Fear and Love Live in the Same Place
Updated: Aug 10, 2018
I have had a pretty amazing summer with my kids. In fact I’ve had a pretty great run raising my kids and watching them grow.
But now that summer is over and my kids are ready to leave the nest I realize that my life as I’ve known it is being dismantled.
My favorite time of the day had been when that big old yellow school bus had dropped the kids off at the end of the lane. And my most dreaded time of the year was the last week of summer when I knew my kids had to spend their days elsewhere, not with me.
This summer is the same but completely different. It is the last week of summer and the following week they will be off to school but that big yellow bus won’t be bringing them back at the end of the day.
And this wakes up fear in me. That golden 20 minutes when they would come home to tell me all about their day will be no more. Suddenly my life fells empty and lonely.
Now in the moment I have several choices.
I could choose to live in the past and relive in my mind all the wonderful memories and how good I had things. But I know that by living there, I would be carousing with depression that I know only too well.
I could choose to totally distract myself. Go shopping, immerse myself in complete busy-ness, drown myself in Facebook.
Another option would be to worry about my future. How I would survive without them. Survive without their daily visits, laughs and stories. But this option, the worry I know only too well and that is where my anxiety lives.
But there is one more option. It is the toughest one but from past experience, I know it works. I could simply ‘sit with it’. Yikes!! How uncomfortable is that?! Sitting with my fear of loneliness and emptiness. The only way I know to get past fear is to actually go thru in. Depression, distractions and anxiety are not viable options anymore.
So I am doing just that. Last week I set my lawn chair on the front lawn facing my hummingbird feeders. And for at least an hour every day I sit….. and do nothing buy watch hummingbirds, kittens and butterflies in the company of my dogs.
Now let me tell you what happened when I didn’t distract myself. My past came back to greet me. Yup, my 12 year old self has been waiting for this moment for a long time. You see that is when my parents decided to split up. Now don’t get me wrong, this was a great moment, because my parents were very unhappy and their decision could possibly bring them both great joy. The thing is this little girl was sitting in an empty house that she grew up in, not sure what her new room would look like yet. She was suddenly scared of being alone and empty. Limbo would be a good word. One world ending a new one starting full of the unknown.
She was full of fear, even though she loved the farm she grew up on, it was suddenly lonely and empty. All the animals she loved to play with were gone, the barn she loved to hang out in was a terrifying place ever since the neighbor boy had taken his life in their barn down the road a couple of years earlier.
Now I’m sitting with this girl, and my mind is pleading for a distraction. But day after day, I continued to visit this little girl for an hour on my front lawn… with my dogs, the hummingbirds, my kittens and the butterflies.
Slowly it got easier and easier. And then a kitten hitchhiked a ride down to the farm and no more kittens were playing. Then the hummingbirds left….and very soon my 2 boys will be going and taking a dog with them.
But as I sit on my lawn chair and watch things leaving me, the emptiness and loneliness are subsiding. in my meditations I’m starting to feel the richness and fullness of my life. Even though physically things are leaving, I can feel the oneness and connectedness of everything in my life.
And I’m starting to see the love that surrounds me all the time, the richness of my life whether I’m surrounded by family or by myself on a lawn chair.
And gratitude! Gratitude is flowing into my awareness. Gratitude for my boys, the great run being a mom, gratitude for my husband and everything else in my life that supports me and reflects pure perfect love.
So instead of loneliness, and emptiness I’m being filled with love and gratitude.
….and today, today I’m particularly grateful to my husband. Grateful that not only do I love him but I love hanging out with him! And I’m starting to see some pretty great adventures in our future. They may not be as great as our adventure raising kids…. But you never know… maybe they will! <3
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