Tag Archives: frustration

Let Myself Go

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I curl inside myself
even tighter
than I ever have before.
It is dark, uncomfortable,
lonely,
far away from everyone.
It should feel safe
but it doesn’t.
This isn’t a fearless navigation
of unknown territory…
it’s staying stuck in one place,
terrified, confused.
I can’t remember
why I’m so scared
or what got me here
in the first place.
I’d like to get out
if only I’d let myself go.

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I Should Have Chosen Silence

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You’d think after all this time
I’d have the sanity
to decline
important conversations
after he’s had too much wine.
But my ego was bruised
and I guess my mind confused
which course of action
would lead to resolution
and which to more confusion.
When my fear speaks louder
than the quiet wisdom within
it’s time to shut my mouth
and retreat far away
from the din of those
who know not
that silence is an option.

The Flow of All Things

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I lost my temper again today.
It took a moment,
but I was able to forgive myself
for my outburst
and my son
for his sneakiness.
I had been helping my daughter
with her homework
and my son
–against my wishes–
had taken the iPad*,
sneaked it up into his room.
I felt so frustrated
with his dishonesty
and so responsible somehow,
like it wouldn’t have happened
if I could have kept better track of him…
but how can I be in two places at once?
After I got over myself enough
I took my two children to the park;
it was 66 degrees, in February,
can you believe it?
I watched them ride their bikes
in a loop of sidewalk,
down a hill then up a hill,
watched other children
playing, laughing,
so exuberant, full of energy.
Back home,
instead of slipping into
my default mode of feeling
overburdened by dinner preparation,
I enlisted the aid of my children.
I was amazed to see
how happy they were
to help.
I wondered what else I’ll discover
about my two bright little ones
(and myself)
when I let go of the need
to be in control
and open to this moment,
to them,
to the flow of all things.

*Now, if you’re asking yourself “What’s the big deal?  It’s just a kid being sneaky with an iPad,” let me explain that we’ve had multiple conversations about how spending large amounts of time on the iPad will do nothing for his wonderful mind.  He also has been acting like a big time jerk face after spending too much time on the device–disrespectful, moody, whiny, throwing toys, taking swings at me. I thought it was important to take a break from it today and let him know this; he stomped and shouted and was in general very rude to me in response. So maybe you can see now why it would trigger me that he would go and sneak off with the thing when I was helping my daughter with her homework.  If you’re a parent who never loses your temper, tell me how you do it.

Tonglen for Parents and Caregivers

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Breathing in the exhaustion
of every other caregiver
who is experiencing this very same fatigue
I’m feeling right now,
breathing out peace, rest, relaxation,
quiet, nourishment.
Breathing in the guilt and shame
of every other person
who was losing their temper
at the very same time I lost mine,
breathing out peace, calm, patience,
stillness, serenity.
Breathing in the regret
of every human being
who wants so much to be good
but often falls short
just like I–
breathing out self-love,
forgiveness, hope, acceptance
the willingness to keep trying.
Breathing in this desire to awaken
felt by every person on this path,
breathing out trust, perseverance,
humor, enthusiasm, support.
We will all one day arrive
at the same destination,
one breath, one step at a time.

 

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I had a really tough day today. Both of my kids are sick and they were very needy and often whiny, demanding, and unkind to me.  They woke me up two nights in a row wanting comfort because they aren’t well–and I certainly did what I could for them–but now I’m feeling sleep deprived, at the very end of my tether. After a day of trying to meet their needs and not getting my own met, I finally lost my temper right at bedtime.  They weren’t cooperating and just going to bed so that I could just go to bed. The guilt and shame erupted within me after my angry outbursts. I finally meditated, barely staying awake because I am so tired, and I was in bed before 8pm. I decided to do a poem about Tonglen in case there is anyone else out there who was in the same boat as me today, whether they were caring for children, elderly, clients, patients, students, animals, colleagues–when you are called to give of yourself and you’re tired, it takes superhuman strength to maintain a positive outlook.  I just want to reassure you that if you lost it today, you’re in good company.  There were many people feeling exactly the same thing as you in the moment of your difficulty.  You are never alone.

Anger Questions

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Caught in a cycle of anger,
bumping my head,
catching my finger in the latch,
feeling tired, hot, frustrated.
Angry outburst.
Apologies to my kids
for the angry outburst,
repairing.
Wondering when the time will come
that I don’t believe in my anger enough
to have to let it fly out in my words
and actions.
Can I feel it without letting it fly?
Can I let it pass through me like a wave?

Those Mothers

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Those mothers who manage
to write, sing, paint, dance,
practice yoga, cook, garden,
etc. etc. etc.
with their children around–
how do they do it?
Am I an oddball for wanting silence
when I write
or when I’m trying to learn new music?
Am I strange for wanting to be alone
when I roll out my mat to practice asana
(so that no one will be crawling all over me)?
When it’s 5pm and I have no idea what to make for dinner
and my kids are relentless in their lists of needs
am I a failure because I lose my temper?
No, I think I’m pretty normal.
But how do they do it,
those mothers who manage to create
with their living creations
making all that racket?
How do they do it?