"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart."
Rainer Maria Rilke
"Whenever a warrior decides to do something, he must go all the way, but he must take responsibility for what he does. No matter what he does, he must know first why he is doing it, then he must proceed with his actions without having doubts or remorse about them."
One might say I was rude, as I tried to multitask by serving her breakfast while I talked on the phone, openly, about her. But the truth is she wouldn't bother to listen. She's pretty oblivious to what goes on around her. She's locked in her mind somewhere and my conversations hold no interest.
"Yes, I'll call." I promised my aunt who also happens to be a dear friend and confidant. We had been discussing my mother's future and by default mine. My aunt had information about a good nursing home and was sensitively advising me that based on my mother's mental decline it may be time - time to make that dreaded decision.
So, today, my heart feels heavy and there is a sorrow that has infused my spirit as I slowly accept the fact that soon I must decide to send my mother away. In spite of my sadness, I feel a strange confidence that I will know what to do when the time comes (when I cannot or will not take care of her anymore), but I'm not ready...yet.
It's been four and half years since my mother has lived with me. It was hard, then it got harder when my mother-in-law moved in too. Many times during this period I have felt as if I was killing my spirit in spite of my attempts at practicing a spirituality that uplifts on all levels. Like all sound spiritual beliefs and practices mine promised peace, heaven on earth and joy - but the price? - SURRENDER!
I couldn't do it. Instead, I went through emotional and spiritual tantrums in response to what I perceived as my devastating fate. I refused to accept that life, as I had known it, was over; that the educated, professional, freedom loving person who I was had to transform into, of all things, a caretaker. I came face to face with a very ugly inner me whose every breath exuded resistance, discontent and rejection of what my life had become.
When there is a military surrender I suppose there is a process that follows - finding out who was killed, who remains, who is injured and rebuilding whatever was destroyed. Maybe it's the same with the spirit. I'm in that process now. I am processing what has died, what remains, what is still hurt and how do I rebuild? The stubborn warrior in me has surrendered; not out of strategy of any kind based on the knowledge that we can't really fight what Is, or perhaps not even out of any spiritual practice, but out of sheer exhaustion. Life has given me no choice - I'm beat.
Funny, now that I accept my life, change lurks around the corner and I probably will have to work at accepting whatever comes next. But for Now, this moment is perfect.
My heart feels heavy and sad today as I ponder my mother's fate and the appropriate timing of our separation. I question my true motives in making this decision but, unlike other times when I process ad-infinitum with prolonged analysis and deep thought, I am trusting. I am certain that it is love - for her and for me - that is providing guidance.
May we all trust in our hearts, and make the best decisions we can. Then, devoid of guilt or regret, carry on.