Tag Archives: authenticity

Letter 1: Losing a Baby

This post is written in the format of a letter to my son.

I think you may know that two years before you were born I lost a baby. That was the most devastating loss I have ever experienced. Even though I only knew about his existence for three days, I already loved him dearly and when the pregnancy had to be terminated because it was not viable my heart was broken.

I can’t even think of the words to describe how I felt. Devastated is the only word that keeps coming to me. Even now, more than 20 years later, I sometimes cry when I think of losing him.

I had seen his heartbeat on the ultrasound. He was real, as real as any baby that has already been born. He was a part of me, literally. And it felt exactly like I had lost a part of myself.

People tell you that you can try again, but that is no comfort at all. Any other baby will not be the baby I lost. As much as I love you – and I do love you more than you can probably imagine – you are not the baby I lost. I love him, too, and I grieve for him.

Intellectually, I understand the physical reality of why the pregnancy could not continue. It was an ectopic pregnancy, in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus, and not only is that unviable for the baby, but also put my life at risk.

And, none of that matters to me. I can remember being in the doctor’s office after finding out the news. I called your dad and just fell apart. I lost it. I couldn’t understand how when they can implant a fetus from a test tube in a uterus, why they couldn’t move my baby from the fallopian tube to the uterus.

Again, intellectually I get that it’s not possible. But when you’re facing losing someone you love so very, very much, you search for every imaginable way to avert that loss.

It all happened so quickly. I’m not sure if that was a blessing or a curse. I like to think it was a blessing. If I had gotten used to the idea of being pregnant and having this baby growing inside me over a period of time and then lost him, I don’t know how I could have withstood it.

I can’t even imagine how people who have a baby that is stillborn or dies shortly after birth can stand it. It’s inconceivable. But they do. I’m sure I would, too, but I can’t imagine surviving a greater pain than the one I felt. I hope that can help you understand how incredibly devastated I was.

And now for the silver lining in all of this. Without this experience, you may never have been born. This pregnancy was not planned. Your dad and I had been going back and forth about having a child and were in a phase of thinking we didn’t want to have a child when I got pregnant.

Having been pregnant with this baby I lost got me off the fence. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind from that point forward that I wanted to have a child. And I am grateful for coming to that understanding about myself.

I believe this pregnancy was divine intervention – a message from the Universe. I came to believe that there was purpose in this loss. And believing in that purpose has helped mitigate the grief.

I still sometimes think about the baby I lost, and sometimes I still feel the grief. But in addition, there is a huge amount of gratitude for the message he brought to me. I wanted to have a child. No doubt, no waffling, no question.

And so you came into my life.

Letters to My Son

A little over three years ago my teenage son and I had a blow-up. It wasn’t even about anything very important, but it was the culmination of a lot of anger on both our parts that had built up over several years. He was living with his father and visiting me at the time we had the fight. I told him to leave, which he did gladly, and I have not heard from him since.

At the time, I had no way of knowing that fight would turn into the estrangement that it has. Over the years I have made multiple attempts to start down the path of reconciliation, but have not received any response from him.

Today I had an a-ha that brought together and integrated different realizations that I have had over the time we have been apart.

In thinking about the fact that I haven’t missed him very much during this time, I realized that was because the relationship that we had was superficial. I long to have a close relationship with him, yet as he was growing up I was unable to be authentic and vulnerable with him. That authenticity and vulnerability is the very basis for an intimate relationship. Not surprisingly, he was not authentic and vulnerable with me, either.

So, I haven’t missed him because there was nothing much there to miss. And, I’d like that to be different.

Of course, I realize that there are two people in a relationship, and I can only do my part. But I also realize that if I’m not willing to go first and put myself out there, he probably never will. And, even if we never reconcile, even if I never hear from him again, I want him to know me. I want him to know who I am on the inside, which I have hidden from him most of his life.

