I was recently asked when was the last time that I totally switched off and relaxed, when was the last time I had a proper holiday. A common sense question, just as it is common sense to take time off and properly re-energize. However, after stumbling and mumbling, all I could say was “about 17 years ago” … scary, isn’t it? Well, I for one freaked out … but it is the truth! For over 17 years since I gave birth to my son and then to my daughter, time did not belong to me anymore. The perspective changed, priorities changed, my life changed and I was too busy to stop and think whether I could do things in a different way. But was there another way? Being in control is my life! How could I switch off?
Well, it’s been about three weeks since I was asked that question and whatever I do, it keeps coming back to me … I decided to address it and put my mind to rest!
So let’s start with the basics: what does switching off mean?
Hmmm … that’s a hard one … going away, switching the phone off, no emails, no social media, no contact with the regular life … sounds great and doable! But how do you switch off your worries, your need to know everything is ok with your children, with your family? Meditation helps, but you cannot meditate 24 hours a day, can you? How do you switch off the need to be in control? For me that’s not only hard, it’s scary. But I am determined to learn how to let go.
Probably the first thing I ought to do is understand that my kids have grown into beautiful teenagers and that I would probably be doing them a favor by empowering them more, by sharing some of my house responsibilities with them, by letting them make their own mistakes. Part of this process is for me to learn how to be the mother of teenagers and prepare my self for becoming the mother of young adults.
Doubt, fear or need?
Wow! That is difficult! But why do I find it so difficult? It should be easier, I should be able to trust myself that I have instilled a good and solid foundation in my kids to be able to make wise decisions and keep themselves safe. Do I doubt myself? Am I not ready to accept that they should be learning to make their way into the world? Am I afraid that they don’t really need me that much anymore?
I am aware that I am the one paying for their standard of living, for their education and so on, but that’s not the sort of need I am talking about … it’s the fact that in their eyes I used to hold all the answers, all the solutions, provide that safety net … am I afraid that if I let go and something goes wrong I will not be able to live with the guilt? Do I fear the fact that they would hold me responsible if something goes wrong as a result of their decisions? That maybe they’ll think I failed at properly preparing them for the real world? Or could it be that I placed being their mother at the center of my purpose in life?
I am currently reading a very interesting book “7 Levels of Intimacy” by Mathew Kelly. The book put things into a different perspective and I learned a very obvious truth: having it all it actually depends on identifying the correct purpose of your life. The purpose that will drive us to happiness is the desire to become the best that we can be, but not compared to others, but compared to ourselves. Evolving into our better selves is a never-ending process, is the source of the energy that we need to keep on going on the right path without loosing our way.
It all comes down to purpose …
Analyzing my purpose I realized that I am half way there: my purpose is and was to be the best person I could be, but with a catch: for that I am the best role model for my kids! Everything I did and achieved is to show them that with the right dedication and relentless ambition one can achieve everything one sets the mind to and more.
My lesson, the lesson that I learned and am sharing with you is to re-evaluate not only your purpose in life, but also who’s that purpose set for. I am learning to be egoistic and set the purpose of my life for me and set to achieve it for myself. I know that my children and my family will only benefit from that and this is probably the best lesson I can teach my kids now, when they are preparing to start living their own lives as adults …
Gosh, is hard to be a good and wise parent, isn’t it?