I haven’t read the books yet, but I sense my discomfort with letting go.
My certainties that I can help, that I know at least some of the answers, and that everyone and everything depends on me, are each a hindrance in our new situation. We are breaking ground in new territory and it’s going to take new behavior to be successful.
My beloved granddaughter, you have been a part of me since I held your tiny hand in your first moments of life. I have rocked you, walked with you, and cheered you on as I watched you unfold. I have gloried in your laughter and wept with your sorrows. My chest has swelled with pride and my heart has ached with worry.
My concern grew as changes in you became more evident. My natural urges to protect you were all encompassing. My sense of responsibility increased, as I was more aware of your problems. Finally, I became actively involved in trying to hold your life together. Your safety and well being, although not within my power to maintain, became my obsession. My anxiety level rose exponentially as I witnessed the pain of your parents, my children.
Ahhhhh…. When you opted to enter rehab, my relief and release were palpable. I could breathe. I could sleep. I didn’t and still don’t see it as a magical cure-all for every problem; but you are safe, you are learning, and it is progress.
And so it’s time for a shift in my thinking.
If I have dreams for you, I must release them and let you dream for yourself.
I must to be ready for you to become a young adult and not unwittingly try to change you back to the little girl I have known.
I must hold my tongue that is ready to give advice and instead listen to your thoughts, feelings and aspirations.
I must let you use the lessons you are learning to be in charge of your own behavior.
I must trust you to make the right decisions.
I must support you without carrying you; to recognize the ways in which I have encouraged your dependency and learn to glory in your independence.
I must cherish your growth as you navigate between passivity and aggression to healthy assertiveness.
I want so much for you.
I want you to see yourself as you are and love that person.
I want you to realize your strength and capabilities and feel confident in your own decisions.
I want you to fulfill your destiny whatever it may be. To define your own success and enjoy the process that leads you through it.
I want you to know you are loved
I want you to be safe.
I want you to be.
I see, then, that I must love you and let you be.