To that end, I decided that I would start sending him stories from my life. I’m removing the mask of perfection and detachment from being emotional that I’ve worn with him.

I’ll let him see times I was hurting or scared. I’ll let him see times I did something I regret. I’ll let him see times things didn’t turn out the way I wanted.

And, I’ll also let him see the joy and love that has been in my life.

I will be sharing these stories on this blog as well because its purpose when I began it nearly five years ago was for me to show up authentically. There may be stories related to my son that I choose not to share because it would violate his privacy. But beyond that, my intention is to be an open book.

I remember when I first began blogging how terrified I was to be seen. The feedback I received here was a huge support in me being able to continue being more authentic and more vulnerable.

Today I find it almost amusing how scared I was to “expose myself” in the beginning. Today I am mostly comfortable letting people see me with all my foibles and imperfections, yet there are still times I hold back from being fully seen. Here is my opportunity to change that.

Thank you again for your continuing support!

Gratitude for Validation

Almost five years ago, Blue Heron showed up in my life as my totem (hence the name of this blog). Over the past several years, I have rarely seen him. The sense I have made of this is that I’ve reached a point in my journey of trusting myself and Spirit, where I don’t need constant validation that I am on the right path. It’s true that for the most part, I have an inner knowingness that I truly trust.

However, there’s still something to be said for receiving signs that I am on the right path, especially with the big changes I have recently made in my life. Adjusting has not happened over night, and although I trust my choices, I am grateful for the validation I have received recently.

Since my move, I have been using my Tarot for guidance again more frequently. I used to do this on a daily basis, but over the past few years have not felt the need – again being able to trust my intuition and internal guidance without asking for external guidance.

Last week I had a specific question where I was looking for some guidance, and the answer that came back to me through the cards was that I was moving forward, was at peace with my thoughts (no longer resisting or forcing), and finding strength through Spirit. Since then I have been much more at peace in general and more trusting that I am on the right path. I am grateful for that validation.

When energy is moving, or shifting, in my body, I yawn. I love this physical sign that something has shifted. I am grateful for that validation.

I also receive guidance through dreams, and I have had several significant ones this week. I love that as I work through the meaning of the dream (I like to talk about it out loud), a yawn will come to signify that yes, I got it!

My new apartment faces a marsh. I had hoped that there would be blue herons, but after living here for a month, I have not seen any. In fact, there have been no wading birds at all. I have been able to see large white birds in the marsh a mile away from me, but none in the area that is my back yard.

Then yesterday, I saw one big white bird in the marsh. It was too far away to really see it well, but as I continued to watch, it flew up into a tree right outside my window! I could easily see that it was a large wading bird, and after searching online determined it was a Great Egret – also known as a Great White Heron! My totem had returned to me for validation. Gratitude!

This morning I went out to run some errands, and on my way home was processing a dream from last night by talking out loud about it. As I reached home, I summarized the message I had received, and yawned (my sign that yes, I got it.) When I opened the door to my apartment, in the marsh, right outside was the Great Egret! Talk about double validation – yawning and the egret!

Within a moment, he had flown away. I was meant to see him, then his job was done.

As I am finishing writing this, he flew by one last time.

I am grateful for all the validation I continue to receive.

Follow Your Heart – It Knows the Way

I have been in New England for about a week, exploring and deciding where I want to move. I knew that part of the draw was that many of my ancestors came from England and Scotland and settled in this area in the 17 and 18th centuries. I also realized before beginning the trip, that beyond discovering what felt like home to me, there was work to be done in healing myself and ancestors, and releasing shared grief. I didn’t know exactly the cause of this grief, or the form the healing would take, but was open to what showed up.

Two days ago, I started out in a lovely frame of mind. I had spent the night near Portsmouth, NH and was exploring that area. I had discovered the day before that I really want to be near the ocean, so I decided I would explore down the coast between Portsmouth and Boston. I wasn’t feeling great physically because I had a bit of a headache, but I was in a great mood. Until…

After lunch in Gloucester, MA, I decided to see what Salem was like. Whoa!

