i encourage my dad to spend time with nature when he’s in a bad mood. it’s hard to be mad at the world when surrounded by such raw beauty. when i suggested that we have a picnic in the japanese gardens not too far from his house this saturday, and he retorted, “i’ve already been there!!”, i had to pause and remind myself that nothing i suggest will sound good to him.
if i focus on loving him just the way he is, and i stop trying to change him, and i simply live by example, things get better. i can share what works for me, but i don’t have to get him to see it my way.
our dear caregiver, rose, was telling me how he was yelling at her for wearing high heels and that she needed to take them off right away. when i was a little girl, i remember the sadness i felt whenever he would tell me to change what i was wearing. or when he would tell me my ears stuck out. when i listen with my heart, i can hear his fear, and suddenly i don’t need to defend myself and i don’t need to feel hurt by his words. i can just accept him the way he is and detach from wanting things to be different.
i give him the space he needs to have his own anger and dissatisfaction with the world – i don’t have to be sucked into his vortex of fear. i find my balance, and stay in my heart.
ignoring his words or listening to his pain, are two very different things. just the way keeping my mouth shut or listening with my heart are two different things.
i can focus on his words, feel hurt and be a victim; or i can listen, and choose to have compassion for a man who is afraid of dying.
most of my life i was taught to live through my head, always being afraid of being judged. now i practice living through the heart where there are no comparisons, just simple love. love understands, accepts and has compassion.
i stop trying to fix him, and i get on living my life and making choices that are joyful to me. when he sees me enjoying life, maybe one day he’ll decide to give it a try!