It is the day after my older son’s graduation from SDSU. I am sitting on his coach in his college apartment, the echoes of last night’s celebrations of the apartment complex quiet save those who will awake with throbbing heads (something I do not not miss at all). I am reflecting on seeing, after five years since his high-school graduation, his mother. I had hoped there would be harmony between us; instead, she made no eye contact as she focused in a manic way on our son. Besides a couple of responses to my remarks in a general conversation with his girlfriend’s family, it has been just awkward avoidance.
DISCIPLE: Yama, I had hoped so much that H and I could bring some healing between us. But it looks like I was wrong.
YAMA: Hasn’t there been any healing? Has there not not been improvement since the last time?
|Healing Relationship, Janaka Stagnaro|
DISCIPLE: That last time, if I recall correctly, she acted the same. No outright hostility as she would show whenever we talked business.
YAMA: I wasn’t thinking of her, but of you. Are you different?
DISCIPLE: Now that you mention it, I feel a lot more at ease. I didn’t feel the dread, the weakening of the knees, in anticipation of seeing her. Not like I used to when my stomach would flop around like a fish landed on a pier.
YAMA: So would you say your time with her has improved?
DISCIPLE: Framed in that way, sure. But I was hoping for at least a hello. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
YAMA: What another does has no bearing on your healing, on your standing in Happiness. By expecting her to be a certain way, to do what you want her to do, you are limiting your Happiness and thus you will be in greater need of healing.
YAMA: Being calmer in your interaction with her, what does your quiet observation of her around your son’s girlfriend’s family tell you?
DISCIPLE: Someone who is very nervous, very unsure of herself; who wants to impress C’s parents perhaps. And when C’s parents paid for lunch and wouldn’t accept her money, anger arose.
YAMA: And why do you think that anger arose?
DISCIPLE: Maybe because of the poverty she grew up in and this attitude of inferiority of not being good enough that was instilled in her, caused this fury.
YAMA: And if that is so, what is the response one needs to give to bring about healing.
DISCIPLE: I would say pity, but pity implies littleness. So I would say compassion--recognizing her suffering.
YAMA: Very good. When you see her--nay, when you think of her, breathe in her suffering into your Heart and exhale through your Heart the Love that we all are. A love that we always are, even when we forget. Let that be your gift to her, which in turn is your gift to yourself.
And so I sat back upon the couch and closed my eyes and did as directed. I brought H’s image up in my mind: seeing her at the luncheon table, her eyes growing wide in anger, her lips trembling as she was whispering to our son next to her that she was going to leave. In I breathed that image, feeling this heat come into my heart. I held that heat an instant and then released it with the cool feeling directed at her that she was Loved. I repeated this a while until I saw her angel standing behind her, the angel’s hands upon H’s head. And then I could see H become calmer and calmer, until she beamed with the Love that she is. And I declared: And so it is.
The Teachings of Yama: A Blog with Death