My oldest daughter, Claudia, has left home for work opportunities and new adventures. She is ready and I’m thrilled for her. Normally, I don’t worry about people, but with this new change, the old ‘aren’t you worried?’ recordings of my youth started up again. Funny they sound just like my mom.
The definition of worry is, to be concerned or troubled about something. When I was growing up, the word translated into ‘imagine the worst’. I used to grapple with it, trying to find a way to control that which I had no control over. There’s laughter in my head right now at that memory, but I digress.
Baz Luhrmann hit the nail on the head when he wrote “… worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.”* That idea might have been what got me to stop worrying years ago. Well, and the new-parent realization that worrying would make me crazy, and that I had to accept I had little or no control over what other people do. Whew, that was a load off I can tell you. It hasn’t been too difficult a change… until now.
After a day or more of walking around like Mopey, the eighth dwarf, it dawned on me that I was worrying. The ‘stair master’ of parenthood had gone into high gear giving me that unstable, noodle leg feeling. From there, it only gets worse, and that’s the last place I want to be. It’s time time to step up my game.
Just as I used to, before I dropped the ball, I now make a point to change every scary picture into what I do want for her. I create a mental picture of her arriving at her destination safely, having fun wherever she is. I have never seen the home she is staying in, but I imagine a comfortable space. When school begins, I will picture her finding her way around campus easily and making new friends who share her interests, not to mention enjoying the academics.
What do you do when life amps up the fear factor and say, you have a loved on who gets sent overseas to war, or is facing a major illness? Whether it’s their first step, or their first patrol, take a deep breath, let go of the fear of your imaginings, and fill your thoughts with what you want for them. Love, health, safety. A few creative ways I’ve heard are; imagine a big box full of heart shaped balloons that float up to them when opened, rainbows encircling where they are, flowers, or puckering lips flying through the air to land on their cheeks.
Whatever things you picture and energetically send off to your loved ones, because that’s what you’re doing when you think about them, think only the best and give your fears the boot. What are some ‘thinks’ you like to send off to friends and family?
*Lyric from “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Lurhmann