On the Other Side of Losing Control is God and People Who Love You
by Rachelle Anslyn Nov 28, 2015
Nicole Daedone says “All practice is for phase transition.”
I’m in the midst of that in my family right now. My grandma is 92. She has lived the last 26 years, since losing her husband, on her own. She's been a strong, independent warrior of a woman, and now it’s all crumbling. Her health has been declining and she has recently fractured her hip and lost her ability to walk. This is the end of her fight to stay in control and independent.
I’m often resentful too that we need other people. It’s pretty awesome to be self sufficient and capable. But the path teaches us surrender. And connection. Regardless of what path we choose -- OM or otherwise -- it’s like, life will eventually bring you to your knees.
So this is it. Phase transition. She’s out of control.
Something deeper in all of us craves this experience, and we fight it too. It’s such a mystery to me: like, what’s so great about being out of control? But deep inside the experience, especially with practice, surrender is a sweet spot. God is there, and what else do we really need? Oh, but to say that to someone in the struggle phase is like telling someone they should be happy drowning.
Nothing more bittersweet than Thanksgiving this year. My whole family is at my Grandma's, having dinner at her table: never before and never again will that happen. My grandma looks so happy all night. There is an undercurrent of having to let go that is so strong, eventually it took the night. Dad has been at a high orange for a very long time, and Grandma hits red with all the energy of the gathering.
I’m so grateful through OM to understand the deeper dynamics of everything happening and that we have a language for what is otherwise quite unexplainable. Orange is a state far outside the comfort zone, and red is the involuntary: fight, flight, or freeze mode. Red is out of control. Understanding this has helped me to see not only where I am and what I may need, but how to respond to other people when I can feel where they are.
For a long time in my practice I actually disconnected from my family, and I have judged myself a lot for not being able to show up for them in certain ways. I didn’t understand at the time how much inner work I was doing, and that it was just right for that time. It was confusing and broke my heart but I just couldn’t do it. Then, it popped. Phase transition for me. I’m a new person with my family these days. I feel available, free, and open in ways I never have been before. It’s really an inside job.
I’ve been staying with my grandma quite a lot recently and I have had these mind-blowing moments with her. She sat me down one night and told me she wanted to tell me a story. I think she had one thing in mind to start, but it turned into an hour and a half monologue about her whole life. She said some things she’s never said, as well as things I maybe just wasn’t present enough to hear before. I listened to her in a way I don’t think I ever have and I got the richness of her life, and also really the depth. I felt the tragedy she has faced over and over again. I understood so much more about myself and my whole family through it. She never had the tools I have to understand and heal; she’s a fierce trooper no doubt. It kept taking me into a deeper and deeper state of gratitude for all I’ve been given in my path, and especially with OM. The biggest gift is being able to sit with her just as I did, knowing I’ve done the work to be here.
The next morning was equally as powerful as she got upset about the looming move into a facility. She started lashing out blame and anger at my family. There was so much love and fierceness that came through me to penetrate her, and she cried as she cracked open. I told her it was all from love. Every bit of her that wants to hold on to control was scrambling in front of my eyes, not knowing how to let go, and with my steadiness, climax was possible. She let go, even for that moment. She touched something: a deeper knowing of how much she’s loved and that she has everything she needs. We of course forget. But those moments, every time, bring us deeper in and deeper together. It’s all any of us want anyway. Stuff just doesn’t fucking matter at the end of the day. But she has years and years of the need to grip to something and it was her stuff she gripped to. So much had happened to her in her life that she didn’t have control of, and she found comfort in her control of her things. Now she’s losing that. All of it. What is left?
What I wish for her to see is that what is left, in the letting go, is love. God, and people who love her and want her well taken care of.
On this Thanksgiving day, I give thanks to my practice. For knowing phase transitions, surrender, connection, God, family and love. I’m grateful I have my families: my OM family and my blood family. And I have a prayer for all beings to know surrender. Life is a bitch of a practice and getting old is the final test. Practice. Practice. Practice.
(Photo Credit: Yimage)