We are in a transition in our family that has inspired this months theme, Letting Go With Love. Our oldest child, Angelo, who is 20 and been away at college in Seattle for the past two years, has decided to stay in Seattle and work this summer. We celebrate his move toward independence and at the same time, there is aching in our hearts as he makes this next step away from the nest. He no longer lives with us, even part time. He now has an address in Seattle and it is no longer a dorm!
The great paradox of loving is that it inevitably causes us to face letting our loved one go. This is always true! The letting go takes many forms.
From the moment they are born our children make the movement toward separation into their own individual self and eventually into their own life. In a hundred ways a day, we as parents are called to release them. Some part of our heart aches to hold on, to hold them back or protect them from their first steps (always away from us) their first day at school, their first heart ache, and eventually their movement away from home and into their own life. But we do them a great disservice when we do not let them go. We don’t communicate our confidence in them when we hold on, protect them and try to keep them from becoming a person that is separate and different from us or attempt to keep the world from hurting them in any way. As parents it is always important to look within and see where we hold on in an attempt to avoid our own fears and anxieties, our own pain, or our own emptiness.
There is a favorite practice that we have taught many people that helps with this process of letting go with love. It also helps to keep us in a very positive and loving energetic connection with our children as we let them go
Close your eyes and settle into your breath. Once you feel present, imagine your child in front of you. Really see them there as best you can. Let them show up in their beingness. Allow your heart to open to them. Once you really feel them there in your heart and mind repeat this prayer.
I honor who you are.
I honor your divine self.
I release you to your divine path and your own soul’s journey.
I thank you for your presence in my life,
And for all that you have taught me.
By the way, this is a great practice to do with your teenagers or any child you are struggling with. It is also an excellent way to allow your heart to stay connected to an adult child who has really moved on into their own life.
In addition, there is the letting go we are sometimes called to do in intimate relationship. We fall in love and partner and sometimes that partnership ends because two people need to move on. The pain of this is a given. A consequence of our deep and loving attachments. It is never an easy decision to let go of a relationship. It is even more difficult when it feels like the decision has been made for you by the other person.
There are several practices that can help you through this transition. A first and important step is the practice of accepting the way things are. This acceptance is monumental. This includes accepting all the feelings we have, and all the feeling our partners have. Certainly this also involves accepting the feelings of grief we may have about the loss. This practice really speaks to the daily work of allowing things to be exactly as they are, attempting not to rail against them in an effort to make them different but to accept ourselves, our partners and the change we are experiencing. Eckhart Tolle teaches that sometimes we are required to accept the unacceptable. This can often be true in the situation of ending a relationship, especially for the person who does not want the relationship to end. This acceptance of the unacceptable is a powerful practice that requires us to allow the moment to be as it is, without resistance.
Once we work with really accepting and allowing we can begin to open our hearts and practice treating ourselves, our partners and the situation with compassion. In this process it is important to recognize the higher purpose of what has unfolded. Inevitably, though not easily seen at first, there is great gain for individuals personally when they have journeyed through loss. Something has passed away, but if one can feel acceptance and see the bigger picture, then they are able to release themselves from feeling victimized by the change and see that they have grown as individuals.
Possibly the most difficult practice when dealing with relationship loss, but one that brings the most benefit, is refraining from placing blame. This can be monumentally difficult but to commit to doing so means that there is a much greater possibility of coming through the loss feeling more whole. When we refrain from blame, we must take responsibility for our own actions, our own contributions. This does not mean we blame ourselves but we accept that we have played a part and do the work we need to do to acknowledge that and accept the other as simply playing their part as well.
The above honoring prayer is perfect for cultivating acceptance and coping with the loss of a partner. We have taught this prayer and practice to countless couples and individuals and found that it is a powerful practice for all relationship situations that involve letting go.
And after all, don’t all relationships, by their very nature, cause us to come together and to let go, over and over again. Our highest calling is to do so with love and acceptance. This most difficult practice is the one that will yield the most fruit.
Rhuthanne Carosio www.radiantloving.com