How I Broke My Mother’s Heart

Are there times in your life where you’re putting your attention on things that you don’t want to have happen, instead of what you do want to have happen? Enjoy my video or read the transcript below:

Many many years ago, I was teaching meditation in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead, CA.

At the time, my mother had just gotten out of an alcoholic's recovery home. She had been in and out, in and out, and in and out of alcoholic’s recovery homes for years, she was having a very rough time. She and I had been really close for many years, but when she started drinking things started to get a little crazy.

But this time when I heard that she got out, I started thinking, "I could really help her with my knowledge. I know all about meditation. I'll get her to come up here! She'll be surrounded by the beauty of nature and won't have anything to worry about. I'll take care of everything!"

So I called her up and said, "Momper Stompers," which was her nickname, "Mompers, come stay with me, up in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead!" She had nowhere else to stay, so she traveled about two hours out of Los Angeles to come live in the mountains with me.

Something I hadn't thought about, was the fact that my life was so full. I was going to lectures all the time and giving lectures on mediation all over the mountains. I was in and out and didn't really have any spare time. I hadn't given thought to things like, "What does my mother need? What would she need at this time in her life?"

So she came to stay with me, but she had nothing. She didn't know any people, she only has me there. She didn't have a car and she couldn't drive. She was just coming out of being addicted to alcohol.

One day, as I arrived home after being off and about teaching meditation, I noticed my mother was looking really proud of herself. She said to me with excitement written all over her face, "Janet, I spent all day making you my favorite stew! I put everything I could find in it, you're going to love it!"

So I walked over to the oven and looked into the pot, and as I put a spoon in her stew, I said, "Mompers, are there onions and garlic in this? You know I don't eat onions and garlic. I mean, we're told not to eat onions and garlic. Did you really put onions and garlic in here?"

Right in that moment, my mother’s face just got the saddest look on it. She totally cracked and ran out of the kitchen. She ran into her room, she grabbed her suitcase and ran out the door. She hitchhiked all the way down the mountain to my aunt's house.

And I was there, left with that moment.

There’s something I’d like to ask all of you;

Where do you put your attention? Are there times like I was, where I was putting my attention on what I didn’t want instead of what I really did want?

Are there any times in your life where you’re putting your attention on things that you don’t want to have happen, instead of what you do want to have happen? 

With love

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Janet Bray Attwood

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