[Photo by friend of Janet and family.]
A talent I did not know I have is caring for others. Those that have known me a long time are laughing right now, I hear you! Apparently, I came into this life with this innate understanding of how to remove myself completely in crisis in order to help another. But, honestly, I did not recognise this until after years of people reflecting this to me in specific situations. In fact, I still perceive I am not perfect in any way at this giving thing.
Okay, why talk about it now? Some of you are aware that my husband and I lived with and took care of his mother full time as she died over the last five years. I will come back to that dying over five years in a moment. Now, his only brother who lives down the street from us has turned a corner in his ability to care for himself. Yes, he has kids, no wife, but caring children. As fate would have it, their lives are overwhelmed with new children right now.
I understand most people say things like, ‘why do it? Isn’t there some system in place to do that instead? I don’t have time. I am no good at that.’ And for every individual these answers matter. We all must follow our own path. In my path, I did not see any benefit in this tendency of mine. The big Clan I grew up within simply utilized all members to take a part in caring for the Whole. Sweetly, there were more than enough of us that no one was pressed into family duty beyond the level of their maturity.
On becoming a mother, however, the mystery of wholeness unraveled. Again, pressed into duty! But on a level about which I had no comprehension. Early on when my husband could not take the sleep deprivation, he just walked out. Slammed by the sudden realization, I perceived: the buck stops here for who else is going to care for this tiny newborn? I would like a break too; but there is. no. one. else.
Nurturing life from its onset revealed hidden rewards…because I wanted them, I looked for them, I Needed them. These rewards became gems that I learned to cling to, as all my own childhood dreams fell to the wayside. Unknowingly, I built a repertoire of skills… in unconditional service. Where did I come up with this? In retrospect, I see how every example and role model of unconditional Love and mentorship that I had received, floated to the forefront of my awareness. I used these moments, again, because these were all I had to survive.
Yes, Janet, but you do have a choice. O yes! I do. That is the crux, is it not? All along anyone’s path comes moments for choice. Why did we take whatever fork in the road we took? Some years ago, a very special mentor of mine asked me a most vital question. He said, Janet, you are such a good nurturer, so much so that you are a super-nurturer… but, perhaps what is more valuable and pertinent to your own growth is when are you going to turn that super-nurturing around and apply it to your Self?
Back to how, above, I phrased the description of our care for Mum … “dying over five years.” What do I mean – Five Years?! Consider, if you will, this choice idea… when you contemplate where you are in your life’s goals or whether you ought to consider having some goals! What is the purpose of life, of being born at all? Nothing at all against anyone avoiding giving service to others; the popularity of that trade is declining. There certainly seems to be quite a few examples of service to Self these days.
As I have written many times, what does your life amount to when your turn comes to die? When do we begin to die? And, if one is avoiding it, what exactly are you avoiding? Why? Though we may have many people by our bed as we pass from this life, only one person dies, only One gives up the outer world. Will you have discovered a way to fill your chalice with meaning that keeps you, true You, whole through such a crisis as your own death!
What if the meaning of life is far more multi-dimensional than collecting a pocketful of trinkets… There is a mystery! In my viewpoint, consciousness is the child that, like all children, requires nurturing. We do not even take anything from this life when we die, except consciousness. If you have not experienced freedom of consciousness … to choose, say, not being dragged down by others’ negativity or to find a way around obstacles and fixed conditions, I have a pertinent suggestion for you. … …
One of my mysterious gems: learn who this consciousness is… and nurture it.