I am sitting on the grey sofa in the living room, writing, and Noah is on the other end, working on his laptop while he has country music playing.
A few minutes ago, anxiety attacked me. The details are unimportant, but after doing an hour and a half of yoga, I found myself unable to keep the tears from flowing.
I found myself unable to hide them from Noah, either, as he is everywhere in the house, migrating from room to room and even circling the house outdoors while he works.
I tell you this only to explain why he came to be in my presence while I was sobbing.
Tears often happen about this time of day. Anxiety grows to the point that I am helpless. And I am hard pressed to express why I am so anxious. Mary reminds me that the world is totally upside down right now. No matter where you turn, there is trouble: the West Coast is burning up, COVID has people tied in knots, and one of the most important (and nerve-wracking) Presidential elections ever is happening in a matter of weeks.
"Helpless, helpless, helpless," wails Neal Young from Noah's computer. Yes, except for wearing our masks and staying away from other people, we are all helpless to do anything much about anything.
Noah took my anxiety right in stride. I was fixing my turmeric and tension tamer tea, which I do every day to help curb the anxiety. He put his arms around me and said, "Mom, the problem is you're resisting the feelings. It's better just to observe what's going on in your brain and not react."
Of course he's absolutely right. How many times I've tried "accepting everything," or "accettare tutto." Meditation has taught me to observe rather than react.
Sometimes it works, but lately there comes a point in each afternoon when I feel like I can't take another moment of my nervous stomach. I feel like I'm coming unglued.
My very brilliant son reminded me about what my mindfulness teacher has said repeatedly. Stay with the emotions. Don't push them away. And what Mary says: love yourself in the presence of all your difficult feelings.
"When I have a stomach ache, Mom, which I do right now," Noah said, "I try and be nice myself to myself. I ask my body what it wants, which in this case it's saying 'Please don't feed me, just relax.' I tell myself it won't last forever, because everything is always changing."
He told me that I simply have to ride the waves. "Don't resist the emotions," he said. "If you need to cry, then cry."
I looked at my handsome son and said,
"How did you get so smart?"
Almost instantly my tears stopped.
I stood there stirring my tea feeling so grateful.
How is it that I get the lessons I need just exactly when I need them?
How is it that I'm blessed to have such an incredibly smart son, someone who lives keenly in tune with his heart and his intuition?
So here I am now. Not resisting.
Here is me, like Leah back in April, trying to heal herself by doing nothing but staring into the meadow and breathing really slowly.