As I got closer to Salem I began to feel nauseous, to the point where I felt I might throw up. I am very sensitive to the energy of those around me, and the energy of this place was making me physically ill. Given the history, this is not surprising. And, it is sad that nearly 400 years later that energy of grief and guilt and shame has not yet dissipated.

Needless to say, I didn’t stop, but chose to drive on to Boston.

I reached Boston, where I would be staying at the apartment of a friend who is out of town. I struggled a bit finding a place to park, but ultimately it all worked out, although I was left feeling pretty grumpy.

I had begun to feel a bit confused about where I wanted to settle. I had brought along my pendulum to help me sort out how I really felt. Using a pendulum is a way of doing muscle testing. Our bodies have wisdom that it is sometimes difficult to access through our minds and thinking.

So, later that evening I got out my pendulum with the intent of asking about some of the places I had visited, and were they the right place for me. I immediately felt overwhelmed with grief and loneliness. I cried for a while – a hard cry that led to rapid breathing and yawning and an urge to vomit. Yawning for me is a physical sign of energy being released. Intellectually I realized that this grief was not mine, but that of my ancestors, and this process still was difficult to go through.

At one point, when the crying had slowed down, I thought again to use the pendulum, which had been in my hand the entire time. I had been walking around the apartment as I was releasing all this grief, and I was in the bedroom. I stopped walking and took out the pendulum and attempted to calibrate it by using standard statements like “My name is Laura” (true) and “My name is Sam” (untrue), but the pendulum did not move at all. So I tried the straight-forward use of the words yes (true) and no (untrue). But still the pendulum did not move at all.

I was upset and frustrated, and even a little pissed off. At that moment I looked up and noticed a wooden block with a saying imprinted on it: “Follow Your Heart ~ It Knows the Way.” Ah… I didn’t need the pendulum, all I needed was to feel what my heart told me.

The day before I had been at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, right on the Atlantic Ocean and my heart held a warmth that I had not experienced anywhere else on my journey. I noticed it at the time, and paid attention to it. I didn’t need the pendulum.

I don’t know for sure that this means I will settle in Cape Elizabeth – although I have had a couple of people, one of whom I didn’t even know until a couple of days ago, offer to talk with me about that area.

What it does mean, for sure, though, is that I can trust my heart. I got this message loud and clear, with actual written words!

So, I will follow my heart.

Excited and Terrified

On Wednesday I took the first step towards what I’m being called to do, by telling my boss I want to go to half-time at work, and that I was planning to move out of state in a couple of months.

So exciting and terrifying at the same time! Or perhaps excitement and terror are just two sides of the same coin.

I posted on Facebook about this first step, without saying much as to where this path is leading, and, of course, I got tons of questions. Answering the questions has led me to be more committed to the path I am on – at least the part that is about moving from Seattle to upstate New York. Because now I have told everyone that is what I plan to do. Not that I couldn’t change my mind, but it feels like by telling people I am affirming that this is my next step.

And once again, it is exciting and terrifying at the same time!

The other thing about making my intentions known publicly, is that many people just don’t understand. They want to know why I’m moving – did a I get a new job, do I have relatives there, did I grow up there? They want to have a logical and rational reason, and there isn’t one.

Their questions have been really good for me, to be able to simply say that I’m following my heart. I don’t need a concrete reason; I just know that it is right for me. I know that those who need that rational reason are not ready yet to understand, so I don’t try to convince them. That’s not my job, anyway.

I have also gotten a lot of support from people who “get it.” I am grateful for their cheerleading, and grateful especially for the cheerleaders who have surprised me.

So, excited and terrified (although less and less terrified), on I go!

To Write or not to Write (or What to Write)?

It’s not been a week since I started this blog up again, and I find myself avoiding writing. On the one hand, I feel like I have so much to say it’s hard to choose a topic. On the other hand, I am constantly weighing what I can write that will be of benefit to others, and how to present that.

