the deeper truth is that this is a sacred dance.
Each time I feel the sting of one of her comments, I have a choice to recoil in pain or anger (or worry), or to remind myself that this is sacred territory, a gift not to be overlooked or taken for granted, or wished away. Yes, it hurts when our toes get stepped on, and yes we are concerned about raising respectful and kind children. But it hurts less and I am able to use my resources best when I have the wherewithal to return myself again and again to this simple phrase, “sacred space, sacred space, this too, sacred space.” Repeat like a mantra during the rougher moments.
So, when “it” challenges you (however that materializes-with a loved one, a piece of bad news, a winter that won’t go away), how would things transform were we to say “sacred space” to ourselves right on the spot? Then, from that place of increased calm, we can make clearer decisions about whether/what action is necessary, whether a wait-and-see patience approach is the right move, or whether we need more time to process before making any decisions. If you believe some of our greatest contemplative thinkers, our wisest answers often come from our calmest moments.
I believe within each of us is a phenomenal capacity to transform our own lives. By “sacred space” internal talk instead of chatter that tears us or the situation down, we stand a chance to deepen our grace, power, brilliance, and effectiveness in our own lives and the lives of those we touch.
If you try it (and why not, it’s low-risk), I’d love to hear about your triumphs, trials, and everything in between.
With love, from my heart to yours.