I think the Universe is trying to tell me something. A while ago I sorted through a collection of my mom’s books that my dad had put aside to be passed on. I simply kept one of the books with no hesitation because it contained an inscription in the front cover.
“ To Kay, August 1972 from Susan B” From this I inferred that the book had been given to my mom from her dear friend Sue for her eighteenth birthday.
Today as I walking past the bookshelf I noticed that there were two pink flags sticking out of the book and so I was curious as to what my mom had flagged, and so I opened up the book and found myself reading a section entitled: “Courage & The Conquest of Fear”.
It’s interesting to note that over the past while I have been reading a great deal about courage and vulnerability. I just finished The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer where she shares her reflections and connections that she has made about relationships and connection. At one point in the book she says that Brene Brown in Daring Greatly basically wrote her book from an academic point of view, and so I have started re-reading it. (Not that I really need an excuse to re-read Brene Brown). But any way, at the moment I am battling to let go of control and just trust.
I have a dear sister in law who is quite similar to me (if you believe in astrology it might have something to do with the fact that our birthdays are 4 days apart) but any way, she so similar that if she does something that annoys or irritates me I need to think really hard about whether it something that she did or it is something of myself that I am seeing and not liking. (It is sometimes useful, sometimes a pain, but always what it is). But either way, I digress, she wrote a blog post about leaving things behind and in it she included the serenity prayer, which I find interesting because in my mother’s copy of light from many lamps she has a flag (one of only two in the book) on the page which includes the passage:
“Dear God, give us strength to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed. Give us courage to change the things that can and should be changed. And give us wisdom to distinguish one from the other.” – Admiral Thomas C. Hart
At the moment, I am struggling to find the courage to accept support and accept that my occupation being mom is enough and that I am not a drain or a burden. That there is value in what I do, that even though I am unsalaried, I am not unemployed.
I am not sure what the message is that the universe is sending me, perhaps it is a gentle reminder that not all acts of courage roar, that sometimes the act of showing up and doing the mundane over and over is actually an act of courage itself.
I paged back to the beginning of the section on courage. I guess in someways courage will always be hard. Courage is the antidote to anxiety. Courage is letting go of the need for control and just actually doing something. The first story recounted in this section is titled “This, too, shall pass away”. It tells the tale of an ancient eastern monarch who called upon his wise men to invent a mantra that must be wise, true and endlessly enduring, words by which a man could be guided all his life, in every circumstance, no matter what happened, and the mantra needed to be concise enough to be engraved on a ring. Eventually, the wise men returned to the monach with the words:
“This, too, shall pass away.”
This story inspired Paul Hamilton Hayne to write the poem: This,Too, Shall Pass Away.
Art thou in misery, brother? Then I pray
Be comforted. Thy grief shall pass away.
Art thou elated? Ah, be not too gay;
Temper they joy: this, too shall pass away.
Art thou in danger? Still let reason sway,
And cling to hope: this too, shall pass away.
Tempted art thou? In all thine anguish lay
One truth to heart: this, too, shall pass away.
Do rays of loftier glory round thee play?
Kinglike art thou? This, too, shall pass away!
Whate’er thou art, where’er thy footsteps stray,
Heed these wise words: This, too, shall pass away.