Gotta admit, I was almost hoodwinked again today.
We are always feeling our thinking in the moment, whether what we are actually thinking is helpful and productive, or not. The system works beautifully but oftentimes it doesn’t look that way. It looks as if we are feeling frustrated because our six year old is glued to Minecraft or the Lord of the Rings Lego game and melts down every time he has to stop. It looks as if we are feeling burdened and under-appreciated because we have to cook supper, fold laundry, tidy toys, sweep floor… again. It looks as if we are feeling stressed because the money coming in to the household is less than the money going out.
Today had the potential to become one of those days that we grind through. But it didn’t, though it had its moments. Today, I was gifted another one of those life happenings that Elsie Spittle refers to as “Continuing Education”.
Day two of the change-in-computer-availability-experiment did not start well. My son wanted the computer after breakfast, but it was only available after lunch. This bothered him and it showed.
Prior to getting a glimpse of the Principles, I didn’t understand what to do when things were going a bit pear-shaped. Back in those days, I looked to the shape my life had taken and sought to make alterations to the fabric of it. It was exhausting, not knowing in which direction to look, because just where do you begin to unravel the tangled strands and knit up a new life?
This morning I was flailing around again, not knowing what to do. I was fresh out of ideas. My son wanted the computer and he couldn’t have it. I lurched around, trying to figure this out, stumbling across one bad idea after another and then I realised that I’d been grumbling along. I had momentarily lost my good feeling under a cloud of heavy thinking. I caught a glimpse of the train of thought that was propelling me to look in the wrong direction. Moans about the unfairness of me having to deal with the fallout from the family meeting. Gripes about having no-one to help me with the workload. You know the kind of thing, right?
Fortunately, there’s a kindness to the design of our operating system. All it takes is for us to fall awake and remember that we have forgotten we’re making this all up. Just like an agitated, all shook up snow globe, our natural inclination is to settle down when left alone. I realised that all I had had to give away was my poor-me attitude; the love and understanding had gone AWOL.
Something beautiful happened after I woke up again. My son went into another room and started emptying a box all over the floor, making a right old mess. I sat with him, still and quiet, back in my good feeling; there was no judgement or finger of blame. Within a really short space of time, he quietened down. His grumbles settled as he found his own way out of his troubled thinking. I didn’t butt in, or pry. There was nothing for me to do. I just stayed present. He sat down to do something at the table, then went about his business elsewhere.
Over lunch my son told me that what he had been doing was drawing a card of him, his dad and I smiling, surrounded by golden hearts, with tons of xxxxs for kisses on the back.
A dog that barks up the wrong tree isn’t much of a hunter
Sydney Banks, In Quest of the Pearl (page 15)