In The Kitchen

One morning he walked into the kitchen and asked if I could do such and such a different way.

My immediate emphatic answer was ‘No.”

That small word came out harsher than intended with no gloss or  bumpers to cushion its edges.

He was taken aback and, in his communicative fashion, went through a series of attempts at discussion with all the whys and wherefores of the request.

Still I said, ‘No.”

After years of working on myself, I’m definite about what I want and what I don’t.  I appreciate straight A to B communication so everyone knows where the boundaries are and in fact that there are some  in the first place.

Unbending I came back with a few good reasons of my own as to why that was untenable for me.

We wound up having harsher words and feeling like the other was controlling and unhearing.

I remained adamant in refusal.

He left the room plainly feeling hurt.

And came back in once, to stand in the doorframe breathing hard as he got the courage up to say what he really felt- which was that he’d been feeling for a while that he had to put up his shields to approach me before expressing needs or wants. He added that this didn’t feel loving or kind.

Seeing and hearing how deeply disturbed he felt,  I began to bend more into a further discussion, with the goal of working this thing out, and ran into a brick wall of his parting words, “I can’t talk about this any further.  My stomach is still shaking and I need to be by myself.”

He exited stage left once again, quite clear that silence would reign.

This from a man who has the quality I had written years ago on my prospective partner list for the Angels to bring me in this life.

After ‘spirit centered’ and ‘good sense of humor,’ somewhere close on that list came ‘willing to talk through anything to conclusion.’

What happened? Where was that ability now?

And, instead of my usual, take-the-bull-by-the-horns’ approach of pushing the water, I never moved from my chair at that table.

I simply sat stunned,letting all my feelings wash through me.  I gave him what he’d asked for…space.  Space to recover.

I became rooted to the spot on the chair.  Appetite all gone and feeling at loose ends in this newly forming energy as we each went to our corners, waiting for the gong to sound the next round, hesitant with old-tape thoughts of  a few ways this could go even more horribly wrong; flare up to a doozy of a fight or signal what had always encroached like a dark shadow of the ultimate doom on the shredded corners of my mind in relationships…’The End.”

16 years together…still standing up for ourselves, mini fighting for rights.

“Geepers! When does that stop?” I wondered silently and gloomily.

That statement that he felt a need for self preservation and protection from me left me feeling deeply saddened.  Me, the person who loves him from depth, height, width and breadth of my being!

I felt brought up short enough to pull back on my look at his behavior and reactions to examine my own.

Gosh, who wants to live armored?

As I took in a breath and released it, as that question travelled the long journey from my mind to my heart to my gut, I eased into a parking space of non judgment where the pavement wasn’t personal.

I let go of how I saw it and asked myself,  ‘what do I really want here?’

‘Not to hurt the I love who loves me,’ came first on a tide of releasing warmth that arises when one remembers the center of one’s being.

“To coexist in peace with my dear one,” came next.

“To participate lovingly in exploring and finding what is best for both of us…what is for our Highest Good…not our most mediocre, so so or just ok.”

And as the tension eased from my energy field, I leaned into the smile forming as it always does when I remember who this person is; who he is to me and with me; knowing that, barring feeling ill or in pain, he always wants to be loving toward me….as I do him.

In the process of reflection, holding the event under the light of ‘how important is it?’ ‘who’s gonna die from this?’ and ‘what’s the real point here?’ I unfolded and made a new inner decision.  It seemed so simple. Why hadn’t this occurred to me immediately?

After a while of avoiding the ‘food preparation and serve’ planet, he walked tentatively back into the kitchen, tippy toed around me in silence and sat down at the table.

I smiled at him.

He did not smile back.

I got up, went to the stove to finish making breakfast and conversationally tossed over my shoulder, “Ask me that question again.”

He started back in his chair, looking eye-edges like Charlie Brown when Lucy pulls the football out from under his place-kick for the umpteenth time; surprised, chagrined and on alert, “What?”

I put warmth and softness in my voice and repeated, “Ask me that question again please.”

“What question?” he hedged with the look of ‘if-this-is-a-joke-I’m-not-laughing’ distrust.

