I've been prompted by my website manager to write another Blog. I know it's been ages, but there's always so much happening it's hard to select a specific topic to write about. And I like Counselling Blogs to be intentional, usually about a current theme in my work. But what to choose?
I've got one. Hopefully this will be the right word at the right time for someone. I'm writing about Letting Go, because recently, I've been working with many older parents and adult children who are learning to do this, just as I've had to learn (and yes, am still learning).
So, I'm talking about the 'letting go' that's a requirement of life; the 'letting go' that's built into the human life cycle. Parents, letting go of children as they grow into adults; adult children letting go of parents.
Family life cycle 'letting go' is always painful, but so is growth. And inevitably letting go is about growth; either our growth, or the growth of the other. Actually, both. We may not welcome our own growth perhaps, but we must learn to facilitate someone else's.
Older parents, is it time to 'let go' of our adult children? Allow them to make mistakes and recover? Allow them to learn without our intervention?
Or the other way around. Adult children, is it time to let go of parental care? Are we still expecting our parents to pander to us, to mop up after us? Are we afraid of taking responsibility for ourselves?
For both parties, it's important to remember that the opposite of letting go, is holding on. Let's ask ourselves, by holding on, are we hindering the other's growth? Are we hindering our own growth? By holding on, are we really meeting our own needs, rather than their's?
So maybe it's the right time for some difficult conversations - parent/adult conversations; gently, respectfully. We need to talk through these changes. Acknowledge that it's about growing up, developing, strengthening, maturing. Nothing offensive or disrespectful; just the natural order of things.
Life is full of choices, none of which are easy. But let's begin 'letting go' with love, wisdom and openness in our hearts. And we can be honest that letting go is a process. It's going to take time, gradual choice-making, and emotional release. It will be bit by bit; progressively.
But we're not the first people to experience this; in fact, people are doing it the world over. So, it's good to remember we're not alone.
When I'm reminding myself to let go, I look at the birds flying overhead. There's something about the freedom of flight that prompts me to let go where I need to.
So, find your reminder, and let's do what we need to do, and do it well. As we all know, we can't control life; but we can control how we handle it.