There is always something to let go of. Perhaps it is a completed project, a past role, or a person. Sometimes it is the urge to get involved in things that aren't yours to get involved with. Or maybe its your desire to manage or control others.
For myself recently, letting go has included some of the ideals I have had as a mom whose main focus for many years was to raise Godly children.
As I've seen my children take their own life paths I sometimes disagree with, at times, I've felt like a failure. But they are now of adult age, so my job of "raising" them is done. I've decided I did the best job I could. Now, at 23 and 25, their choices are theirs to make.
|My daughter in a leadership role at university.|
Did I complete my motherhood calling to the best of my ability? Yes, I did. Do I sometimes feel disappointed that I wasn't able to create robotic children that always meet my expectations. Yes! Do I sometimes feel all my mothering energy has gone to waste? Yes, I sometimes do.
But putting false guilt on myself is of no use. I KNOW I did an awesome job and I know God knows it too. That's what matters. Therefore, I am letting go of occasional self-inspection and hints of failure that try to creep up.
What Else Am I Letting Go Of?
I'm letting go of worrying about my children. I'm letting go of worrying what other people think. I'm letting go of trying to manipulate situations behind the scenes and of praying desperate worrisome prayers. I'm letting go of letting myself feel frustrated when I see them make yet another choice that displeases me. Who wants to live frustrated?
Do you see yourself in any of these sentiments?
|My son age 8 playing in a corner of the basement in our Winnipeg home. They are so cute at that age.|
But in all this letting go, I've noticed it's taken the children time to catch up. I'm not sure they like this hands-off mothering style. They also have to let go of their expectations of me. They have to let go of home and being parented as they stand on their own feet. Sometimes, I have to remind them not to expect certain things of me. I have had to set boundaries. I do NOT have to be at their beck and call. (beck and call meaning: responding immediately; implies subservience.)
My husband has a little catching up to do himself--he's always been a pushover. I have to remind him of my boundaries when he expects me to jump at the children's command. He loves to do for his children and hasn't quite caught on that that is not necessarily helping them grow up. He has a little letting go to do himself.
|Notice the "Peace" decor in the background.|
PROTECT YOUR WELLBEING
There have been many stages to my letting go process. Last year, I experienced anxiety. It was due to roaring tinnitus, but also compounded by my daughter's engagement and PTSD about events in my past when I was her age that were triggered. I signed up for counselling.
Together, we worked through many issues. I also told my counsellor that when my university student son was home, he was staying up until the wee hours of the morning. He was also sleeping through church time, never going to church again.
When I knew he was still up, I was tempted to go downstairs and yell at him. I wanted to yank him out of bed on Sundays. On work days, I wanted to yell at him to get up and get to work.
My counsellor suggested I accept that my son is an adult and needs to make his own decisions. He would have to bear the consequences of sleeping in. His church choice was between him and God to work out.
He was still a university student so by no means was taking advantage of living with us, but it was time I allowed him to freely set his own schedule (as he'd done living in student housing the previous three years).
For the sake of my health and wellbeing, I had to ignore the behaviours I didn't agree with. The next time I was up in the night and noticed he wasn't in bed I told myself, "It's not my problem" and went back to bed.
I practiced this letting it go behaviour every time I was tempted to step in. Doing so resulted in more personal peace. I'm not completely cured, but I'm making progress.
A Facebook friend posted this helpful summary of the idea of letting go. Read it for yourself:
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it all for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another, I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more!