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  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    I love both my homes, Delaware and Hampton Bays. They are cozy places with spots I love and both are near water so any time I get frustrated or out of synch I can just go sit by the water and watch the ebb and flow. Anytime I want to marvel at nature it’s a short distance away. I am really a person who can enjoy hanging out puttering around in my house for days. Hence my friends sometimes say “She is in uni-bomber mode!”
    What part of myself needs my understanding and kindness? What part needs my compassion?
    I think the parts that need my understanding are coping with the aging process- settling for doing a little less. Knowing that my usual “ try to take care of everything” simply takes more time than it used to and I can let go of doing some things. For example – we chose to go on our little trip to Dollywood so maybe we can forgo decorating the outside of our house to the max and putting up every decoration we own. Our tree is up- our house looks festive and that’s enough.

    What needs my compassion ? I think relationships need my compassion. I find myself getting more easily annoyed at people I care about. Babs loves to collect things- she is an advertiser’s dream and can’t help herself at night with that Amazon app. I think we need to get rid of stuff and I am appreciating “less is more”. She isn’t there yet! I find myself sometimes being a bit callous in my comments and showing less than kindness. I need to be a little more patient and become as good as Amazon at making less easier!
    I worry about giving enough to friendships too. I can’t comfort a friend that lost her husband- it’s too big for me. I can’t make sure get together’s happen for the cookie-bake crowd and for the librarian crowd. In the past I was always the arranger but juggling retiree’s schedules,believe it or not, is harder.
    I also get a bit frustrated with my sister, Nancy. She is dear to me and for the most part we get along fine. But Nancy is 10 years younger than me and is now in a phase of “I am not going to let myself get old”. She sometimes is pretty critical of us as we try to balance limitations.

    I think I need to step back a little and make peace with letting what happens in some relationships run its course. I don’t have to fix it all but I also need to find ways to accept that in myself.

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Kathy,

      What an honest reflection. Thank you for sharing.

      Last Monday, during our morning meditation, I read from Everyday Sacred, the book you shared with me. We read the chapter on Sufficient. It seems to me that you are there, recognizing good enough is indeed, good enough. It is sufficient! Who says you have to do it all the way you used to? Not all times are created equal, and you are wise to realize that your happiness and peace of mind do not depend on doing things to the max. On the contrary.
      Life changes, for everyone, and routines and rituals follow suit.

      As for practicing compassion in relationships, it begins by extending compassion to yourself and not setting yourself up for unrealistic expectations.
      Let’s face it. We can’t even fix our own problems sometimes. Things have to run their course. Sometimes, all we can do is to get up and put one foot in front of the other until the day the light finds its way through the cracks.
      When it comes to loss and grief, it’s complicated. We can be there and give the other person space to go through the process in their own way, but we can’t usher them to the other side.

      As for Nancy, she is 10 years behind you and has a different temperament. She also loves you and cares about your wellbeing. Of course, scolding you is not helpful, and maybe, you can tell her that.
      Your work is to learn to accept yourself for who you are and be at peace with your choices. It seems to me you are doing that.

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