This morning I dropped Eli off for his first day ever of day camp. He hesitated for a moment leaving the car. I began to offer assistance and then stopped myself and waited a moment and breathed. Next he dashed out with the counselor, not saying good bye and not a backward glance. As I drove away, tears clouded my sight and began free flowing down my cheeks. Sad? No. I loved camp and felt excitement for him. So why was I crying?
Crying for the joy of him growing up and the momentary twist in my heart that he has taken another “growing up step” towards independence. He is no longer that little baby dependent on me and Marc for everything. He has a mind of his own. He speaks and shares his feelings, joys and sorrows. This is a wonderful thing and exactly what we want for him. Yet I know it will never be the same. I cry for the time slipping by so fast and though I’m enjoying each moment, the moments are passing faster and faster. And sometimes I miss that little baby who needed me for everything.
I cry acknowledging my feelings in the present, expressing them and knowing I’m happy and moving forward in my journey of life. I embrace each age of his, mine and each new chapter of our lives as if it is a new adventure in a book I’m reading and cannot put it down.
So I wonder as I walk my journey, watch Eli and support him walking his own journey, is it easy to support and not push ourselves to walk our loved ones path?
My path, your path, our path…Walking a path, journey of life. In any relationship what is the difference between walking your own path and supporting your loved one AND walking their path believing you are supporting them?
Have you ever chatted with a friend, a loved one sharing a situation? Ever had them tell you (without being asked) “here is what you need to do and provide a step by step solution? In the case of you listening, ever hear them and think, I know how to fix this. If only they would: blah, blah, blah, blah? And then you find yourself speaking all those thoughts. Ever get angry at the person telling you what to do? Ever have your friend get mad at your suggestions? You know each of you comes from a place of love AND yet…not working.
Consider, did they ask for my help or my ear? Am I coming from a placed of pure love for them or trying to “fix” them or their situation based on my own life experiences and fear?
I did this exact thing to my husband for YEARS, walked his path I mean. When he was laid off, my fear about income had me “suggesting” all these things he could do, people he could speak with. I was really just ramming a bunch of stuff down his throat which probably made him feel worse than he was feeling. Did I ask him if he wanted my numerous suggestions? Nope. Did I ask him to share with me his plan, desires, feelings? Nope. I just took over planning how this was going to get fixed so I would feel better.
Well, you can imagine this went over like a ton of bricks…THUD. He grew silent, withdrawn and easier to anger. Early on I attributed this to the actual lay off only becoming aware later how I contributed. Now this is an extreme example though there are many in our lives.
It took me awhile to deal with my own fears, realize what I was doing and STOP. I read. I meditated. I saw my own intuitive for counsel. When I stopped, I saw Marc change. The anger abated. The silence left. He was my loving, communicative partner again.
Does that mean I am completely healed and never do this to anyone in my life? No. I am human. I am aware. I strive to ask permission to give a suggestion or wait until I’m asked. And sometimes I dive in “spitting up” my ideas all over. When I notice something off in my relationships, I go inward first and replay in my head. Then I ASK. ASKING is key. Next I accept responsibility for my attempt to TAKE OVER. Does it always go well? Nope. This is real life. People are human with human reactions stemming from their own life experiences that sometimes have something to do with me and most often, not. My awareness helps me stay on my own path and less often taking over someone else’s. Awareness and LOTS of practice.
If you want my opinion, give it a whirl. It changed my life. Lovingly Lotus