As most of you are aware, I have been dealing with issues surrounding the health of my father. I would like to express my extreme gratitude to all who have carried him and my family through your thoughts, concerns and prayers.
A friend recently reminded me that it is the one in the greatest pain that is the teacher. I am humbled by the lessons my father has brought me. And, as I have become witness to just how far each person's experience of life reaches, I take this opportunity to share what I have learned. Through this experience, I have found myself frustrated, astounded, saddened and angered. I have questioned whether or not I have the ability or right to teach Peace while holding such intense emotions. Sitting with the question, I heard my own teacher's voice, "You must teach". I was awakened to the fact that these emotions are experienced by all of us, in our own way and in our own time and, if I was to be an instigator of Peace (which is my heart's desire), then I must know those things that draw us from it.
So, my first lesson in which I wish to share is acceptance. I thought I had this one. It is one of my favorite teachings in meditation or yin yoga. "Be aware of feelings of discomfort and relax into them. Allow them space. Let them be." Indeed, I have learned to sit through the tingling numbness of a foot having fallen asleep. I have triumphed over the desire to swat at the persistent gnat flying overhead. I had considered myself a success at having learned to relax into the roller coaster of my father's failing health. Not until I found myself breathing deeply on my way to the hospital for yet another turn for the worse, did I realize I was still trying to manipulate my experience.
I had been there when my Grandmother made her exit from this world. It was a beautiful experience; holding her hand as she slipped quietly away. I had been there for my husband's exit, as well. A more painful experience, but humbling to know I was chosen to share in it. I desired to be present when my father left, as well. There it was, through my deep inhalations, I saw myself grasping for control of the steering wheel. It was MY DESIRE to be there.
We all have a desire for our lives - how we wish things to be. We desire for comfort, security, happiness. We desire for nice things, a loving partner, well-adjusted children, health, a well paying job, ease in our daily living..... I don't necessarily believe it is wrong to desire these things. However, we must take into account that just as we, ourselves have desires, so does everyone else. As I believe we are all one, what happens when our personal desires are not matched with another's? What happens when our personal desires are not for the betterment of the whole? What if it is my father's choice to leave this life without my presence?
I have great LOVE for my father. I wish for him Peace on HIS journey, just as I do for all of us. As I released a long exhale, I realized that my own desire may not be the best for all involved, especially for the man who is my teacher. I realized that if my desire was met, perhaps great lessons would be thwarted - for him, for me, for my family, for all who walk this journey with this man. And with that realization, I relaxed deeper into acceptance. I rested in the arms of what is and with that next inhalation, I felt myself opening exponentially.
Posted by Ashly Burmeister.