One of the roles I’ve played throughout my life that has taught me the most about living from the balance point is the role of “mom”. Other than playing the rather eclectic role of “me” and “wife”, the role of “mom” has been the one I’ve played the longest – 22 1/2 years. This past weekend marked an important shift in that role. One that has taken me from being a parent responsible for all aspects of her son’s life to one of now playing the role of sounding board and collaborator.
It feels complete and I admit that this was an act and process of letting go. The truth is, for the past few weeks, I’ve resisted the experience. In realizing this, I decided to run towards all the emotions that were coming up and experience it all. Let it be just as it is; don’t change it. Embrace the experience fully.
It “came to a head” this past weekend when we drove our son Taylor to Boston where he begins his job this week. We spent the weekend exploring where he’ll be spending the next few years of his life and then on Sunday morning, loaded up the car for the 10+ hour trip home. Before we left we took Taylor to breakfast. As we were eating and enjoying the time together, the truth about what I was feeling came up to share. I confessed that I realized my tears and emotions were not about “saying goodbye” because there was no goodbye. I had been attached to the concept of “mom” as well as a bunch of assumptions that over time I had come to believe were true. I thought I had to give up the role of being “mom”. What I didn’t realize until Sunday morning over a Western omelet and coffee at a Friendly’s restaurant in Milford, MA, was he’ll always be my son. I’ll always be his mom. And…as I purged my soul to my wonderfully patient son and husband any lingering awkwardness of saying goodbye vanished and all that remained was a crystal clear space. The remainder of our time together as a family was simple, easy, light and fun…filled with laughter, joking and a few tears here and there.
As I realize it now, the role simply shifts to another level…one to be revealed. I’m choosing to let it be what it is. In doing this, Taylor is allowed to be his wonderful self and express to his full potential.
The anatomy of letting go for life’s transitions:
Follow these simple steps to fully experience the experience and life from the balance point:
1. Identify the issue. Tell yourself the truth. Make the choice to be free.
2. Identify the emotions as they come up. Embrace them – run towards them. This is what is so; allow the experience to be just as it is. It will then allow you to be just as you are.
3. Every time, your mind intervenes with thoughts about it, breathe into those thoughts. Let them be there just as they are and watch them as they drift away.
4. Continue to tell yourself the truth and when you feel clear about it, tell the truth to those it involves. I swear by this. As I wrote above, when I confessed to my son what I was feeling and had been experiencing, he nodded and said, “It is good that you see this.” It immediately cleared the space. I had in fact separated from him by identifying with a false concept of what it means to be a mom. Telling the truth to him cleared the space – no more separation; only love.
5. The final phase in the anatomy of letting go is to move forward and enjoy the freedom, peace and joy that comes with it.