This morning it occurred to me that I’ve already moved away from my purpose in re-starting this blog, which is not to instruct or guide others, but rather to say what is going on for me.

Reading a young woman’s blog the other day reminded me that why I started this blog was to allow myself to be vulnerable, and fully seen. I can still remember how terrified I was 4 years ago when I first started blogging. Terrified of being judged. Terrified of being seen.

Now, I’ve been putting on my teacher’s hat, which is a much safer place for me. But I didn’t come here to be safe, I came here to be seen. So…

I begin again.

I have to acknowledge that I’ve been wanting to start up my counseling and coaching practice again, but with a spiritual exploration focus. In the back of my mind is the thought that people reading my blog could see how wise I’ve become, how many lessons I’ve learned, and be drawn to counseling with me. But…that’s not the purpose of this blog. I already have a website for my (former) business, with lots of blog posts geared in that way. This blog was originally started for me to be me, unabashedly, and I want to maintain that focus here.

And, I have some discomfort with the commercializing of my feelings and experiences. Which is why I wasn’t being completely honest with myself about my motivations for blogging again. I judge myself, and I don’t want to. However, I choose to use this blog is okay, there’s nothing wrong with using a blog as a jumping off point for offering my services. But, I don’t think that was why I was guided to begin this blog again.

Deciding to begin again here, rather than on my counseling website, is rather an interesting journey. I actually did begin with the idea of revamping my dormant website to attempt to attract clients that were interested in spiritual development. However, in that process, everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

I have a WordPress-based site, and I hadn’t made any updates to it in almost two years. So the first thing I wanted to do was apply all the updates and get up to date. But first I wanted to make a backup, just in case.

Well, the backup program erred out. I hadn’t used that in almost two years, either. So I contacted the person that hosts my site, and realized I hadn’t paid for hosting for the previous year, or the upcoming year. So, once I did that she “fixed” the backup problem.

Only, she didn’t. I didn’t get the same error, but it still didn’t work. After some back and forth we decided that since it worked for her, she would run it and then send me the file.

Once I got the file, I ran all the updates. There were a lot, both for WordPress itself, as well as all the plugins my site uses. Everything seemed to go fine. The site rendered properly and it seemed all was well.

Until…I went in to begin editing the pages and there was nothing there to edit! The text fields had a squiggly red line in them.This was the point where I finally got the message from Spirit: this isn’t the path I’m supposed to be going down.

So I had my host restore from backup, back to where I started, while I started thinking about other choices. There were some problems with the restore process, too, which further validated that this is not what I was supposed to be doing.

And, I still didn’t get the real message.

I have several other domain names, and one of them had been used for presenting opt-in offers. Since I hadn’t been active in my business in several years, I was no longer using it for this purpose. So, my next thought was that I would use that site and start from scratch to be this “spiritual guidance” site I was imagining.

But, more problems encountered here. I was finally able to get it working, but what was the message? I have learned that when something requires too  much effort, is too hard, then I’ve veered off course.

Finally, I thought of this personal blog that had been unused for two years. Is that where I was supposed to be go?

Well, as I said above, within a week of beginning again here, I have stopped enjoying it. I don’t feel like doing it, it feels like a chore.

So, once again, I have to look at why is this so hard? Obviously I’m not on the right path or I would be inspired to write. And for the most part, I haven’t been.

You may not see any more posts from me for a while – or at all. If that’s the case, it means I’m not feeling inspired.

Or, I may find once again the personal value in sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences.

I have to believe that I was led back here for a reason. But, as in much of my life, it’s only in hindsight that I can understand what that reason is. For now, all I can do is follow my heart. And we’ll see if it leads me to write here.

