When I first moved into my little 1930s cottage, I knew that at some point, I was going to want to bust the wall between the living room and the downstairs bedroom. It felt to me that this would allow the house to take a deep breath which it had been patiently holding for almost 90 years - as well flood the main room with delicious morning sun.
The years passed and every so often, the topic would float up to the surface then gently float back down. One of the main hurdles for me was the fear of what this would do to the relationship with my partner if he was to do the work himself. I'm a Capricorn and he's a Taurus. Both of us first born children with plenty of fire and while I am no astrology buff, I know enough to believe that we had a fun pop quiz on our hands.
As seems to be often the case in my life, the decisive moment came almost unannounced, sometime between breakfast and a morning shower. Today would be the day that he would take a big tool to the pine walls and let the light in.
Because we are both "sprinters," once the decision was made, it was time to take action. He grabbed his measuring tape and I looked for my cat.
You see, I am the kind of person who needs a clean kitchen in order to truly enjoy preparing a meal. I also get much more pleasure out of creating a painting if my little tubes are all lined up in a row - preferably with their labels facing out. And then I will be much happier cooking or painting if I know that the ones I love are safe and content while I do so.
So first orders for me were to:
Because of this, I started moving things out of the way and creating a temporary nest for Meethra-the-cat. I talked to my plants as I gave them a temporary home. I mentioned large sheets of protective plastic covering a little too often.
The idea of performing surgery to my home is both exhilarating and petrifying. The act feels violent and invasive, even though I know the results will be beautiful.
While he started to unscrew things, I did a little prayer and asked my home for its forgiveness and co-operation, assuring it of our loving intention.
And then, I asked him to hold hands with me and for us to Declare our Essences. I went first and Declared Trust and Ease. Whew... He Declared Precision and Ease. It was lovely to see that we both agreed on Ease and I thought that hey, we may be able to pull this off.
Until two minutes later when I asked him if I could put away his notebook and his tone clued me into the fact that something was off and not so easy.
He felt micromanaged.
Really, he needed me to get out of the house and trust him. He went as far as reminding me of my just-Declared Essence. I had to take a breath to not call him out on a cheap shot.
I got it. AND I knew that if I was to walk out of the house at that point, I would be betraying myself in order to soothe him and that this would in no way give me the Ease I had Declared. Nor would it be respectful to our relationship and the faith we were demonstrating - or trying to.
So I stayed and I moved a few things around some more while being aware of his slight angst at "not being trusted." I took care of me and in doing so I believe I took care of us. I stayed in my basket and avoided getting caught in his by using too many words and explaining/defending "my sense."
I knew that he had his sense also, and if that if this was going to work (and good god once the process started it HAD to work) our senses were going to have to dance together.
At some point, I asked him for some Compassion for how challenging this was for me. I wanted him to tell me that he knew it was hard for me, and to hold me and to tell me how well I was doing. Ha!
Except for that well, he had his own thing to deal with, his own need to be trusted, and that my hovering was not so easy on him, that he could use some Compassion, too.
I realized that while I may get some Compassion from him at some later point - or not - it wasn't going to be today. And that it was okay because I could give it to myself by moving just one last little plant, taking care of myself, and then walking out. Trusting.
And while a few years ago we may not have been able to do this dance, I think that this time we will. With Ease, Precision, and Trust. And Compassion.
Today, I invite you to trust in the process and to know when it is the right time to rip a wall in your home, sit down at your computer to start a book or partner with someone else for a chunk of life. I also invite you to trust in the process of knowing when it is time to only talk about it, vision it and then let it simmer for a while longer.
Finally, I want to remind you, remind us, that when an Essence is important to us - such as Compassion in my case today - we are usually able to fill that need by extending it to someone else as well as to ourselves. What a gift that is.
As for the hole in the wall ... stay posted :)
This is going to look so good. SO good.
My new book