So I really loved the tile-in-tile challenge for this week. I actually created two tiles early on. I didn't scan or upload either one. Maybe later. Or not. I don't care.
The real challenge for this week has been acknowledging that I am getting old. My body just cannot do as much as it used to. I can't chase a 16-month old little boy, worry and care for his mom's post-operative needs, eat sporadically ( if at all), while dwelling on whether or not someone will decide that my job is superfluous before I get back without my body and my psyche screaming at me. Despite my most enlightened efforts I still care way too much about things I cannot control. I care about not being important enough to those who are most important to me. I care way too much about my often-rigid rules of "do unto others." The thing is - no one has done anything wrong, overt, or even remotely out of character for me to feel this way right now. It is all a manufactured construct of my own doing. But that is what happens when that insecure part of me forgets to breathe and forgive myself for whatever keeps me insecure.
Sometimes I have to just let go of expectations that my (rigid?) expectations will actually turn out the way I planned. Sometimes I have to accept that I absolutely cannot be everywhere for everyone and that the consequences to my choices means that I may miss out on some memory-making moments. When I give in to that sort of thinking, I taint what could have been a sweet, companionable time of just "being with" those I love. What I tend to end up with is a plateful of resentment, longing, or a sense of loss.
So... here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to follow Martha Beck's advice. Right now... today... this very minute I am choosing to love more by caring less. I will practice daily (hourly?...minute-by-minute?) by letting go of conditions that I place on relationships, of expectations that keep me disappointed and insecure. I will ask for others' opinions and defer to the choices and wishes of others when necessary - negotiation and compromise are a part of healthy relationships that have nothing to do with conditional or unconditional love. I will no longer make my relationships contingent upon my "if only" conditions. So if you hear me say "I don't care," what I mean is that I simply and unconditionally just love you. (That goes for my little insecure self, too.)
None of us can predict which choice will bring us the most satisfaction or pleasure or gain. I accept and allow that I will continue to make choices that are as well thought out as I can manage and that I will continue to blow it more times than I can probably count. That goes for everyone and everything else in my life, too. I will not hold others to a different standard than I hold me. I accept and allow that what is just simply "is" and move on. I will love more by caring less about others' choices, what others' think about me, what has happened in the past or may come in the future.
So love me or not... accept me or not... agree with me... or not. I lovingly, honestly, and simply do not care.
"Every experience in my life has shaped me to be where I am at this very moment. I am exactly who I am supposed to be." Dr. Darren R. Weissman