Monday, November 7, 2011

Zen it and Forget it

Last week Uri and I had a conversation with a funky little zen master. He's actually an MFT but to me he's Yoda. We went in for a little marriage tune-up and it was so worth the time.

It was a little awkward when he asked each of us to hold a conversation with ourselves between our inner Obi-Wan and our inner child - but in the end, the approach worked. He said we could refer to our inner child as "feelings" and that works better for me. If we go again, I'm going to ask him if it's really necessary to have a conversation with myself or if I can skip that part. Because it really does feel silly.

However, I had one of those watershed moments during the meeting. The whole thing was basically about how to engage with your partner when one of you is upset. OK, honestly the whole thing was about how to engage with each other when I am upset and coming at Uri looking for a fight. Even though I really don't want to fight! It's just my feelings/inner child running away with me. Anyway, the moment was when it just came to me - you don't have to worry about the past. I said it out loud and Yoda was like "yes! exactly!". And that's it. Everything just fell away. I felt physically lighter, like this huge chain just fell off my neck. And you know what? Three days later and I STILL feel lighter. I can't believe how hard I was working to carry all that dumb shit around with me. So now I'm trying to unravel it all - all my silly little inner checklists like who scooped the cat litter, how many pairs of socks I pick up, who takes Anna to and from school. I'm trying to find more joy in each moment, taking ever more steps towards learning how to just be.

Since Uri travels so much, I tend to take care of most of Anna's daily needs. Usually, this is no big deal. But when so many of you were writing your "day in the life" posts and I saw how active so many of your husbands were in the daily chores, I kind of went off the deep end. See, I was fine with my life until my monkey ego started comparing with others and feeling like I was getting the short stick. But you know what, I'm fine. I'm capable and I'm enjoying myself and I have a good husband. I can do this and I just have to remember to center myself and keep Obi-Wan in charge and not my feelings. Feelings are great to have but they can't run the show - especially for an intense person like me. 

Yoda explained that it's just our egos that add things up, like past "injustices" or who did what chore last. The ego LOVES to get uppity and go looking for a fight. To be happy is to live in THIS moment right now, to make the most out of each day. I realized that my ego tends to busy itself a lot with stupid stuff and ridiculous comparisons. Constantly measuring everyone up to my difficult standards. Sitting in that office and seeing my ego for what it is showed me how far I have to go to become a better person. Not that I'm a bad person - but you know, just realizing that things aren't happening to make me feel a certain way - things are just happening. I'm the one who gets to decide how I'm going to react.

I know this probably all sounds a little California hippie to some of you and yeah, I guess it is. But honestly think about it - does it really matter who unloads the dishwasher more? When I am on my deathbed, am I going to think about the love I have felt or how Uri left his pajamas lying around? Life is messy and it's definitely not fair. I can choose to spend my time making an eternity of marks on my little chore scoreboard or I can just let that shit go. I choose freedom.