My neighbor’s son, Oliver, has a Ninja Turtles t-shirt with a Velcro-cape. For weeks he’s been running through the house, school playground and Target, cape flying behind him. He loves it. And I’m pretty impressed how my neighbor has kept track of the detachable cape. That kind of thing would’ve been a challenge for me when I was doing laundry for three little boys. I think I would’ve lost it by now.

The other day my neighbor said, “You want to hear the most embarrassing thing that happened with Oliver at school yesterday?”

Hmmmm, more embarrassing than when the school called home to point out that my daughter had raw chicken tenders in her lunch pail?

Sure, let’s hear it!

Neighbor: “I picked up Oliver from after-school-care. The teacher said, “We noticed Oliver’s cape wasn’t attached to his shirt today, but these were.” She held up my Victoria’s Secret underwear that reads…YOU WISH!”

Laughing that hard feels really good. Later on, I thought about how we’re all walking around with underwear stuck to our backs. Okay, you probably don’t really have underwear stuck to your back right now, but the people you live with and those closest to you, their lives are a part of yours. My hunch is you’ve got something wedged in your brain about your spouse, partner, parent, or child – and it’s stuck.

Byron Katie says, there’s a reason for that.

 

It’s true. This was a BIG one for me to understand and I practice staying aware of it every day.

Last week, my son and I went to Disney’s California Adventure. My favorite ride, Soarin’ Over California, is being updated and I wanted to fly over California one last time. In the morning, when we were getting ready to go, my son said something about him leaving the park by 2.

Me: “I thought we were staying all day.”
Adrian: “No, Mom. I have an appointment at 3.”

“Our parents, our children, our spouses, and our friends will continue to press every button we have, until we realize what it is that we don’t want to know about ourselves, yet. They will point us to our freedom every time.” ~Byron Katie

Here’s what I would’ve said, before.

  1. “No, Adrian. We said we were staying all day.”
  2. “You never spend a whole day with me, is it really too much to ask?”
  3. “When did you even schedule that appointment? I bet it was after we made our plans.”
  4. “I do so much for you, you really can’t do this for me?”
  5. “You know who pays for your Disney pass right?”

Here’s what I did say.

  1. “Okay, so that means we’re taking separate cars.”
  2. “Let’s stop for coffee on the way.”

Let me tell you, 1 – 5 ran through my head before I responded. I quickly considered each statement and then dismissed it for being untrue or not my business.

Adrian and Mary at California Adventure

Here’s how it works.

  1. “No, Adrian. We said we were staying all day.”

Is that true, or did I plan on staying all day and assume Adrian would want to stay too? Do I actually remember having a conversation with him about this? No, I don’t.

  1. “You never spend a whole day with me, is it really too much to ask?”

What am I doing here? Adrian’s an adult now. Maybe we don’t spend entire days together, but we’re each living our own lives. It probably is too much to ask. He’s got his own things to do, his own priorities and goals.

  1. “When did you even schedule that appointment? I bet it was after we made our plans.”

It’s not my business when he scheduled it. What’s the point of trying to figure out when? He has an appointment, that’s his business, not mine.

  1. “I do so much for you, you really can’t do this for me?”

Yes, I do a lot for him, but by choice. He just turned 20, he’s an adult. He can’t demand anything from me. Everything I do for him is my choice to do without expecting anything in return, unless we’ve made an arrangement.

  1. “You know who pays for your Disney pass right?”

Again, my choice. Unless there was an agreement about Adrian making a specified number of visits with me, then I could say something. But there’s no previous arrangement.

“You are your only hope, because we’re not changing until you do. Our job is to keep coming at you, as hard as we can, with everything that angers, upsets, or repulses you, until you understand. We love you that much, whether we’re aware of it or not. The whole world is about you.” ~Byron Katie

As I practice asking myself what’s true or not true, and what’s my business and not my business, I’m delivered back to peace.

Last week Adrian gave me much more than a whole day at Disneyland could ever do. He pointed me back to freedom.

“Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.” ~Byron Katie

Love, light and grace to you.