My mother’s mouth was always tight. I don’t know, but I guess that that was where she held on- for dear life I’d add. Really, so many kids, so many bills, a husband out of work, a huge house, readjusting to life as a nurse . . . I don’t think that I’d have any lips if I had that karma on my plate.
But not the Priscilla — she was strong. Like an ox strong. Like steel strong. Like Napolean strong — or Mother Theresa. My mother was/is amazing.
She’d use a pliers to pull out a stick wedged in my brother’s kneecap and the next minute she’d cart us to the beach for the afternoon. Before you knew it, she’d whip up a humongous pot of goulash for dinner.
There was always work to do in that mansion on top of the hill. And Mom led the pack.
I vowed to myself to never get lips like that, to never let my mouth harden against laughter, and joy. I wanted some of the softness and happiness of life. I really wanted big, full, voluptuous lips, but don’t you know, just my luck – I got thin lips. The only part of my big body that can be called skinny: my lips!
I work to soften them, but as years float by, tension mounts and creeps into the flesh.
So many patterns we acquire — most of them accrue unconsciously. Then BOOM — one day we wake up and discover that we have the same lips as our mother. Our mother!
Did we really need to turn on the world that way? Did rigidity set in while we were sleeping?
Yes, it’s true — it happens. I wake up and realize how full of tension my face is — a veritable scrunching of, hmmmm, what was that dream about anyway? Overnight, my face turned into a pug face — not that pugs aren’t kinda cute, mind you. It’s just that errrr, I’m not a dog and I thought I had some power — some control — over how much tension seeped into my cells. After all, I do all this practice — relaxation practice at that. So why am I beginning to look like a pug?
Ahhh, we’re back to the control thing, are we? We’re back to the itty bitty realization that life is not to be controlled. If you’d just soften up for a minute or two you’d know that.
Lay down your beloved title: Empress of the World. This is not a game — no one will play Civilization with you anymore because you always win. You take over.
It’s time to sit back a bit, honey. Let yourself be loved for who you are. Let yourself love yourself. Be grateful for who you are.
This is Thanksgiving, so let’s start right here: Grateful for the wonderful, glorious, messed-up toad-bunny, nuthead that you are.
With blessings to all of my thin-lipped readers (especially you, Mom), big mouth readers, and lovers of the blue sky. I wish you laughter, joy, and the gift of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving.
Rochester Zen Center little garden buddha with petunias