I had a revelation today.
The whole point of my spiritual practice is to simplify my life. Be in the moment. Simplify until it is me, my breath, the moment, my prayer. This makes life easier. I worry less (well, I'm working on that).
In Zen-ing my life, I am trying to de-clutter. Same principle. Simplify. I am trying to do things (like filing or organizing my closet) that allow my life to be calmer, less frenetic.
And then there's Demon. Here was tonight's dinner argument.
I set down one of those cutesy plates with a spot for his chicken, his rice, his vegetable. I got him juice. I gave him a fork and a spoon. ONE spot on the plate was empty. (i.e., there's a main dish spot and three sides, and we only had two sides).
He saw that empty spot.
"I want chicken in there."
"Fine." I moved two pieces of chicken to the empty spot.
"No. New chicken."
"Older Brother, give Demon Baby two pieces of your chicken." (Because I don't eat meat, I didn't have any to give him and Older Brother had a HUGE piece--growing adolescent.)
"No!" (Shrieking.) "I want my OWN chicken."
"But you haven't even eaten a BITE yet. Not one bite." (I am trying to waste less food and he already had PLENTY o' chicken . . . ).
"I want new chicken for that spot."
"Finish the chicken you have."
"No. I want my own. From over there." (Points to stove.)
"Eat the chicken or go upstairs and take a time out."
He gets up, goes upstairs, stomping his tiny feet the whole way up. I took the opportunity to move Brother's chicken to the spot rather than cutting into a new chicken breast. A few minutes later, I called him down. "There. Chicken in every spot."
"I can tell it's not THAT chicken." (Points to stove.)
By this time, since I only ate rice, I was done with my meal. I sighed. Got up. Started cleaning from dinner. He sat there and refused to eat.
"I want juice now."
And I realized . . . my entire day is spent like this. Nothing, not one single thing from waking up until he shuts his eyes is EVER greeted without an argument. Not one thing.
"I don't like this shirt."
"I don't want to wear shoes."
"I want these shoes not those shoes."
"I don't like this blankley, I want that one." (When he cuddles up with a blanket.)
So I had a lightbulb moment. I stared him down. "Demon . . . this is a very difficult way to go through life. Life can be easy, or it can be hard, but you don't EVER take the easy way. You fight your way through your whole life. That's not good, Demon. Pick your battles."
"I want new chicken."
And so . . . when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Demon is here to teach me how to master Zen. Because God knows, he makes it difficult.