I got the message loud and clear that I need to learn to deal with suspense.
If I were more dramatic, I might have titled this post, “My son does not have a brain tumor.” Now YOU have to deal with suspense.
The lesson started benignly enough. A company asked to put a product link on my blogs for a fee. We negotiated a price and I put up the link. I gave the company my PayPal information to collect payment.
It didn’t come.
It didn’t come.
It didn’t come.
Hmmmm. I thought. What could be going on? My mind then went to all the things that could have happened. The company backed out. They were fooling me. I messed up the negotiations. The CEO was arrested as part of a scam and now my blog would be implicated.
Hmmmm. I thought. What was really going on? Not with the situation, but with me. I was hurtling to conclusions. I was projecting. I was, perhaps, creating realities I didn’t want simply with the power of my thoughts.
I decided to be more conscious about it. I really don’t know anything became my mantra whenever I began to feel unsettled about the missing funds. An even deeper inner voice also told me to learn to be in the in between place. And that this is very important.
The next day, I had another chance. An article I’d submitted has been accepted to a magazine I read and respect. In fact, the editor wanted me to ADD to the piece. She asked via email if the piece was still available and if I would consider lengthening it. If so, she would send additional questions.
I responded immediately. Yes! Please send questions and I’ll rework.
A day went by.
The mind-chatter began: The editor changed her mind. She found a better article. The magazine folded. I had a typo in my response and the editor vowed not to work with anyone who doesn’t proof their emails.
The calming voice kicked in. I really don’t know anything. Except that I am in the in-between place. I’d better get comfy here. I will keep being presented with this lesson until I master it.
The email arrived. We are on track.
Time for the SAT of cosmic lessons (there’s a reason I’m shying away from the more obvious metaphor of a “final exam”).
Reed complained of headache Friday night. Intense, “stabbing” headaches in the back. No other symptoms, no fever. Just a headache that woke him from a deep sleep that night. Twice.
Early Saturday morning I got an on-call nurse on the line who told us to bring Reed in as soon as Urgent Care opened. Roger did that while I stayed home with a sleeping Tessa.
I did the stupid Dr Google thing (why can we not refrain from doing so?) and thus commenced the mind-chatter, which sounded like this:
I began to quell the voice, repeating my mantra, I really don’t know anything. I had some success; I found some mind silence.
Then Tessa woke up. And the voice INside my head became a voice OUTside my head.
“What will happen, Mama? Will he get a shot? Will he die? What will we do if he dies?”
This was actually good for me. For I said, out loud, “We really don’t know anything. Let’s just sit with what is and we will handle what comes.”
And, I breathed. I stayed present. Right at this moment — the only moment there really is — I was breathing and loving and aware of my family. I really don’t know anything.
After about 2 hours of being in the space between, Roger called to tell me that the doctor said that sinus pain sometimes telegraphs to the back of the head. Motrin and some allergy medication is all that was called for.
My boys came home and I gave them both the biggest hugs of my life.
I don’t think the outcome was good just because I passed the test; I don’t believe it works that way. Rather, I think that I had, at a soul level, asked for opportunities to play in the space between, to get a little familiar with it so that I won’t freak out every time I find myself there.
And I got my wish.