Dear Parents… (and you don’t have to be a parent to know this)
Remember, your children are on their own journey here… largely unconscious to yours. They have their own path, their own goals, dreams and passions. Some may be similar to yours, others not. It’s not personal. Your only job is to provide the safest container to see them through.. until your job is done. And, of course, to love them as fully and completely along the way.
Last week I collided with my 15 year old son. It felt like head-on, train smash. I saw it coming and I pulled the trigger with words. Not the proudest parenting moment. I pressed ‘pause‘ as I knew my anger was out of proportion for the situation.. what fear was lying underneath? When I got it, It felt so real, such a possibility. The rest followed like this..
30 mins later: I can see there is a possibility my story might not be true. Breathe.
60 mins later: I can see there are other ways of looking at the situation.
90 mins later: I can see my part in it.
120 mins later: I can see him with love… so much love, just the way he is.
When you are frustrated, at your wits end, ask yourself… what can I let go of, or accept right now? If there is anger, anxiety, what is the fear you hold deep inside.. and is it relevant or even probable?
If you cannot connect and repair, for a moment, an hour or a day.. stop. See them in their wholeness, their perfection, their beauty, their limitlessness, their innocence as they had entered this world. NOT what they are doing/not doing… that is not who they are. That is secondary. They are already enough. Remember who they were before the world told them what to do and who to be. It can help to picture them as a baby, or remember a time you laughed so hard together. If you cannot see them in this light, ask yourself why. What is it in you that is resisting? The parts of yourself that are not fulfilled, and sorry folks, that’s your responsibility.
Now, go and tell them to pick up their socks, get dressed and do their homework.
It is not their job to be who we want them to be. It is their job to be who they already are. They will find a way anyway, so make it easier on yourself and them.
Don’t worry, things won’t fall apart. Your children won’t end up poor, unsuccessful and failures. But they will be less anxious. Things won’t always be easy. They will make bad choices. But, can you still hold them in the light as perfectly imperfect?
Here’s to the hardest, most gut-wrenching, deepest and selfless love you will ever experience.