What happens when an opportunity comes along which we have not consciously called to ourselves, and it keeps insistently inserting itself into our lives? This has been my experience of being the executor for my mother’s estate. It is probably a good thing I did not know all that was involved because I would have probably gone running in the opposite direction. Well, I did run in the beginning!
One thinks of these roles as a few months duration and then closure. This role for me has been forming and reforming itself for over 3 years.
Now as I am seeing a possible end to this, I realize that I have been given numerous opportunities through this process to say “YES” to the Universe or “NO”. My major learning is that if I can get into a place to wholeheartedly say “Yes” to the Universe, my life flows more smoothly. If I don’t get into that place, I feel drained, worried, frustrated and disturbed.
When it was clear that my mother was finally ready to move to a retirement center, I kept ignoring what all this would mean to me. We found a great retirement facility, lovely apartment, worked out the financing, discussed the move. We planned out the furniture she would be taking with little cut-out scaled furniture representations for each room courtesy of my husband. I would be very present with her at her home, then return to my home and stop thinking about it, completely. I just simply did not think about any of the real consequences of this for me. That worked okay for a while to lull me into thinking, “this will chug along just fine”.
Then I began to get phone calls 3-4 months before the move, such as, “Robbins, I just don’t think I am really ready to move quite yet. You know there is only so much time and I’d like to spend it here where I am. ” Or another call, “Robbins, I don’t think this new place is going to really suit me. Perhaps we should wait. ” These calls were coming after we had paid a hefty deposit and already set the move date.
It slowly dawned on me that my 86 year old mother could not cope with the move, at all, really. She might be able to work with me on what to take but the idea of really clearing out her home of 41 years, was simply shutting her down. At my home, I went ballistic, right into agitated anger, then “I can’t cope” mode, I am ” incompetent” mode, why me?, defeated resignation and on alternate Saturdays, begrudging acquiescence. In other words, I was in a state of resounding “NO”!
I really did not want to go to Richmond (2.5 hours from me) week after week to make this move happen. I had a healing practice in full swing, for goodness sake. I had terrible “clearing out” skills myself. Why me? Why me?
Thus began my daily training and education about saying “YES” or “NO” to the Universe. All the agitation with the situation and with myself simply made me feel worse. I had not expected to begin my role as executor while my mother was still alive and fully competent. I felt surprised and really unprepared. Therefore I tried to control everything I could. Grasping for control is completely different from saying “YES” to the Universe.
Grasping for control looked like my trying to get clarity and a firm decision from my mother about what she would take to her new apartment, in one afternoon. We both ending up frustrated. Another image comes to mind of my driving on I- 95 South and being detoured by a three lane accident. Traffic was at a standstill for 1.5 hours before it moved. My reaction was to fume. The more I fumed the worse the situation got. I eventually realized I was driving in the wrong direction on a secondary road before I got a hold of the anger. These are just some of the none too pretty exchanges which occurred in my “NO” period.
I did finally get that I was making myself and most everyone else miserable AND that I had a choice in the matter. I began to call for the clearing of my anger, my fear of failure, my fear of not being competent to help my mother, fear of screwing up the legal process, fear about resenting the time I needed to spend in Richmond and a few dozen other fears as well. As each one of these fears was named and released over a few weeks, our time together got easier and easier. Surprise, surprise!
I went for 2- 3 days a week regularly and we began by setting up systems for addressing the “stuff”. I remember being quite thrilled at about 6 weeks into this process, when my mother called and said that she had actually gone through a desk by herself and cleared it out as well as a chest of drawers. She was very pleased with herself. This was the first time ever, in all the years I had known her that I remembered her doing this of her own volition. So, confidence was growing for both of us. As I was increasingly going with the flow, saying “YES” to the Universe, amazing things were happening.
We actually laughed a great deal as we were plowing through boxes from our lives in Holland, which had not been opened in 41 years. We spent one afternoon remembering all the clothes my mother had made for me through the years. This was aided by still having ever single one of the patterns in the basement and many actual material scraps of outfits themselves to aid our memories! I began to program my IPod for the trip on I-95 South and by playing my own music, the trip seemed shorter and shorter. We went out to dinner just the two of us which had hardly ever happened as we were always with other family members. Such truly precious times, all from saying “YES” to the Universe. I came to realize that this was a supreme blessing for me on every level, one I had not called for myself but one which the Universe had presented all on its own for me.
Try saying “YES” to your Universe in your life.
There is likely to be a delicious blessing past the anger, frustration, need to control, fear of failure and fear of having to do something you don’t like doing. My husband laughed with me as I began to come home each week and delve into our own piles of stuff, clearing, sorting and giving away. I became determined to de-clutter and clear out so as to never have to face a 40 year stint of accumulated possessions of my own. Another opportunity to say “YES” to the Universe. Happy affirming to you.