I talked to my daughter yesterday morning. She asked me to check on some things in her car, it looks like quite a few things have been stolen. I was at work when she called and I needed to go, she said she would call when they let them out of their cells, which apparently happens once or twice a day. She didn't call back until this morning. I am still attempting to decipher how the conversation was so different. I think the biggest discernible change was my own response to her. I was again in my silent mode. I felt neutral, detached and yet really compassionate and present with her. I did not judge her or ask any questions or make any inquires or feel any negativity towards her. Absent were the recriminations, silent make wrong, resentments, sadness, anger, critical thoughts, really it was so calm......quiet and easy. Since her husband committed suicide 14 years ago, she has been on some kind of a dark and intense journey which has kept her very distant from everyone. Our relationship got more and more strained and distant over time. Then when she lost her home a little over 2 years ago, the descent she was in sped up dramatically and she has stayed at the survival level for awhile now. That's when my enabling hit it's peak. She and I were very close when she was growing up. But over so much time and so many tragedies in her life, our connection dwindled down to almost nothing in the last year as I learned to set boundaries on her behavior and choices and I found a new way of caring for myself. This morning on the phone was perhaps the first time, for me, that I think I just accepted her the way she is and in that acceptance, what arose for me was compassion for her. The entire conversation was so different, for her too, she seemed to be making adjustments to that acceptance, but I don't really know, all I can really know is how I felt and I felt very different. SO and I talked about it afterwards which helped me to better understand what had happened. As I've mentioned I'm reading Living Beautifully. She outlines three commitments which are ways of living a spiritual life. The first is committing to not cause harm, "to be fully present, feel your heart and leap." The second is to take care of one another, "beyond our comfort zone, breathing in pain, breathing out relief which is the catalyst for compassion." Using her model in connecting with my daughter in a different way, that first phone call I was practicing the first commitment and I was present and in my heart. Last night I followed the instructions on how to breathe in the pain my daughter is dealing with and breathe out comfort to her. This morning I had a distinct response of deep compassion for her without all of the past story line showing up at all. I had no expectation that anything should change or be different, it just is. It was so profound for me that the level of peace I left that conversation with is still with me. It feels like we have separated, she is over there and I am over here and that separation allows me to see her, to be present with her in a way I am not sure I have ever felt before. I don't know if any of this will impact her or not..........but it is very different for me. Perhaps without the past she and I have shared and without the hope for a different future, I landed in the present, I am not sure. I felt a new kindness for her, a softening of my heart, I'm not sure I'm capable of explaining it with words since it was so neutral and yet filled with space and caring at the same time. Whatever it is, it feels good. Today, again I have that deep conviction that she and I are in the absolute right place. I will continue to report on how this develops. Oh and by the way, that third commitment (which I haven't gotten to reading yet) is Committing to embrace the world just as it is. I look forward to finding out what that's about. My strong commitment from childhood was to heal the dysfunction in my family that gets passed on from generation to generation...........I think my granddaughter is okay, but I thought I had lost my daughter.......I really had given up hope for her..........and the truth is that she may continue down this dark path..........and yet, if I can hold on to this feeling of acceptance for her,then whatever she does, wherever she goes, it will be okay. I don't think acceptance was a component of my own childhood, nor for my parents or my siblings.........from my vantage point right now, that acceptance seems to be the most important thing on this journey.