This afternoon, my son saw a spider on the wall and wanted me to kill it for him. I said something completely ridiculous, (because I don’t exactly love spiders) like “oh he won’t hurt anything – he’s my boyfriend.” I have no idea where that came from, but sometimes it’s fun to tease my young son with silly nonsense.
He came to me, touched the top of my head, and said with mock seriousness, “It’s time for you to get out of the figurative world and get into reality, Mom.”
“Figurative?” Seriously? He’s 8, for crying out loud.
Reality can be a very difficult place to live. To accommodate, sometimes I go into temporary survival mode until I’m better equipped to handle reality. I consider it a step up from denial – an evolved self-preservation of sorts. If I can just get from “here” to “there” then everything is going to be okay eventually. And by the time I get “there,” maybe I’ll find that what I thought was reality was just another movie playing in my head. Or not. But by then I might have more insight or tolerance or strength or self-esteem or resolve to face a painful Truth.
According to Toltec philosophy, reality is whatever we dream it to be, and we have complete control of it from beginning to end. I find a ring of Truth in that, but I know for sure that I dreamed many times that Mr. N/A would recover from his addiction, stop behaving badly, and that we would have a lovely marriage. That was most certainly not my reality, and my eternal optimism held me in Denial for years.
Living in reality is connecting with the present moment. I am here, typing this blog post. I feel the pressure of my fingertips on the keyboard and the heat of the machine on my thighs. My eyes are heavy and itchy from Springtime pollen and lack of sleep, and my chest moves slightly with my breathing. That is reality.
My garden-in-progress is a wonderful reality check. The earth is a dependable floor for my feet and provides an environment for my plants to grow. My little tree is still nothing but a stick – or is it? Every day, I see the tiniest signs of new life – minuscule baby buds showed up this morning. Nature does it’s thing. That is reality.
And all the rest is much too complicated for me, so I’m just going to sleep, thank you very much.