Each time I hear the Counting Crows song “A Long December,” with its sad reference to “the smell of hospitals in winter,” I’m reminded of the times that someone close to me was in the hospital and the prognosis was not good. You enter into an almost surreal world where everything becomes about the person you care about whom you hope will get better. Little else matters. You move like a zombie from home to hospital or hospice, feeling the lowest of lows on your emotional scale. In your best moments, you might resolve to never make a big deal about things that aren’t important, now that you know what’s really important. When you’re going through a serious illness with someone you love, you have the clarity that only that kind of pure focus can bring.
I’ve spent the last several weeks helping my mother to care for my stepfather whom I love dearly. We’ve been to multiple doctors, treatment centers and now by ambulance to a local hospital. Things have changed very quickly.
As I was driving to pick up some food for my mother and stepfather, I found myself thinking thoughts along the lines of, “This is just so sad, so unfair, how could this be happening? I can’t stand seeing him like this; Is this what it all comes down to in the end? I don’t know how much more I can go on like this, as the caretaking is really tough; my poor mother, how can she get through each day?,” and on and on and on.
And, then I stopped myself in my tracks. Hey, I’m the “How to Allow” girl. I’ve literally written the book on this! This isn’t Allowing. This isn’t even close to Allowing. And, then I thought about the major premises of my book, How to Allow. I’ve absolutely committed to always feeling as good as I can, as often as I can, to choosing the best thoughts that are available to me. That’s my mantra. I’ve also committed to making peace with wherever I am, knowing that my experiences have brought me to the incredible knowledge I now have and the opportunity to live a more expansive life. I’m just a few thoughts away from relief, from better feeling thoughts and my vortex where all of my good stuff resides. But where were those thoughts? What is a better way to think of this situation which on the surface is just so sad? I was coming up empty.
So, I pulled my car over and asked the Universe, “Just how do you view this situation?” Clearly, I’m not even close to the way my Higher Self and the Infinite Intelligence of the Universe see this situation. My emotional guidance is telling me that I’m in sadness and frustration and overwhelm, nowhere even close to joy. Is it even possible to get to joy from here?
And, the Universe answered, immediately and clearly, “But there is so much love here.” AAAHHHHHH . . . . . . Relief. It took me only a few moments to examine the situation and realize that these circumstances had resulted in an incredible outpouring of love like I had never seen. I’ve never been closer to my mother, nor have we ever appreciated each other more. I’ve never loved and appreciated my stepfather more. My kids have each called me several times to check on ME, genuinely concerned about how I was doing in a stressful situation. My Dad was calling; old family friends were calling. My brothers and I were rising to the occasion like you would never believe. We each spent a week away from our own families to push wheelchairs, deal with messy clean-ups and long hours of consultations with doctors and nurses. My friends checked in from their busy lives. My husband called and really listened, showing me that he truly appreciated how hard it was for me to see my stepfather crying from the fear of what was happening to him. I felt so close to my husband and so happy that I could share that with him.
There is so much love here. I still don’t know for sure how this will go from this point forward; these are uncharted waters for us. But I do know that it will be okay however it turns out. Because there is so much love here. And, that’s where I’ll put my focus whenever I can remember to do it.
This is true Allowing. Easy? No. But it’s the highest and best thing we can do for ourselves and all of the others in our lives. And, it sure beats the alternative.
There is so much love here!