Mother’s Day Part 1 – Lessons My Mother Taught Me

Mother’s Day is always good for bringing up stuff for me. It began when I was at the store the other day looking for a card for my mother. We’ve had a rough go of it – at least from my perspective. I don’t think she is conscious of how difficult I have found our relationship, even as I have tried to address some of the issues with her over the years. And of course that is part of the problem.

Looking for a Mother’s Day card is always interesting. Most of them are all about what a wonderful mother the person in question has been. How loving, how supportive, how… fill in the blank. The problem is that I don’t feel that my mother was a good mother for me. Yes, we always had food, clothing and shelter. My sister and I were not physically abused. My mother was not an alcoholic or a drug addict. She was the epitome of a good, responsible citizen.

Unfortunately, that was not enough. I didn’t get what I needed most: unconditional love.

Yes, I know she did her best. Yes, I know she was the product of her own upbringing and environment. And, as I have told my counseling clients many times, just because you can understand and have compassion for why someone acted a certain way, does not make it okay that they acted that way.

I do have compassion for my mother. And I still did not get what I needed as a child.

This morning I was looking at all the tributes to mothers on Facebook, and it was in my face again. I couldn’t honestly say that I felt the same way about my own mother.

In thinking about this more, I realized that, in fact, I got exactly what I needed from my mother. My relationship with my mother has been my greatest source of personal and spiritual growth.

Here are the lessons my mother taught me.

  1. Perfectionism. In my mother’s world you must do something perfectly, or you fail. An A- is not good enough. 2nd place is not good enough.

The real lesson:  I am already perfect. As a soul I am whole and perfect. It is the human part of me that needs to work on becoming perfectly myself. Because I’m already perfect.

  1. You have to earn love. This is a corollary to #1. The reason you need to be perfect is so that people will love you. Otherwise, you will be abandoned and alone.

The real lesson:  As a spiritual being, I am love. I don’t have to seek love from others, because that is who I am – and who they are – at the core. I have the love of Spirit, no matter what. No matter what I do or don’t do.

  1. What others think of you is more important than what you think of you. Starting to see a pattern here? Yup, once again about earning the approval / love of others. This time by being what they want you to be, which may not be who you really are.

The real lesson: Be true to myself. People come and people go. Some like me, some don’t. In the end, I’m the one who has to like me.

  1. Rules are made to be followed. If you break a rule / law, you will get in trouble. People will find out. They won’t like you anymore. Boy, was I good at following the rules! (I still struggle a bit with this and judgement of others when they break rules. But I’m working on it!)

The real lesson: Rules and laws are useful to keep society in check. And I do what feels right to me. If what I’m doing harms no one else (for me this is the litmus test), then so what if it’s against the rules?

  1. Right and wrong are opposites and clear cut. My mother has a strong sense of right and wrong – and difficulty seeing a situation from anything other than her own perspective. My sister and I used to say, “There’s our mother’s way to do something and the wrong way.”

The real lesson: I know what’s right for me. I don’t necessarily know what’s right for you. And there’s a whole lot of grey between those opposites of black and white.

In looking back over these, they really are all closely related. They’re all about judging and being judged in order to give or earn love. I guess that’s the crux of my issues with my mother and her way of being: I constantly felt judged and was constantly trying to earn her love.

These days my mother and I have the best relationship of our lives, in my opinion. I accept her for who she is, but I don’t buy into her stuff. That’s about her, not about me. I rarely feel guilty that I’m not being her vision of a “good daughter.” Once I gave up the guilt and the feeling of obligation that caused it, it was a lot easier to want to spend time with her.

I don’t have any illusions that my mother will ever become the mother I wish I’d had. But I do feel compassion for her and her own struggles, and I recognize the ways in which she tries to show me that she loves me. I’ve let go of feeling that every good deed from her comes with a price tag attached (that’s one I forgot to mention – if I do something nice for you, you owe me), and instead just express my gratitude for whatever the favor is.

