The Wisdom Within Us

17 Dec

“I need….”

“I should…”

“I want…”

“I can’t…”

Does the pushing, pulling, clawing, scraping, scrapping, and suffering ever end?!

The things we cannot change end up changing usAt what point do you recognize that you’re incapable of controlling everything in your tiny, little world?

I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I DO that.

And I realize the futility in it and how much valuable time and experiences I’ve missed because I’ve glossed right over the present to push for the future or grapple with the past.

The events that transpired this past Friday put at the forefront how fleeting our lives are. “Hug your children tighter tonight” were the words reverberating through the minds of  every parent who was target locked on the television to get every morsel of information possible.

Horrible. Tragic. Senseless. There is no making sense of events like this. The detectives do amazing work because people wants answers and the law demands it. They search for the truth in order to sew the events together to create something meaningful from them. If they can connect the dots it might help them feel a sense of closure. If you “know” something, there is at least the illusion of control.

I am not minimizing any of what is happening in CT, and I honor the individuals who have lost their loved ones. One of the reporters asked, “How long will it take the town to get over such a tragedy?”

Concentrate the  mind on the present momentReally? Again, we’re brought back to pushing and fighting and clawing and grasping for what isn’t.

I was discussing the events with my co-worker this evening, both of us commenting on what seemed an unreal composure demonstrated by some of the individuals shown in Newtown. He asked me, “If you were a parent of one of the children who died, what would you do?” I said, “I’d break down. I’d be incapacitated with grief.” I said this as I sobbed, my heart feeling like it was being wrung out to dry. And I do not have children.

Yes, I have realized the futility in dismissing the present, in operating with self-imposed blinders to my truths, and in bowing to fear or shame or guilt or embarrassment. Realization does not mean that I am able to live my life constantly in a state of intentional awareness though– open to what is, to this moment. No, there are times when I realize I’ve been walking around like a zombie, operating automatically, less than privy to what is going on in my body and mind. It’s during these times when I start to feel discomfort, anxiety, and dissonance. There’s a disconnect between who I am and what I’m giving my attention to. And when I do finally realize I’m in “this place”, and I ask myself, “What is wanting your attention right now that you’re not honoring, Kori,” the pain may become greater…for a second or for much, much longer, but it dissipates. For without acknowledgment, it will continue to grow. It becomes a cancer that eats away at our insides, unfulfilled and bleeding.

the most precious giftsSo many of us are striving for such perfection. All of our needs, our wants, our shoulds, and our have-tos amount to an unforgiving, absent, dismissive emptiness. We often miss what is right in front of us. Your child is saying, “Mama! Look!…Look!…Mama, looooook” while you’re typing away at your computer, getting annoyed with each tug on your pant leg. This is a small example of a moment–a piece in time that you can stop withIN, and before turning around with an exasperated sigh conveying the all too common, “I’m busy; I can pay attention to you later,” pause and recognize where you are. Pause and recognize what you are being held hostage by. Pause and accept the moment. No judgments for what you just felt toward your child. You felt it. You’re human. But feel. Pause. Accept. And then respond.

To me, this is wisdom– honoring what is inside of you but realizing you do not have to act on it. I’ve said before that the faster you run away from your feelings, the harder they will hit you when they catch you. And it’s not a matter of “if” they will catch you. Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote a book titled, “Wherever You Go, There You Are”. The premise is the same. We have this  now. We have this here. Can we invite this in? Can we honor it? Can we let the families whose children died this weekend grieve and not try so hard to get them to feel better? Can we let them find their internal wisdom while we stand by their sides?


4 Responses to “The Wisdom Within Us”

  1. Matt Soeder December 17, 2012 at 11:13 PM #

    Here’s what my 4yr old told her grandmother before bed “She told me last night in bed that when she dies I shouldn’t be sad because she will always be with me. She also wanted to get up this a.m. & write a “kind of love letter” so we could list all the fun things we have done together so I could just read the list when she was gone & I would smile! I cried for hours!” This was just yesterday but no one has showed her anything from the tragedy nor discussed death with her at all besides from a pet but many months ago. Something had to of triggered this from her but what? Why would a 4yr old say or even think about this? It’s just amazing and very interesting right at this very time.


    • kpropst December 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM #

      It’s beautiful, Matt. Innocent compassion. No obligations. It’s pure. Why question it? Why not honor the clarity in it, feel it, appreciate it. We do not need tragedy to recognize the value of others in our lives, but often it’s tragedy that reminds us to pay more attention to them. What if we wrote love letters– in speech and in action– more often to our friends and loved ones?

  2. jamikotera December 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM #

    Oh Kori this was SO good that I really can’t describe how much it means to me. It really hit home. Thank you!

    • kpropst December 20, 2012 at 7:38 PM #

      Thank you! To know my words resonate with you gives me great joy. See– I feel good when I know I’ve made a connection to your heart! 🙂

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