Oh, the things we do under the guise of what I call “anxious caring”, because fear is driving us to want to control the outcome. We can get it all mixed up with having “goals” that we must work hard to achieve, so isn’t this what we are to do? Aren’t we supposed to nag and cajole our kids, our partner, or our sibling so they don’t go down the wrong path? Nope. It doesn’t work anyway, because they feel our control and then find ways to sabotage their own success. If not immediately, then eventually. Because, because…we’ve put the focus on them, so they must turn and put the focus back on us with the “I’ll show YOU I have some power” by not doing their homework or quitting their job before they have a new one.
Nagging, bailing them out, contorting our own needs since they cannot meet them is a way to try to hold on tight to the outcome with an iron grip. We are so afraid of what might happen, and often we are not incorrect. Bad things can and will happen, yet if we got honest we may be playing a part in fulfilling the very prophecy we fear will play out. The only answer is to practice letting go. Letting go of what is going on for another, and refocus on what is actually within our control: our own thoughts, feelings, choices and behaviors. But why do what feels so counterintuitive?
Letting Go means allowing those you care about to have their own process, and most importantly being able to own their life. When we rescue “them” we really are simply just rescuing ourselves from facing the reality of the situation. This rescuing is NOT loving. It’s all fear.
Letting Go means allowing yourself to walk through the difficult feelings of grief, Kicking and Screaming all the way through the grief toward acceptance as you surrender to the reality…and your own true powerlessness. It just is.
Letting Go means allowing someone to sit in their own stuff, face their own consequences and also reap the rewards of tackling the truth and challenging themselves, therefore proving to themselves that they could conquer something or change something. Perhaps they need this lesson to be learned so they can grow, allowing good things to come into their life. Most importantly, they can Own It now. Which is everything if they want to feel empowered.
Letting Go means allowing. Allowing others to have their own experience, allowing the Universe to step up and do what you have no power to do. It also means turning back toward yourself…what you may need to change within you. Usually this entails some grief work as you sit with the reality and the feelings of fear, anger, sadness or disappointment that may arise.
This isn’t always easy. It requires gut-level honesty with ourselves about our “caring”, the fear we are covering up, and ability to surrender and sit with our grief. It is also the magic that infuses our relationships with healthy boundaries, healthy separateness, and thus the ability for each person to grow and change. Most importantly, Letting Go allows choice. There is no better love than that.