Sister. Teacher. Wife. Friend. Daughter. Mother... with all these roles I've played in life, it was hard to adjust to being just a "mother" all day. I feel like every other role has been put on a temporary hold. "Especially the role of housewife," I thought as I looked around my dirty, unkempt house yesterday.
I was told by many moms to just let the house go and, at first, I fought that tooth and nail. Since I didn't have the strength or desire to clean, I hired a housekeeper a couple of times in the last three months. However, considering their prices are getting more and more unreasonable (someone actually quoted me $90 for 3 hours), I quickly mustered up some strength and desire. So today I cleaned my house. Like so many other things I do, I huffed and puffed in the beginning, and then when I got into it started loving it again. It became a meditation.
Like all of my meditations since I began practicing roughly 10 years ago, my meditations are never the same twice. I either breathe, try to empty my mind, if I can't empty it I try to understand what my stubborn thoughts are trying to communicate, I listen to music, I focus on one point, I visualize something I want to manifest- the methods are endless really. Today, as I cleaned, my mind went to my name. The name I was given at birth is different from the name I use today. The reason for this is because I was given a beautiful new name when I was initiated into the Tibetan Buddhist faith by my guru (really just A guru, not so much MY guru because I don't have that kind of relationship with him where a. I see him enough to call him MY guru or b. do whatever he says). I liked the name, so I took it on. At the moment, I also thought it was very appropriate to change my name considering the name given to me at birth was attached to a person that I, in many ways, no longer identified with so much.
Sometimes I wondered if people thought I was running away from something by changing my name. Maybe on some level I was. I'm sure a big part of me wanted to make a clean break from the recklessness, the debauchery, the thoughtlessness, and the irresponsibility of my youth. So, perhaps it was a way to try to redefine myself. But the name didn't do it, I did with new actions, new thoughts, and new speech. And anyway, I will never be rid of that because it is me. Darkness and light- it's all me. And really, it's just a name. When I really think about it, changing it was just one other flibbertigibbet thing I've done in my life, among so many others. It wasn't until yesterday at mother's day lunch that I realized it really has nothing to do with anyone else but me. My sister's mother in law was asking my mom to pronounce my new name so that they could start calling me that and I overheard her say, "That's not her name. Her name is the name I gave her" and then looked away to communicate to her that it was an open and shut case. I guess she still has issues with it. So I went over to my sis' in law and said , "It's okay, you can call me Sue. I don't mind."
So as I meditated on this name business while cleaning I decided once and for all that it really is just a name. So it doesn't matter to me that my family and old friends still call me Sue. They can call me Hortense or Big Lactating Cow for all I care. I'm not running away from Sue anymore and I'm not trying to be Pema either. I am just me, here, in my light and in my darkness, being in my essence and breathing in and out. After all is said and done, it's uncomplicated really... we all have the same name and that name is simply "I AM".