Posted on February 27, 2010


Today was an emotional day. It started last night when Deezy and I noticed the earthquake in Chile via Twitter. That was around 11:30 and we couldn’t find any news stations that had reports. When we did around midnight, the broadcaster mentioned the chance this earthquake would cause tsunami waves in the Pacific. I didn’t put two and two together… my mom lives in Hawaii. Hawaii is in the middle of the pacific. My mom lives in the middle of the pacific ocean where an earthquake may have initiated tsunami waves. It didn’t hit me until this morning when I checked the news. The tsunami alert was going off in Hawaii and I couldn’t get a hold of my mom.

I called my step-brother to see if he’d spoken to them and he said he did, they were heading to high ground. I text my sister and she said mom had already text her saying she can’t get calls but when my sister called her she got through. I text my mom and she responded, they were fine and doing what they have to do. Okay, honesty time.

I was really bummed that I couldn’t speak to her. In a matter of seconds I convinced myself that if (god forbid) something were to happen the last communication I had with my mother would be half-assed and tense. Or that her text could be the last text she ever sends me. I tried to call her a few more times, but gave up, telling myself that she didn’t want to talk to me. Feeling pitiful, I headed down to the bus station to hit my Saturday meeting. Okay, super honesty time.

What a selfish little girl I can be. Instead of thinking “My mom is evacuating her home, getting her most important things together and heading to safety, she’ll call me when she can,” I thought “she’s mad at me and doesn’t want to talk to me, but she’ll talk to my sister and step-brother.” It took the entire walk to the bus station for me to figure out what the hell is going on in my head. And once I figured it out, yes, awareness and acceptance is key, but I settled into a deep worry about the state of our relationship as tsunami waves approached Hawaii.

I realized I was fixating on her not answering the phone because being angry and resentful was a more comfortable place for me to be than being worried about her well being. I realized I do this often, manipulate my feelings about a situation to distract myself from what I’m really feeling, which is sad and helpless and powerless. I am powerless over giant tsunami waves and the earth has become unmanageable. So instead of accepting that things are happening as they should, and that whatever outcome is how it will be, I stress about not being able to hear her voice and became jealous that my step-brother and sister had. Once again, the selfishness reigns supreme.

Fortunately, the meeting was right on, all about character defects, and I was reminded of my willingness to have these defects removed from me. It doesn’t mean they will, certainly not immediately, but with time, consideration and awareness, I can move away from being such a selfish little princess and be the compassionate and loving daughter I know I can be. I watched CNN after the meeting, I am naturally a catastrophist, and felt 45 foot waves on the horizon, picturing my mother running up a volcano as the waves approached. Finally, I had enough, knew I had to do something before my insanity spun me out of control.

I went to a yoga class at my gym, made it just in time, and as I sat down and the teacher walked in, he informed us we’d be working on balance. How to achieve balance in our postures as we do when we are standing upright. I think if I can achieve balance in my body and self, in my heart and soul, it will initiate a tsunami of balance in every aspect of my life. Balance in my relationships, balance in my business affairs, balance in my program and recovery, if I can live my life in balance, all will be well in Jennieland. Which led me to thinking….

Should I love her from afar? Or should I manage my expectations of her and accept the woman she is today instead of holding out for the woman I know she can be tomorrow? I cannot worry about fixing the world, only in what I must do to change myself.

I text her and she said she’s fine. She made gingerbread, filled up two buckets of water, turned on the news and fell asleep. While the rest of Maui was heading for the hills, my lovely mother was sound asleep to the sounds of sirens and CNN, with the sweet smell of gingerbread and plumeria in her home. This is who she is. My job as a daughter is to accept her, fully. And love her unconditionally.

My prayers and thoughts go out to those in, or with family or loved ones in, Chile… May the devastation not kill spirits and hopes of brighter days.

Posted in: Good Days