Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Letting Go

This past year 2011 has come and gone! Last time I posted anything or sat down to write was January 2011. Wow how crazy is that. But really when I honestly sit and look back, no regrets it couldn't have been done any other way. God's plan I guess.And we each have to follow that in our own way.

I have had yet another birthday, they come and go now. I am finally O.K. with that or I am finally becoming O.K. I am confident that next year it will all be an acceptable milestone to reach the age where life takes that turn. You are descending the final stretch in the road, where everything is so much more appreciated and honored then it was 30 or 40 years ago.Where you tend to just stop and appreciate everything and everybody that has touched your life in some way or the other. You learn to accept each moment as a learning experience and an occasion to grow. Something that 40 years ago I couldn't have done. 40 years ago was the time of taking everything for granted, of course there will be another tomorrow, of course or that doesn't or won't effect me, not at all. Today its now different, all so different. I now look at the world through "rose colored glasses" I guess you might say. I now think that it's not how you look at things but how you think of them that counts. It's all so different at this stage in my life. I have a more optimistic outlook on life. Things are changing and I am so much happier because of that. I can now recall very dark moments in my life where I was so pessimistic, so negative. Just another stage I had to go through to bring me to where I am at this given moment.

What I struggle with tremendously is letting go of my children. I remember when I was younger just wanting to have the perfect family, perfect husband and most perfect children imaginable. A reputable and honored desire and dream for any mother. Not rational at all, but I was younger, and the Capricorn is a very driven sign. Striving always for perfection for that need for everything to be just so. To be so called"perfect". I have always attempted to be in control at all times. Not in a bad way but in the sense that I wanted my household to run like a tight ship may we say. Everything has a place and everything is in it's place. Organizational queen. Unfortunately my children saw that and internalized it as well. I tend to beat myself up, I have always beat myself up over my mistakes, the mistakes of others, things that I couldn't control nor change, this behavior no longer has a place with me. I guess as Maya Angelou says, "when you know better, you do better." I now know that at that time in my life, I just didn't know better, I did the best that I could do at that point in my life. Very dark part of my life the, "oh my God I am not a perfect mother part!" It has been the roughest and hardest thing I have had to face in my life I think for me ever....just being able to let go and just be at peace with it. And now some 40 years later or so the peace has come!

Last night I had the opportunity to watch Oprah's Master Class, wonderful and inspiring series, Goldie Hawn was on, I have always just adored her. So intelligent, entertaining with a very playful personality. A favorite of mine and by what I hear is also Goldie Hawn's. An Ancient Myth, the story of Demeter the mother, letting go, and her message to mothers. And as the story goes the abduction of the beautiful Persephone is the reason behind the sweetness of Spring and the bitterness of Winter.One day this little girl of life and laughter, Persephone, was collecting flowers on the plain of Enna when the earth opened beneath her feet. Up from the gap rose Hades, grim God of the Underworld, and abducted her. And only Zeus the all seeing, knew what had happened.

Broken hearted, Demeter wandered the earth, her hair unbound, wailing into the wind, searching for her little daughter until - at last - Zeus told her what had happened.

Now Demeter was angry as well as heart broken! She demonstrated her rage by punishing the earth's inhabitants with fierce cold, bitter winds and an end to all fertility. Unless Persephone was returned, the earth would surely perish.

Finally Herakles the Hero went down to the kingdom of Hades to negotiate the return of Persephone. But, before she was released, the God of the Underworld tricked Persephone into eating six pomegranate seeds - thus she would always be connected to his realm.

For part of the year Persephone must stay in the Underworld and for part of the year she returns to her mother.

When Demeter and her daughter are together, the earth flourishes with vegetation, but, for four months of the year, when Persephone goes back to Hades, the earth is a barren realm.
One important lesson from Demeter is not to place all of our life into our children. It's a trap that any mother can fall into, putting her talents of spontaneity, creativity, playfulness, wonder, curiosity, love of story and all that we call imagination into her children - forgetting that these belong also to her own inner child.

When her daughter is abducted, the loss causes Demeter to go into deep depression. A depression in which she ceases to bathe, ceases to eat, disguises her beauty, neglects her daily duties, denies her future and becomes self absorbed, angry, resentful and lost in torrents of incessant weeping.

If we hold on to our children too tightly, if we weave our lives totally around them, we are then at a loss when they mature and become independent. We can suffer very real and very deep pain. Like Demeter, our own inner child has been displaced onto our actual children.If we place all of our eggs into one basket, if a friend grows away from us, if we place all of our love into one partner and that relationship ends, we can be shattered until we realize that what has passed, has passed.We can't go back.
For everything there is a season.
And there is a time for letting go.

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