i left my sister holding down the fort while i’m away watching odin. yesterday she pulled her back….poor thing. she went to urgent care, had some x-rays done, and they found that her pain is from a combination of a muscle pull and slippage between L4 and L5 vertebrae. she was going load on meds and take my mom to her two doctors today, but clearly it’s not going to be possible. i encouraged her to pause and reconsider.
‘what should i do? i feel terrible that i can’t take her,’ michelle texted.
‘there’s no feeling terrible, michelle. i’m way over here, in NYC. do i feel terrible that i can’t be there for them? of course i’d love to be there helping, but if we felt badly every time we couldn’t help, we’d have no life!’
most of my life i’ve felt guilty for not being able to fully please my parents. it began when my mom would tell me, when i was just a 4 year old girl in pigtails, ‘you’d better become a doctor. we need someone to take care of us when we get old.’ making the decision not to become a doctor was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, and so began my ‘life of feeling terrible because i can’t’.
i live now remembering my favorite quote from thich nhat han,”love in such a way the person you love feels free”. when i live this way, i know that my intentions are from deep within my heart and not from my head. every word, every act, every choice i make in expressing my love for someone is not about making that person happy. it’s about sharing my love. it’s about giving my love and expecting nothing in return.
each day’s a brand new beginning. each moment is…and when i feel this way, there’s this sense of freshness, the sense of a newborn, the sense of constant curiosity where i can’t take anything or anyone for granted, where my gratitude for the people i love runs deep – deep within my soul. there aren’t words sufficient enough to express just how i feel, and so i cook, or bake, or sign, or hug, or sing (if only i could!)…i express my love through my heart, using a language of the heart. and that’s when i realize that the magic of a musician or an artist, someone who has the talent to express through the heart just how grateful he is, explains my connection to that person. because i’m the other half. i’m one of the many receivers who the artist gets to touch as they share their passion through their gift. without us receivers, the artist wouldn’t feel complete.
and so i know my mom and dad know i love them. i can’t be there with them right this minute, but i do know my love for my mom and dad runs deep. i don’t need to prove it, or try and please them, instead i’m free to have a life, and come from my heart in the actions i make and the thoughts that i have.