Thanksgiving is over and I’m driving my daughter home. The car pulls up to her apartment. There’s a quick hug. “Keep in touch!” I say as she bolts from the car. “Yeah…mom…keep in touch.”
After holiday togetherness, I fight sadness with saying good-bye. And I am fortunate that – presently- my daughter, son, and daughter in law live close by.
But they have their own lives.
As they should.
Why do I cling to moments when we are under the same roof? Why is letting-go so hard?
Richard Rohr says that “All spirituality is about letting go.” (I think he means LIFE itself is about letting go.)
Father Rohr would probably recommend that Clingers like me investigate the spiritual discipline of Detachment. In The Power of Spiritual Detachment we are told more about this ancient practice,
“Spiritual detachment is a process that frees us from whatever interferes with our spiritual growth. Detachment helps us avoid disordered inclinations and relationships with persons or things. Detachment can help us avoid negative memories and thoughts that keep us from God’s love.”
So what does this look like?
For me, it means letting go (or detaching) from that which I can’t hold on to – so that I can grab (or attach) to that which is eternal, to God Himself, who actually may not be repelled by my abject clinginess.
I am a slow learner though. But I do know one thing..
When cars pull away from apartment doors. when hugs dispatch in front of bustling United terminals – that’s when the practice of Detachment comes in handy. That’s when I need to reach out and attach to the hand of God.
Who thankfully is reaching toward me.
Barclay and I are so in tune with each other on this topic. It is especially hard for me to let go as well. Like a true Cancer (my astrological sign) I am tenacious, a lover of home and hearth, and slow ( I mean slow!) to accept that life isn’t what it used to be!
I love being with my daughters and am blessed to have one of them living with us (still! re-read “The Boomerang Daughter” for clarity) I know that there is a reason she is with me now. It could be she will move to a foreign country for her career or marry someone from abroad. I have always believed that things happen for a reason, though we may not understand the why’s until many years later. There is a bigger plan and if you believe in a higher being, then trust that the pieces of the puzzle will be revealed in due time.
Many of my friends who have grown children have been able to let go because their offspring are engaged or married. If they haven’t entered into that next phase of life (mine have not), then you (make that me) tend to see them as an extension of their younger selves. So my goal, as a Jewish mother is to hover ever so lightly, trying to loosen the reins as much as my personality will allow, and hope that they tell me when I have stepped out of line!
Today’s Takeaway –
-It turns out that if you pay for dinner or for vacations, the whole family will come! Something to think about!
-If a roll of the eyeball is directed at you, if your grown child has to peel himself away from your hug, if a stray tear is seen rolling down your cheek – well, as Joy says, it’s time to loosen those reins lest your kids run, not walk, in the other direction.
-If you need some sappiness in your life, just park yourself in front of the Hallmark channel with a glass of wine in hand.
Disclaimer-We know this is what we should be doing. This does not mean we’re very good at practicing it!
Enjoy the Ride
Barclay and Joy