Finally, I am grateful for the lessons I learned through having her as my mother. I believe that we pick our life lessons and who will play them out with us before we come for another lifetime, so obviously I set this all up for my own benefit. I guess I can’t be mad at anyone about that, but myself!

The More Things Change…

Today is May 4, 2016. It’s been 4 years since I started this blog, and 2 years since I last posted. I thought an update to my “about” was in order, given how much my life has changed since I began this blog.

I was surprised by how little had changed from my original “about”, given how much has changed in  my life in the past four years.

My name is Laura Longley. I am a woman in mid-life on a spiritual journey.

It’s about the only thing that hasn’t changed in the past 4 years (or so I thought). Keep reading!

I changed careers several years ago from software development to counseling and coaching – a choice that much better suited me. In this process I identified my purpose as ‘I use my wisdom and knowledge to help others grow, while continuing to learn and grow myself.

Just a bit of history, no change here.

My current phase of growth is around authenticity and love. I had a transformative experience in November, 2011 (see my first post for details: https://blueheronwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/my-authentic-experience-in-new-york-the-beginning-of-the-rest-of-my-life/) which has jumped me forward in my growth and evolution.  I now see my purpose as ‘I help others be happier through living a more authentic life.’  This is more specific both in the outcome as well as how it is achieved.

I guess I would say this is mostly valid, too, although my sense of my purpose has changed over time. Even though I still believe that others are helped by living a more authentic life, I now read that statement as ‘I help others be happier through living a more authentic life myself.’ I realize that how I show up in the world has an impact on everyone around me. I don’t have to do anything directly in order to impact their happiness. If I’m happier, they’re happier.

My first intention in this blog is to speak my truth, to be open and authentic about who I am and what I’m up to.  Much of my life has been spent monitoring and censoring what I say based on how I think it will be received.  My practice (and believe me, it is practice, not perfect) now is to say what is true for me with love and compassion.

Yup, still true.

My second hope is that my own journey and process may help, inspire or encourage someone else along their own path.

Yup, true again. Although at this point I feel like it truly is a secondary goal, where before it felt a bit like trying to get external validation by helping others. Now, not so much.

So, what has changed for me in the past four years?

  • I quit my private counseling and coaching practice
  • I sold my house
  • I sat around contemplating my naval for a couple of years
  • I tried to make things happen that never materialized
  • I learned to allow things to happen
  • I went back to work in my previous career of software (which I swore I never would do)
  • I became estranged from my teenaged son
  • I became an introvert
  • I experienced many miracles
  • I received guidance through my dreams
  • I moved twice
  • I fought and resisted and cried
  • I enjoyed being mostly free of obligation and demands of others
  • I shifted and changed and changed some more
  • I manifested money (with the help of Spirit) in ways I could never have imagined
  • I discovered my deceased father’s history through a dream and helped him to heal and move on
  • I finally accepted that what others think of me is not about me
  • I learned that Spirit has my back
  • I became aware of synchronicity and serendipity
  • I stopped worrying about money
  • I reconnected with my childhood best friend, who is now my grown-up best friend
  • I let a lot of relationships fall away
  • I learned to trust and value myself

There’s much more – it’s been four years of huge change – but this list is pretty representative.

And still, my outlook on life, my understanding of why I’m here, has not changed. It has deepened and perhaps I have a slightly different perspective. Certainly I have more knowledge, understanding and wisdom. But, in general I still believe that my life purpose (and in my view, the life purpose of each of us) is to move towards becoming more of who we truly are: a spiritual being.

Collaborating Instead of Competing With Ego

Last night I had a scary dream. I have always had a lot of dreams, and find tons of insights in them. So when I woke up this morning, the dream was on my mind. I know that whenever I wake up and am feeling upset by something in a dream, that there’s something there to look at (after I remind myself that it is just a dream, not real).

The gist of the dream I had was that there was a kidnapper who kept taking members of my family. I would rescue them, but he would always get someone else. No one else seemed to be too concerned about it. In fact, one time I found the front door wide open when someone had been kidnapped.

