A few days ago I had a wonderful conversation with my daughter about parenthood. She asked me how do you avoid being worried all day long? There are so many things that can go wrong, how do parents live with all of the risks?
I had never doubted that I would have kids, so I didn’t even consider this question until I was living it every day. And until this particular conversation, I don’t think that I had ever consciously considered the answer either. Now it seems to me that life is one long and persistent practice of letting go and trusting something bigger than myself.
We cannot protect our children from all of the falls that they experience as toddlers anymore than we can save them from the “bad” choices they make as teenagers or the illnesses they suffer as adults. Their lives are their paths. If they hurt – it sucks, yet most often they grow beyond that hurt to expand into the next experience that life offers. Hopefully, we can teach them to be awake as possible to the moments as they unfold, without being too attached to the past or too invested in the future. But I think our job as parents is probably to do our best to keep them safe all while letting them go.
The older I get, the more it becomes clear that life is less about acquiring and more about letting go. Letting go of figuring it out. Letting go of knowing it all or trying to be right. Letting go of chasing some golden trophy of popularity and success. Even letting go of security and comfort at times.
As I move forward with the birthing process of the book, it is clear that this too is a letting go process. Just like my kids, it will come into the world when it is ready, and not one moment before. No forceps deliveries allowed here, because when you write a book about allowing, you pretty much need to let go of control and allow it to have a natural birth. And then comes the diligent practice of trusting that this “child’s” path is not mine to control. All I can do is nurture it to the best of my abilities and trust that it will have a full and fulfilling journey as it meanders though life’s experiences.