January 4, 2018
When she was alive, I would ask my grandmother what gift she wanted for a special occasion. Each time she would tell me that all she wanted was ‘peace of mind’. As a child, I didn’t understand why she spouted this nebulous concept versus wanting a “real” present, but as an adult, I fully understand. Man do I get it now. She was tired of lies. She was tired of being a dutiful wife to a man who didn’t honor her. She was tired of not being appreciated by family who often took from her, but didn’t give back. She was weary from holding up an entire universe that never offered her rest. What she wanted was the simplest, yet most profound gift. I don’t think she realized though, that only she could give it to herself.
Some of us have been conditioned to believe that we must sacrifice ourselves, our dreams, our desires, our wellbeing, or our dignity because someone ‘needs’ us. We feel bound by obligation and contracts (legal/soul/karmic) and can often sabotage our own growth under the guise being the bigger person and putting others before ourselves. Lovers. Parents. Employers. Spouses. We allow the illusion of being needed to distract us from the fact that we are often being manipulated or emotionally abused. We’re afraid of people seeing the cracks, fissures and deceptive foundations beneath the perfect picture of our lives, so we pose and smile with tight lips - all while choking on the taste of our own suffering. We stall our spiritual journeys by looking the other way, not acknowledging misdeeds, stuffing the truth down into our shoes and pretending that we are whole — when underneath it all, we are the walking wounded; shattered, broken and numb.
If I had the chance to be with my grandmother again, we would walk hand in hand, as far and as long as she needed… until she found her peace of mind.