At first the kidnapper was not visible to me, but eventually I tracked him down and confronted him face to face. I could have killed him in that moment if I had chosen to, but I didn’t. Instead he has an army of about 50 people – that were more like robots – appear out of thin air. I felt defeated, and knew that I could not win against him.

When I woke up and started thinking and writing about the dream, it occurred to me that the “kidnapper” is my ego. It keeps “stealing” parts of my authentic self. My soul, or true self, is the one who has to stand vigilant to get those parts back from ego. The parts themselves (my “family members) don’t care who’s running the show: ego or my true self. So they do nothing to keep ego from taking them over.

I noticed that when I confronted ego directly, it got stronger (the army of 50 robots). The robots are my automatic thoughts that kick in when I get scared. Once I realized that the kidnapper was my ego, I knew I couldn’t banish it, or kill it off. Having an ego is part of being human.

So what I needed to do was to collaborate with it. During my meditation this morning I asked it what it wanted. Why it was kidnapping my family members. The answer was that it wanted me to pay attention to it. As much as my ego is based in fear and can get really out of control with fearful thoughts, it also pays an important role in protecting me. And as much as I wish it and its fearfulness would just go away, I know it won’t.

I also asked my authentic self what I needed to be able to trust ego. To be in a place of collaboration, not competition or war. (I’m just now seeing as I write this that trust is also involved, as in my post a few days ago.) I need to be the one in charge. I’m the general, ego is my trusted advisor. I make the final decisions, and ego shuts up if I tell it to.

So we had a conversation and reached a truce and a peace accord. I agreed to listen to ego when it tries to get my attention, and ego agreed that I was the one in charge of the final decisions.

Now I need to think about what this looks like in reality. What are the signals that ego is trying to get my attention that I’ve been ignoring or trying to banish? And, how do I tell the difference between ego’s fear and its valuable advice about danger? More to come…

When I Don’t Trust Others, I Really Don’t Trust Spirit

Last year I realized that I have been over-protective of my son in a way that is not healthy for either of us. I have taken on his difficult emotions so that he did not have to feel them. In doing this, I’ve kept him from learning and growing in certain ways.

In learning to have a more separate existence from him, I’ve realized that I don’t trust him to keep himself safe. That I have a very deep fear – terror really – that if I don’t protect him he will not survive. Intellectually I know that we each need to be responsible for ourselves, and that he has his own path and lessons to learn in this lifetime.

But as a mother, it can be really difficult to find that fine line between protecting a vulnerable child who doesn’t yet have the skills or wherewithal to take care of himself, and over-protecting to the point where the child doesn’t have the opportunity to learn those skills.

My son is almost an adult now. The line is much clearer than it was when he was younger. And yet…

Some things have happened in the past several months that have really brought to light how much over the line I have been in my son’s life, and the need to find a better balance. I totally get this. Again, intellectually. And yet the terror remains.

If I truly believe that we each come here with a purpose, and our own life lessons to learn (which I do), then I need to be able to trust that whatever happens is for my benefit, and for my son’s benefit. When I don’t trust him to take care of himself, I really don’t trust Spirit. I don’t trust that all things happen for the benefit of all.

I do have faith. I do believe that the Universe is benevolent.

I realize that being able to fully trust and surrender to the benevolence of Spirit is a remnant of my control issues. Throughout my life until somewhat recently I have felt that I’m the only one I can rely on. That it is my responsibility to keep myself and those I love safe.

We’re all works in progress, and I would guess that letting go of control (or rather the illusion of control) is one of my life lessons. How freeing it must be to be able to rely on others, and on Spirit. To not have to be in charge of everything.

And at the same time it feels pretty darn scary.

So, one step at a time, one situation at a time.

The circumstances with my son are there not only for his benefit, but for mine. To give me the opportunity to choose to trust him, and to trust Spirit.