"I know there's a lesson here." I realized there was a lesson in the frustrating experience I was having and that realization came just as I said those words. It took me a while and a talk with my spiritual teacher, to whom I said those words, to know the object of the lesson:
Surrender. Priorities. Nurture.
All of those three things are particularly difficult for special needs mothers, I believe. We find ourselves too often easily caught in a tailspin, a whirlwind, a vortex of challenges associated with our children's disAbility. Obstacles which are frequently beyond our control. Systems designated to serve but often succeed in wounding both us and our children. Family dynamics. Social quagmires. Surrender? Yeah, sometimes we must let go to be at peace. Like that St. Francis prayer: give me the wisdom to know the difference of the things I can change and those I cannot....(Paraphrased.)
Priorities? How, when it all screams equally to be done yesterday?!
And that's where nurture comes in. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first, making our care our priority.
Part of that challenge of surrender, priorities and nurture comes from the survival of our very mother-spirit. Who are we as women? Not just as mothers. Who are we as individuals? And what do we crave to feed our hungry souls? And how are we going about serving that necessary urge?
For me, it's creativity. Yeah, this blog is a platform for my books, for my daughter, for our autism/disAbility community, for my social cause(s). But it's also a sheer indulgence for me. And for that no apology is offered forth. This is an exercise in creativity and fulfillment for me.
The next step is another book. The previous falls were times of adjustment and moving. So, the last two springs have gone something like this: Mondays, GraceArt. Tuesdays, my spiritual teacher. Wednesdays, the blog. Thursdays my home/office. Fridays, the book. And, the book, that's the one that's been getting shortchanged.
Like this morning when I got myself all in a dither about the images that had not gone through--in dozens of attempts over more than a month--to send them to our solo exhibition gallery in another state. WTH! I've done this hundreds of times during my daughter's art career, etc. I finally surrrendered. The kind co-owner was going to take apart the frames and photograph Grace's art for their publicity flyer. I could have educated myself on how to send a Zip file. I could have figured out how to release the available images from Flickr. Easy for you to say, maybe. I'm tech-challenged. I let go. I meditated and the answer came: send them via Facebook. I did. Problem solved.
And two-and-a-half hours had evaporated. And had I figured out the techy stuff, more would have vamoosed. Precious hours pre-designated for the book. The lesson was to surrender. Put important things on the backburner and work on me, my book, my creative nurture. I have no regrets about those two-and-a-half hours. I act as my daughter's agent, it was part of the job. But now there's the job of tending to ME.
It's not a Me or Her question here. It's both of us. As difficult as it may be. It's a matter of spirit survival.