As she was falling asleep, I suddenly realized she was crying. I have learned not to make too much inquiry over bedtime tears. They often indicate a release, a shedding of the day, and most certainly a signal that sleep time is long overdue. “It’s okay, it’s all okay, ” I murmured unconsciously into her hair.
Softly, she asked, “What does that mean?” I woke up inside, knowing this was one of those important mom moments when my answer might alter our relationship forever. Or least for the next hour.
Slowly, I pieced together an answer based on one a doctor gave me a few years ago. “To me, OKAY means pause. When I hear the word OKAY, I feel better. I slow down my breathing immediately, and my thoughts loose their hold on me.”
I wanted to go on and on, to tell her how much this little word OKAY helped me when a doctor told me that no one expected more from me than just to be OKAY around them. We are truly our biggest demons as we engulf ourselves with fear of future actions and past mistakes. Being simply OKAY reminds me that I am trying to hard to CREATE a reality other than what is, and brings me back to the moment that I am TRULY in. It brings back the basics in its utter simplicity of state- and those basics are : breath, safety of place, and physical body. In this moment of awareness, she was breathing. She was safe in a home she knows with sturdy doors and walls, and she lay with all body parts working upon a strategically designed assortment of pillows.
I did not pontificate further, having learned from past discussions that shorter is always better. Sleep thankfully took over. A few days passed, and I checked in, with praise for her questioning such a familiar word. She googled the definition. Words like satisfactory, acceptable, safe, adequate but unremarkable, and dependable endorsement came up. We liked these definitions. Not words to hold maybe for life goals, but as mitigating factors perhaps to the daily drive that can overwhelm us. To accomplish. To live up to our full potential in every moment. Strivings are good, but returning within the process to OKAY also has value when it is used not as a cop out but as a return to center. Maybe we can think of it as High Involvement, Low Attachment. Being OKAY as you strive and then… let go. This might just be more than enough.
May this feeling of OKAY surround you this weekend as we observe a longer pause in our practices:
no class MONDAY MAY 25th for Memorial Day. Our schedule returns TUESDAY the 26th.
Please let me know your summer plans and desires as we can add afternoon and some evening classes.