If you are parent of school-aged children then you probably have spent some time dreading the day the your child goes off to college — a reminder that they will someday be independent with lives of their own, not needing you for the little things in everyday life. If your children are in their late teens perhaps that dread has turned into fantasy about the day they become independent and self-sufficient! Regardless of their age and stage, it is perfectly natural for parents to desire and imagine their children setting the world on fire, claiming their role in creating a successful, abundant life, contributing in some way to making the world a better place. Despite our many great intentions to create a culture that nurtures a successful child, what has become noticeably true in modern parenting today is how engaged and involved parents are in their children’s lives, for some encouraging a dependency that may be unhealthy for the soon-to-be adult and parent.
Recently a friend and CEO of a successful company shared a story of a young employee who was working as part of team. Their assignment was to create new marketing ideas for a product. Upon presentation of their ideas in a meeting, the executive instructed them to go back to the drawing board, dissatisfied with the lack of attention to detail in their first attempt. The employee, clearly shaken by his request and apparent disapproval, decided that she she was going to avoid her boss at all costs for the remainder of the week, not even making eye contact when passing in the hall. A week later, still clearly affected by the disapproval she paid a visit to the CEO. She knocked on his door and announced that her mom was on the phone and wanted to talk to him! Needless to say, her employment at this company was short lived.
We’ve all been there, witnessing the pain and heartache when our kids strikeout, miss that winning goal, trip during the dance recital and get their hearts broken by the love of their life. We desire nothing more than to take the pain and discomfort away. At what cost? What if that discomfort was exactly what their souls needed in order to grow, expand and experience enlightenment! What if the greatest gift we could give our children in helping them to be successful adults, was to take our hands off the controls? Yogic philosophy calls this practice, “letting go” or “detachment.” It requires lots of practice and trust. For the person who needs control of the outcome it can be torturous. However this practice can be the catalyst that awakens amazing possibilities, even for the parents.
More to come on this topic in the next article
Practicing Hands Off,