Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Letting Go

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can't do it 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 and change or blame another,
it's to make the most of myself.
To "let go" is not to care for
but to care about.
To "let go" is not to fix,
but 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 the outcome
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To "let go" is not to be protective,
it's to permit another to face reality.
To "let go" is not to deny
but accept.
To "let go" is not to nag, scold or argue
but instead to search out my own short comings and correct them.
To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my devices
but to take each day as it comes
and cherish myself in it.
To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
but to try and dream what 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.

This is a poem which I saved years ago when I first came across it. It's one I read and re-read on a regular basis and one which I try to practice and be mindful of my actions in. Letting go is a learned skill for me, it doesn't come naturally, easily or instinctively. It's also a matter of letting go of the unimportant things instead of stressing over them. Does it really matter if the child gets into the dogs water and has a splash? It can be mopped up and he'll dry off. Does it really matter if I don't have everything decided and arranged NOW? Nah. It'll happen. Or it won't. We'll deal with it as it comes, plan where we can and enjoy it regardless. Relationships, faults in Nic, faults in myself... oh boy, a whole post in itself! LOL

I watch Laurent crawl around on the deck outside and my instinct is to glue him firmly in the middle, far away from the edges he could fall off. I wish it was fenced and gated. Then I think some more, there's a lesson in this moment I'm sure. I ponder that and ponder how my instinct to protect him may be stifling him from self-actualizing. My minds eye colourfully illustrates the myrid of injuries he could sustain in his explorations. It's a small fall but with the wrong angle and the rocks and bricks words like radial fracture, concussion and laceration swim through my head. Still I can't protect him from everything and let him search out his boundaries. He needs to explore, to grow, to develop and when I watch instead of intervening, he explores the edges with me just behind him watching but not acting... he reaches his arms over them, tests to see if he can easily crawl down the step... he can't today and doesn't try. Tomorrow he'll likely try again. And at some point he probably will fall. That's a humbling realization. I can't and shouldn't protect him from everything. This might make some people chuckle because I am generally not one of those mums who fusses over every little thing or rushes over as if the world has ended when he bumps himself or tumbles. I ask and see if he's okay, offer a hug if he needs it and the world goes on.

Less fatalistic, getting the house 'perfect' for inspection, photography and auction is another one. In twenty years, it honestly won't matter if today the dishes stayed in the sink for a few hours before getting washed or it's not all polished enough to see your reflection in. I hate the mess and clutter but let go, let go... it honestly won't matter.

Tantrums have hit... oh stars have they HIT. My normally sunny Laurent has been clinging to my leg whining and sobbing all day long. Pick him up, he wants down. Put him down, he wants up. Try to nurse, he wants off. Try to fasten my bra, he wants to nurse. Give him food, he tosses it to the dogs, then cries because it's not in his hand anymore. He wants to cuddle but then kicks away, crawls off bawling, then crawls back looking for a hug, wash, rinse, repeat. Letting go, letting go. Accepting today is just going to be one of those days where he needs "more", there's nothing I can do to "fix" it, I don't have to fix it because as much as I'd rather he have all good days that's not life and it's not healthy... he needs to be able to feel and express the tough stuff too... and giving into it gracefully and patiently. In the long run, not only does it not matter that I spent most of the day holding him and letting him feel all his big feelings, cuddling him when he needed a hug and letting him go when he wanted to move off instead of doing all the things I need to do but it was the important thing to get done because he's what really matters. Letting go, letting go. Don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff. Good advice if I can just take it!

And yes, I did get some training in too. Amazing huh!


katef said...

Oh that poem is ace! I need to print it out and stick on my computer screen! I am a bit fatalisitc about the whole child injury thing.. I figure eventually someone is going to break a bone so I try not to worry about it too much... but I am a HUGE worrier so that is not easy!

Sif said...

Oh, I need to copy that poem! I totally understand you letting go issue, this really, truly is my life issue! I also understand your imaginings, I "see" my kids, myself, Dave incurring horrific injuriwa deom toppling down stairs, trip on a foorpath and falling headlong into the road, really "1 in a million" things that might happen...

Meanwhile, reading of L's contrary day in the light of your following post, yeah, all the signs were there, hey?

Hope has grown so much already, can't wait to meet her and your other furbabies!