“You know. The one you asked me earlier. Ask me again.”

“I don’t know what you mean. Is this a trick question?  I don’t know how to respond.”

Boy, the walls had been heavily reinforced and the moat was dug deep around the fortress.

“Use those same words. Ask me again, please.”

I felt his trepidation and  gave another gift…give the poor guy a clue already; let him know he’s safe on this new path even though I want him to trust me enough to venture into it trusting me without a guidebook.

He stayed reticent, “I’m afraid I’m gonna get hurt again and I have no armor on right now. Not sure if it’s ok.”

I touched his shoulder and said softly, trying to hold back the giggle that had lightened in me. i knew it was a nice surprise awaiting him that was better than ok, “Go on, take a chance. You’re safe. Really. Ask me again, please.”

Silence.

Chas Brown and Lucy facing off with the football.

“Really?”

“Yup.”

Deep breath.

Screwing up of courage.  (his gift of love to me.)

He asked.

With an open heart; feeling no thing taken from me nor any part of myself given away or lost, I happily replied, “Sure, honey!  I can do that for you. Thanks for asking.”

Eggs got scrambled. Toast toasted.  Tea brewed and he waited for the proverbial other shoe to fall.

It didn’t.

No rationalization.  No back tracking. Just there ya go.  There’s your gift.

I’ve considered your request.

I’ve considered you.

Yes.

Okeydokey.

Here’s who we truly are… good souls…beloveds.

We hugged, heart to heart, apologized and accepted same for any harsh words or feelings and breakfasted in the light of a new day..new way.

From years of experience, we know at heart, our motivations and intentions always stem from a positive place.

And we’re human, fallible, wrapped in our own stuff and frequently ‘fly the cranky flag high’ while it flaps and snaps right in each others’ faces..and we often cannot even see straight to reel the damn thing in.

Chalk it up to being big spirits cramped into puny human form.  It happens more often than we’d like and gives us all myriad amounts of opportunities to extend and receive apologies.

And stay green and growing.

On this particular morning, the growth for me was to feel all my feelings, shock, anger, how dare you, sadness, the strings of ‘oh this isn’t going to get any better’ and to breathe, do no thing…stop.

Not slow down, figure it all out, do anything other than simply and profoundly stop.

The gift that arose from stopping and just sitting there in that same chair, being not doing, helped me to lighten up enough to give my beloved and me what we both needed in this clash of the titans….-space.

I’ve said it before and will say it again and again, “Star Trek got it right. Space…the final frontier!”

And what an ultimate gift that is to give.

I know I need it so why is it sometimes so hard to give to others?

What fear arises when faced with that optional yet essential gift?

…That the other will go away or come back flaming or misunderstanding or caring?

Ahhh! What courage it takes to face those mythical possible prospects; remain true to who I am at my core so I can keep on being the kind and loving person I am and want to see in others; allow space for change, trusting that all is well underneath appearances, and be ok in the process of what Highest Good for all is currently evolving.

Tall order.

…And attainable when I simply stop.

It may take minutes or hours or days, weeks or years, yet unfold it will without my having to force anything.

‘What was it he asked for?’ you may enquire.

‘Can’t remember.’

How’s that for an opportunity to lighten up?!

In the midst of uncomfortable confusion, when I’m not sure if I need to do or to be; ease off the gas or apply the brakes, I need to remember to ask myself  this question,

“If someone is beating me with a stick, do I want them to stop or slow down?”

Putting my gasoline can away as I watch the fire dwindle on the morning’s near conflagration; in the kitchen, I’m glad I chose stop.

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2 Responses to “In The Kitchen”

  1. Ray Says:

    How true. Sometimes with time passing so fast I think of things I should have said. One last touch. The sound of her voice and the many things I could have should have done and said. This woman that I literally dragged around the world. Just one more assignment, where who knows. No questions just pack your bags and let’s go.

  2. Florence Says:

    hi ray,
    thanks for reading & connecting.
    seems there’s no expiration date on our opportunities to change.
    i’m betting you & your dear one got the love in ways far and above words.
    in light
    florence

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