If the roots aren't deep, the tree can't stand the weather.
- Yogi Bhajan
I awoke suddenly this morning to a multitude of disruptive noises. It is the "Festival de Mayo" here in Pozos, a 3 week long extravaganza in which patrons from Mexico City, Queretero, and other large cities migrate to our tiny town and wreak havoc. The flare guns and church bells that usually only greet us on holy days or in the event of a death or birth, are now sounded every ten minutes. In addition to these intrusive sounds, there is a marching band that engages in intermittent drumming and singing throughout the day and night. So as I lay startled and frightened in my bed, the smell of pork fat from one of the many food vendors wafting through my window, I think on the lesson of acceptance.
I have recently been actively altering my behaviors and thoughts. I have grown to accept many things here that I previously allowed to effect me in a range of negative ways. I have even come to hold a special place in my heart for our 3 dogs, who I had formerly sneered at every chance I got. My siblings and I have been getting along famously and my mom and I have a wonderfully peaceful relationship. There still remains one person who I have yet to restore a bond with; Nana.
In years past, we have maintained a roller-coaster-like relationship. Mom and Nana owned a business together for 21 years, and all of us lived in the same house on several occasions. Though we were very close when I was young, as I grew older and witnessed the many conflicts between her and my mom, I couldn't help but see her in a different light. In many ways, I feel that my efforts to transform my being, are due to observing and wishing to reject her pattern of behaviors, but in doing the work I am seeing that my goal should be to accept her for who she is rather than use her as a adverse model.
According to the fabulous book The 8 Human Talents, the shadow emotion of acceptance is resentment. Not only is resentment harmful to the spirit but it can manifest itself in the form of various diseases and disorders of the low back and elimination organs. Though it will be an ongoing challenge to come to terms with all of the behaviors I have come to know as Nanaisms, I have to see the lesson in our relationship so as not to let the resentment rupture our connection or harm my health.
A couple of days ago I was assigned the spiritual name Dharamdev Kaur, which in brief means God's Princess/ Lioness who is an angelic spirit who fearlessly walks on the path of righteousness*. As I make every effort in my power to live into this fantastic name, it is my prayer that I can, in some small way, make a difference for Nana as well. Though there has been 70 years of groundwork laid, I am optimistic about my venture because I can relate to many of her behaviors that I find so intolerable, perhaps a reason why they irritate me so much in the first place. I pray that in my acceptance of her, she can learn to fully accept herself, because underneath all of the compulsions and attitudes exists a funny, quirky, and extremely talented woman who I hope to see more of in the coming years.
*spiritual name description courtesy of 3ho.org