That flashing cursor… where to begin?
I haven’t been here in a long while. I’ve missed sitting down and doing this kind of meditation, stream-of-conscious writing. I’ve missed it, but the reason I am here now is to finish a love letter to my son. The beginning of my “love letter” is this painting… Waterfall Meditation.
A few months ago after what I thought was rock bottom for him and me as his mother, we began therapy to get to a place of peace and calm where we could begin to function again. At the end of the first session, we were told to imagine that a big, beautiful wide, powerful waterfall of energy was washing down and through us clearing away anxiety, worry, anger, frustration, sadness, etc and filling that space with calm possibility and space to just breath. The guided meditation made us both feel so much better and we left feeling hopeful. And now on occasion, we will just say waterfall when we think they other needs it.
As life goes, especially with teenagers who are itching for freedom, voice, validation, I was wrong. We hit bottom (or so I hope it was) about a month ago. Fortunately for both of us, we have a big loving extended family, who was able to reach out and hold us in a safe place for awhile. I then traveled back to Yelapa for some much-needed soul-searching, as it is a place where my head and heart seem to communicate well with one another. It was hard to stay in that raw, acid churning uncomfortable space in that raw, beautiful, layered place.
As soon as I dropped my bag at my friend’s house, I headed for my favorite rock on “the point.” I climbed up and over others to get to my spot, and once finally settled, I got lost in the sound of the waves crashing, tiny crab and snails crawling over giant boulders, looked for shells and sea glass wedged in the crevices just beyond my feet. Behind me, there was the chatter of men working and tools running in order to restore and expand a palapa just up a bit. It felt like the perfect metaphor of the construction and restoration in my own mind and heart that I so needed/need to do.
I thought of a quote on peace…..
“Peace does not mean being in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and remaining calm in your heart.”
If I could just calm my heart.
Other life crap was flung my way, but I honestly had no patience or wherewithal for any of it. It offered a good picture of my priorities and helped me create some much-needed boundaries. It was so clear on the who, what and why of where my time/energy/love/patience/creativity should be….. the how, well… damn, I’m trying to figure that out.
A few days later, I hiked up into the jungle along the river to the waterfall. When I arrived, my heart panged for my family who splashed, laughed and played there two years before. I sat on another favorite rock and sketched and painted a bit while watching locals and tourists alike take in the wonder of this magical place. The water was soooooo cold, but I decided to go stand under that waterfall best I could and let all those feelings that were consuming me just wash away, down the river and out into Yelapa’s ocean cove. I thought of Alex and how overwhelmingly I love him. He must feel like he is drowning sometimes. My bones ached in the ice water and I made myself stand there a bit longer before I went back to the comfort of my rock in the sun. He has to stand in the cold water right now while he figures out his priorities, his principles, his motivations, his goals, his future, what he is made of and who is growing to be. I can’t do that for him… I can’t stand in that uncomfortable place for him. I can give him loving boundaries, reasonable expectations, try to show him how much we believe in him, big hugs, and maybe some guidance, but he has to do the work. He has to show up to his life, do the work and love himself.
I think I forgot to breathe while I stood there. I returned to my rock and wondered if I could let go.
On my last full day in Yelapa, I headed back out to the point for some closure and a few final sketches. All of a sudden I heard the whales spouting! I couldn’t believe it! Of course there were three of them (I have three sons) and my heart sang and ached to be home with my boys. I watched them flap flippers, tales dive and water spout. It was a beautiful gift and awareness.
Back in the reality of life—
this confusing, complicated, wonderful, maddening, inspiring, frustrating, full, beautiful life of mine, I’m not so good at letting go…..
At keeping it simple.
At loving plainly.
At standing still.
Painting helps me to do that. I’ve been working on this painting off and on for weeks as a way to find that place of peace. I am going to go pick up Alex in a little over an hour and I’m going to give it to him with the hopes he knows it was created with a tremendous love for him and the belief that I know he can create with that big heart, creative brain, and bright spirit a voice that speaks to the world in a beautiful way and hopefully he will be able to hear his own true, authentic voice when standing under a waterfall.
Alex, I love you. Always, Mama