Living with Aging Parents: Being in the Present while Living Amongst Your Past

Living with Aging Parents (1)Being in the Present while Living amongst Your Past: Living with Aging Parents


For any of you who have aging parents, whether you share living space or not, what I am about to share is deeply personal. My hope is that it somehow makes a difference to you.elderly hands

My mom lives with me – downstairs in my home. One evening after returning home from a dinner out, I walked down my back steps to my patio to let my dog outside. I waited on the landing for him to finish his business with the intention of drying him off quickly (it was raining out).

I had been taking on the practice of learning what it truly meant to be present and was watching the rain – how it came down clear and then just disappeared on the floor of the deck somehow. In that space, my mom was muttering something, as she often did these days. She made a statement that would surprise me, and could have cut me to the core.

She went on to say something under her breath, and that I didn’t even go down to check on her yet.” I was stunned because I didn’t know there was anything between us, that she had any negative feelings at all about me. We were fine, and then it dawned on me.

Yes, we were fine, and no, this wasn’t about me…at all.

You see, mom’s vision in her left eye is deteriorating and although the rest of her health is being maintained, this is one issue with which she cannot deal. Her words came from overwhelming fear. All she can focus on is the loss that is happening, understandably so. She was alone and she was being fearful.

It was in that moment, maybe because I was in the practice of being present, that I was able to quickly and (Praise God!) turn the situation around and not make it all about me. How easy would it have been to go back to being that little girl standing there being reprimanded for something I didn’t even do.

alone-body-dress-1390 imageVery easy is the answer. However, that’s not what I did – it’s not what I created.

I created a new possibility born out of making a difference for someone else, for her – my mother. I became empathetic to her, to her situation, and to her feelings. Deep breath in and out, letting the dog in, walking downstairs to spend some time with her.

“Hi, Mom, how are you doing? How are you feeling?” We chatted a bit about my evening, about upcoming events, asked her if she needed anything and it was done – what could have turned into one angry/fearful person triggering and creating another angry/fearful person turned out better than that.

It showed up as compassion. It showed up as freedom – freedom to let go of defensiveness, ego, and triggers past. It showed up as a contribution.

Don’t get me wrong, parenting your parents is not an easy task. Some days are better than others – this one, for me, was one of my best.

Here are a few tips on how to stand in the possibility of new creation:

Bouncing Back: Being Resilient

When you consider yourself as “being attacked,” you create yourself to show up as the victim. You are so much more powerful than that. You have a choice – you can choose to feel victimized by old triggers or you can choose a new possibility and become empowered. That choice is your gift.

Take a moment, take a deep breath, and let it pass through you. Sometimes you just simply have to recognize that what someone says or does is not always necessarily about you. It’s about their stuff.

Be the Role Model, Be the Source

If you meet anger with anger, hurt with hurt, all you get is a lot of anger and hurt. Yes, of course, you are a human being and you have feelings. Your feelings are your guide; however, if you create a grandiose story about those feelings, then you sit in them for too long and let them hover over you and around you until those feelings become your aura and your energy.

Be a role model for higher living, take a stand, be the source.

Recognize your Triggers

When you take a moment to recognize your triggers and bring up the memory from which they originated, you get power. Then take it to the next level – don’t just sit and stew in those old memories.

Recognize triggers – say howdy, long time no see, thanks for stopping in, but my request is firm that this be a short visit. I appreciate you trying to protect me, but I can take care of myself just fine. Thank you and good riddens.

Support Yourself

Take time to breathe – go out and be in nature, draw positive people into your aura (as you have the power to create this), use the power of prayer, join support groups, don’t forget your journaling and take on the practice of meditating. Above all – Pray and read the Bible. God gives you many gifts when you spend time in His word – gifts of discernment and a higher path.

When it comes to journaling, make certain you journal what you successfully create out of those lemons. You can then revisit your success at any time by re-reading it and reveling in the joy you have created for yourself and the difference you have made for another. Be proud of that success!

Then you can see that with God anything is possible.