Fish 1: “How’s the water?”
Fish 2: “What water?”
I’m like Fish 2 regularly. I am living in a flow of Divine energy/thought without noticing it.
Take parenting. At times it feels like I’m living in the reality of my kids’ present behavior and future prospects. It’s uplifting or frightening. But I am beginning to watch myself with my kids. I’m starting to see a disconnect between them and my moods. In that disconnect lies some freedom. Here’s a scenario.
I called to my seven and nine-year olds to change and brush for bedtime. They happily continued their lego work. I noticed a bubbling agitation within me. I could start yelling right now, I thought, as I observed their unresponsiveness. But, could I ask again, without raising volume? I tried it.
“Guys?” I said, and then paused.
“Yeah?” my son answered.
“Can you please make your way upstairs now for brushing and changing?” The tone was remarkably similar to the first request.
“Oh, yeah,” he said as if awoken from a dream. And both ran off to brush.
Later, after bedtime was over, my son left his room and headed off to his sister’s. This could spell disruption. Again I watched an agitated feeling start to bubble.
“Where are you off to?” I asked.
“I’m putting these books away and then going to sleep.”
I followed him in to his sister’s room. The books fell out of his hands. He carefully and slowly began to pick them up one by one. Agitation bubbled higher. Bending over, he noticed his sister from behind the book shelf.
“Hi!” he said cheerfully. My agitation rocketed.
“No,” I blared, “you are here to return the books and go back to your room, not hang out!” I was no longer watching the agitation – what agitation? – I was simply swimming in it.
A few takeaways.
#1: I am fascinated by my capacity to be peaceful and responsive at times yet stressed and reactive at others – despite the circumstances being highly similar.
#2: I attribute this varying mood to a flow of Divine energy through my heart/mind. Just as we possess a physical heart that pumps both oxygen/nutrients and CO2/toxins, we have a spiritual heart that flows with both trusting, expansive energy and its opposite.
#3: Like a fish in water, we live in that flow. And like the fish, we don’t always notice it.
#4: King Solomon said the beginning of all wisdom is to know what’s true. The world, my kids, the future and all other circumstances out there are not directly shaping my moods. There’s a quiet understanding that interposes. In that understanding lies freedom.