Morning Coffee

coffeeI was in a group a week ago when one of the regular participants, a 30 something year old woman, shared with us a recent experience.  She began her story with a quick recap of the how well she was doing maintaining her recovery while also working on creating a healthy self-esteem.  She said she and “her man” were now renting a room from an older widowed woman.  This woman in our group told us about how for the first time in a very long time she was able to start her mornings by getting up earlier than “her man”  so she could sit in the front room quietly drinking a cup of coffee with her landlady.    For a few minutes as she shared this part of her story she looked out the large bay windows in our meeting room talking softly with a look of what I can only describe as pure contentment. 

Suddenly taking her eyes off whatever it was she saw she looked about her and explained that this quiet time was a new experience for her; she felt she could finally stop worrying about where she would be getting her next meal or even her next fix.  She explained that sometimes she even cleaned up a bit around the front room as it looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in a long time.  This younger woman told us that as she dusted the other older woman sat in her big recliner sharing stories of her past or what was going on with her grandchildren. 

The younger woman talked of how much she enjoyed those moments even the housework as she really liked having a clean house.  Suddenly she looked down at her hands folded in her lap and with furrowed brow told us that she did this until “her man” told her the older lady was taking advantage of her.  She said “her man” asked her to stop being so helpful especially if she wasn’t going to be compensated for the housework. This 30 something year old woman stopped talking and looked again out the window but this time without the serenity she’d had just moments before.

I wasn’t sure how to respond to her statement so I just said the first thing that came to me, “He made that up.  He made that whole part up about what your landlady is thinking.  Neither of you actually know what she’s thinking or how she feels.  There could be several different reasons why she hasn’t cleaned that room and none of them are necessarily about taking advantage of you.”

I said this very quietly, not really looking at this young woman but she stopped and looked expectantly at me.

Her face, for me, looked as if she’d heard something that hadn’t occurred to her before.  I met her eyes with my own.  I smiled.  “Besides,” I said quietly, “you enjoy having coffee with her and even helping out a little, right?”  She nodded, agreeing with me.  Without saying anything she held my gaze searching my face for an answer only she held.

“You know, you’re right, I don’t know.  Do I?  And I really do like spending time with her.” 

She looked away from me and again looked out the window; this time the look she’d first had when she talked about spending time with this older woman, that serenity brought on by her thoughts about this shared experience, well it came back along with a knowing smile.  She had decided what she would do.

Just today during group this 30 something year old woman expressed gratitude for what she’d learned the previous week.  This time she shared also that her landlady had taken a trip to Puerto Vallarta.  Soon after landing in Mexico the landlady called and left a message specifically for her new female friend.  The older woman wanted to let her know she had gotten to her family’s house safely and all was fine. 

The young woman looked at me and smiled saying nothing more.  For a long time she was quiet with a look that spoke of pure contentment.  As to what that look meant I can only guess as she didn’t speak again for the rest of the group.  As for what she would do with “her man’s” idea of what was going on she decided what was true and what wasn’t. 

We, every one of us, make up what is going on around us.  This is done daily via our amazing ability to create our reality through thought.  Every time we think we know what someone else is doing and why, we’ve done that basing their story on our own experiences.  We actually can’t ever really know until we’ve taken the time to sit and listen. 

And if we’re really lucky we will get to spend a few minutes creating a lifetime of precious memories.  

If you enjoyed this please share.  If you’d like to know a little bit more about “Deep Listening” and the 3 Principles, leave me a comment.

Thank you for spending a few minutes with me.

Marian 

 

 

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About Marian

When I was barely three years old I was given to a step-mother by my father along with my five brothers and sisters. She brought into this new family her own two small children; the eight of us were all very young. My new mother along with my father decided how best to raise all of us; this included violent and abusive punishments and inappropriate ideas of right and wrong, including alcoholism and infidelity on my father’s part. My mother was particularly angry with me, I have no idea why but I made up that it’s because my father favored me over all the others, most importantly her own children. Whether this is the truth doesn’t really matter anymore as it was a long time ago. I left home the day after my eighteenth birthday which coincides with the last time she laid an abusive hand on me. Unfortunately, I took all the negative feelings I’d developed about myself based on my upbringing with me and proceeded to find and cultivate one bad and abusive relationship after another until, and without a another thought about it, I stopped the madness when I was about 35 years old. I’m now in my late 50’s with two grown daughters and four grandchildren. I have a degree in Social Work, I’m a certified teacher of The Three Principals, a counselor for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and I worked more than seven years with homeless men and women diagnosed as severely mentally ill, addicts, and victims of every type of heinous crime against human beings. I’m married just over 21 years to a loving man who supports me emotionally and, now, financially. He believes I have a wonderful calming insight to share with others who are survivors of their lives just like me. That’s how I see myself now, a survivor of my own life. I will discuss empowering insights that were shared with me regarding how we innocently see the world and how we can easily choose to see and feel differently about everything. Not just everything around us but more importantly about who we are. We are all unknowingly living our lives as if there are no other choices. Yet daily deep within each of us we hope there’s something better and we spend countless hours looking for just that. I have a few ideas as to how you can let all the sadness, frustration and anger go allowing the essence of who you are take hold. My perspective is positive, my hope is boundless and my belief is secure. I listen without condemnation. I will always direct you back to where all emotional issues rest in a positive and compassionate way. There is no anger in me, I do not seek to avenge the past and I live now in this moment rejoicing that I exist today to enjoy the gifts I’ve been given. We are all powerful, unlimited and are creations of pure Love! Thank you for visiting with me, I truly hope you will find what you’re looking for and if not, let’s talk! Marian