This is a parenting story from many years ago. It’s relevant to my suggesting in Part 1 that we let go the negative aspects of the parent archtype. At the very least that we create awareness of how we are parenting and the options we have to be better. Here’s the story!
My friend was a very talented and intelligent woman. She was richly involved in the community and social activism. This gal was a mover and shaker. However, with her only child, a teenage daughter, this mother felt like a complete failure.
Her bright, 15 year old had gotten in with the “wrong crowd”, was skipping school and doing drugs. The mother tried everything from pleading to yelling. For months, nothing worked and their home life became a war zone. The daughter moved out, runaway style. Then the real trouble began as she ended up on the streets. Eventually and with the help of drug and alcohol counsellors the daughter moved back home where life for both mother and daughter improved dramatically.
In hearing this story and thinking of my own daughter, not old enough for school, I had to ask the mother, “What was it that eventually worked?” Then she told me something I’ll never forget. “One of the counsellors gave me a piece of advice.” she said. “Once applied the relationship healed almost instantly.”
“Treat your daughter as if she was the neighbour’s kid. Imagine she’s the same age and you really like her,” said the counsellor.
She took his advice to heart by letting go of the angry, disapproving parent. In her mother role, my friend assumed the energy of a caring adult. From that point on, only the adult showed up to interact with the recovering teen. The mother became calm. The war ended. Even more miraculous was that the daughter emerged into her innate intelligence and became a passionate learner and a good friend to others. Her creativity blossomed. She was happy.
Letting go in parenting is not easy but it is as simple as reframing yourself. The choice of being the angry, disapproving parent or the calm, approving adult is up to you.
Take a moment to Let Go.
Clear your thoughts and breathe into your body. Find the sensations that arise and breathe into those. Continue this, taking deep belly breaths until you feel a distinct lightening or you take a large breath or yawn. Then sit in silent stillness for another minute. Allow yourself to feel good. Breathe into feeling good without thinking until you sense a smile.