We’d invited guests for dinner Friday night,
The house was a disaster,
my Friday was overly scheduled, etc. etc.
While my husband was tidying the house
and planning all the stuff he would buy tomorrow
and my youngest daughter was baking brownies
and my oldest daughter was preparing to bake cookies
(dessert definitely takes centre stage when we entertain!)
I was complaining how unfair it was that all the responsibility for cooking lay on me
(while doing very little of anything).
My husband gave me a hug.
He didn’t say a word.
I dissolved into tears
crying about all the things I had to do every time we had guests,
(none of which I was doing while everyone else was preparing).
You would have been forgiven for thinking I was a three year old
in an almost fifty year old body.
My husband stood behind me with his hands on my shoulders.
He didn’t say a word.
He didn’t even move.
He stayed with me.
And I felt it.
I felt his ‘being with me’ no matter what.
No judgment. Full compassion. No opinion about my tirade.
Best of all, no belief that he should do anything to make me feel better.
This was the crux of it for me.
His doing nothing to make me feel better
Made me feel better.
He taught me that I don’t need anything outside of myself to feel better.
That nothing outside of me can make me feel better.
That my pity party was a choice.
And that ending the party was my choice.
After a few minutes,
I stood up, announced to the family that I was done,
and then we all got to work.
There was no emotional residue.
I loved how it went.
The whole sequence.
My husband and I have done many different dances around this –
me complaining, him defending
me complaining, him fixing
me complaining, him hiding.
All of these ended in disaster.
Him staying. Just staying. In love and acceptance.
That’s the one.
Which got me to thinking…
What if I could do that for myself?
When I’m having a thought storm?
Instead of yelling at someone
or eating a bag of cookies.
What if I could just sit with myself?
Metaphorical hand on my shoulder.
Letting me know I’m there.
No attempt to change or be different.
No need to explain or fix or change myself.
Just be. With me.
Just thinking about it brings me such a feeling of relief.