Fearing Life’s Changes? Here’s an Antidote.

 

Instead of fearing life’s changes, why not move gently in their direction?

Those words came to me recently in an “a-ha” moment of clarity.  I’m grateful for the insight and the resulting sense of empowerment.

I needed it!

You see, I have been dreading and fearing the end of my mothering role. Of course, I understand that my parenting will continue on, just in a new form. I also know that it has already been changing for years now. Still, I have been feeling myself beginning to grieve the loss of my children’s childhood even though we technically have another year left.

Motherhood has been so important to me. I dedicated myself to the role and know in my core that I did it very well. I thrived in the opening of my heart, in loving unconditionally, in listening fully, and in empowering my children. I feel myself already mourning the loss of the opportunity to do this day in and day out.

I can bless myself by honoring these feelings and by trusting that Life can show me how I may use these gifts in other areas.

I have also realized that I can bless myself by avoiding the temptation to resist it and instead take steps to physically and emotionally move towards this new adventure.

Even though I am pretty good at letting go of clutter, there are still many remnants of childhood in our home environment. (It is safe to say that if my family has not played Monopoly in the past eight or nine years, we’re probably not going to start now. And, aside from a small collection of our absolute favorite children’s books, which I will always treasure, I can let go of other books that my family has outgrown.)  I have decided that over the next year or so, I will gradually and steadily release the remaining artifacts of childhood.

I have thought of another powerful way to help myself move towards this new phase of my life. This September, one year before my youngest child leaves for college, I am going to bless myself by attending a three-day silent retreat.  Yes, it will cost money. Yes, it will require some coordinating and juggling of schedules. But instead of saying, “No I can’t, because my life is not there yet”, while AT THE VERY SAME TIME completely fearing the point when my life is there, I can take a softer approach.

I can understand that the birthing of an empty nest is a transition with fluidity rather than one event that needs to be feared or survived.

By actively committing to gift myself the experience of this silent retreat right now, I am declaring that I consciously choose to invite the unfolding. At the same time, I am reminding myself that this entire process can be full of gifts — if I allow it.

I have discovered that taking steps to move towards life’s changes can offer an antidote to the fear.  The changes ARE coming.  The feelings (and sometimes the tears) ARE still flowing.  The difference now is that I am opening my heart to the feelings AND to the changes.  And that feels so much better than the constriction of bracing against them.

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