As I have been feeling into this month’s theme of death and letting go, I recognize that I myself am in a deep process of letting go. I am letting go of a particular identity that I have carried for many years now, as well as letting go in a very specific way of the most precious thing to my heart, my son.
Right now my son is 12 and a half (that half really counts when you’re young!) He is transitioning into manhood. Just in writing this I can feel myself getting choked up and teary-eyed. Yes, he is growing up into a young man and as his mom, this transition is both hard to be with and beautiful at the same time.
I notice at times I just want to press the pause button. I find myself wanting him to stay young and innocent and to want to still snuggle and spend lots of time with me. At the same time, I am curious and even excited to witness the man he will become.
I have been doing my best to honor his pulling away and to not cling to him and to how things were (snuggles, kisses, etc). And this isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s downright heartbreaking, especially when I think back to the missed moments. This brings up feelings of grief and sadness. AND yet, I have been there by his side all along the way, cheering him on, his biggest fan.
So yes, this is a Rite of Passage for me, a mom of a tween, almost teen. I am letting go of what was so that something new can be born. A new relationship. A new way of relating. A new beginning.
As with any Rite of Passage, this means that I must face the fears that come up. I do this by first acknowledging that this is hard and that I am afraid. I give myself time and permission to really feel the feelings that are present, both in my body as well as in my heart.
Next, I welcome what is here. I consciously allow myself to cry, to scream, to write about what I am feeling. This is such an important step because these feelings need to be expressed outwardly so that they can be released. When we hold on to these feelings and either don’t acknowledge them or push them down, we suffer. And we tend to suffer alone. This can create dis-ease in the body or it can come out sideways towards others. So consciously and outwardly expressing what is present is an important step in this process.
And then there is the shift. When we allow ourselves to be really present with what is true, and to consciously express ourselves, something opens up. There is something on the other side. A deeper truth.
The way that I am experiencing this deeper truth in regard to my son is that I am feeling really excited. I am witnessing him stepping into HIS life. He is engaged, he is IN life, he has dreams for himself (that even include a wife and children), and he has a solid internal compass. This isn’t about me. It is about him and who he is as his own unique and beautiful self.
In this new opening, I feel less clingy, less controlling, more at ease, more available, and more trusting. I have heard it said, “It is in letting go that we truly receive.”
So let me ask you, my friend, what are you letting go of? What old story or way of relating needs to die so something new can be born? What do you need to face so that you can step more fully into your life and truth?
If you’re ready to take this leap, here are the 5 steps to help your process:
1. Become still and silent- go inside
2. Notice the feelings in your body and heart and welcome them
3. Feel the feelings. Consciously give yourself permission to express them fully through your voice and body
4. Notice what opens up for you through this process
5. Have compassion for yourself as you go through this
Remind yourself that letting go is a journey, not an event, so practice patience with yourself and with your process and then trust Grace.
Lastly, remember, that what is on the other side of letting go is a new expression of life.