Contemplative Life Program
They are wonderful people the vast majority of the time, so when they act unkindly and impatiently towards me or each other, I am surprised and disappointed, probably disproportionately. I needed to run an errand, and I hated to leave the house with them at each other's throats (as much as they ever are - there are methods of hateful engagement my sister and I perfected in our youth that my girls haven't even thought of!), but as I was driving away, I said, "I let go of my desire for control." Just like that. It wasn't my problem. They are not subsets of me. Detachment descended. Blood pressure went down. Ahhh. It was wonderful.
I also recently saw the entire circle of self-manufactured expectation and predictable disappointment that Thich Nhat Hahn talks about so often (his audio lecture on The Present Moment is wonderful listening). My husband was gone with the children for a few hours, a very rare opportunity for me to have some peace and quiet, but instead I spent the time doing chores that I thought would make my husband happy. He was pleased when he saw what I had done, but I didn't get the approval hit I was looking for, so I was disappointed, and then resentful (that precious quiet time was gone, and for what!). AND I HAD DONE THE WHOLE THING TO MYSELF.
Major lightbulb moment.
The Present Moment on CD. I found it in my neighborhood library.