Are you part of the generation whose parents are moving into a life stage that requires extra care? Or perhaps you've got a child heading off to school for the first time... a loved one who works far from home... a teenager who just began dating... a friend or relative transitioning into another state, whether through birth or death... a close one whose relationship status is changing (perhaps your own ex- significant other)... or even a buddy heading out on a road trip?
The key feature is this: your loved one is moving out of his or her familiar environment and into the vast unknown. While you have complete confidence in their ability to handle whatever might arise in the situation you're all used to, given these new circumstances, there's some cause for concern. How will they handle the changes? Will they be ok?
Let's face it. You care. And yet...
You are aware enough to realize that you're not privvy to the agreement between your loved one and his or her Creator. You are not in control of their journey. You are, however, responsible for your own well-being, and it could easily be compromised by excessive worry. Furthermore you may recognize that, worry being a form of prayer, continual fear-based thoughts directed toward your loved one could actually make things worse.
Despite the challenging circumstances, you're motivated to maintain a peaceful and positive state of mind.
Fortunately, there are two specific things you can do that will both enhance your own peace of mind and support your loved one. Let's consider your support of a relative whose state is changing. We'll call her Mom.
First: Keep your communication up to date, complete, and honest.
Things happen. A person never really knows which conversation will be the last one in which both parties are fully present. Even if your loved one emerges well and healthy from a challenge, you don't want them squandering their precious life-force energy on doubt about the quality of your connection.
It can be scary to take your communication to that next level. You make yourself vulnerable. You don't know how your loved one will respond. And yet I'll promise you this: sharing yourself with a loved one authentically and from an open heart will rarely backfire. Even if they bluster and 'humpf,' they will have heard you. They'll repeat your words in the privacy of their own mind, allowing the evidence of your care to filter in as they are able. You will have made a difference.
A simple, "I love you, Mom" may do the trick. Or take the window of opportunity to recall a treasured memory, appreciate your loved one's best qualities, or apologize for any misunderstandings. Try these examples on for size:
"Mom, do you remember when we went to the art show together when I was 4? You explained everything so well and even waited patiently while I drew my own picture for the kids' contest. I still appreciate that day so much!"
"Mom, I'm so grateful that you understood it was an accident when I pitched that baseball through the patio door. I know you and dad gave up some things for yourselves to replace that door. I've tried to be just as compassionate with my own kids when they mess up."
"Mom, I want to apologize for seeing you as a control freak when I was a young adult. At the time, I thought you were trying to run my life. Now I can see that you were trying to make sure I had the skills I needed to live well and be happy. That really is what you wanted for me, isn't it?"
Second: Surrender your loved one's safe-keeping to a higher power.
Having done everything in your own power to make sure that your loved one's needs are being met in the best way possible, recognize that the final outcome is not within your control. Surrender their safe-keeping to a higher power and you'll find that your own peace of mind will be restored. This will enable you to be more in touch with your own intuitive guidance and, ultimately, a more effective caretaker.
Here are five simple steps you can use to surrender your loved one's safe-keeping today:
1. Create a short sentence or phrase you can remember and repeat easily in requesting your loved one's protection. It should convey simply the full emotion you feel in your heart for your loved one. Perhaps it will go something like this, "Please watch over my sweet mother, whom I love and cherish so much." Notice that an endearing word like "sweet" makes a big difference in the feel of this sentence.
2. Conduct this two-part test to see if you've created a phrase or sentence that expresses the feeling you're after. First, repeat the sentence either silently in your mind or out loud. Notice how you feel. If you get a sense of peace, relaxation, connection, a warm feeling in your chest, or any other signal of positive emotion, then you're on the right track.
Next, picture your loved one in your mind's eye. Repeat the sentence again. Observe how your loved one's facial expression responds to your statement. If Mom looks peaceful, happy, and perhaps even glows a little, then you've got a good phrase. If not, then tweak it slightly until both you and your loved one respond pleasantly to the words.
3. Addressing the higher power to whom you most easily relate in this situation (for example God, Jesus, or protective Archangel Michael), make your request. "God, please watch over my sweet mother, whom I love and cherish so much. Thank you."
4. Notice how you feel. If you are still worried, repeat the sentence. Continue observing your feelings and repeating the sentence until you sense that your request has been heard. This will most likely occur for you as a sense of peace or calmness. Don't be concerned about how many repetitions it takes in order to bring yourself to a place of peace. It is only important that you continue making the request until you know it's been heard.
5. From your now calm perspective, you may be inspired to take further action on your loved one's behalf. Honor the inspiration and follow through. You may be called upon to serve as an earthly agent of the higher power to whom you just prayed.
Once you've completed this simple process, relax in the knowledge that your loved one is well protected. You may be surprised by the duration of the peace that will come over you once you really know that all is well. Should you become concerned about your loved one again, there's no real need to worry. You know what to do!
Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health — or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!
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