Ever have the experience of saying something to your adult child and almost immediately regret it, because it didn’t come out the way you intended to or because it sounded completely ass-ish outside of your head?
We say things we don’t mean because we aren’t saying the things we really mean.
Something like “You don’t do this right” could be hiding “I miss you.” “When are you going to do what you said you would do?” is really covering up “When can we spend time together?” The more the discord, the more the distance.
But what if you’ve said what you need to say? You’ve asked for what you need and still you don’t get it?
I find that the more I am missing someone the more tongue-tied I become. When I do see them then all these emotions come flooding through at once and I am at a loss to try to control the flow. When I’ve asked for something again and again and I don’t get it, I get sad. I know people have their own lives, their own agendas, their own ways, but when there’s no room left for me I feel neglected. That doesn’t always get expressed in the most eloquent of ways and for that I have to apologize.
What to do then?
“Love them and give them room” is the answer that Spirit has given me.
I don’t think this is anymore difficult than in a parent/adult child relationship. From the moment of conception a parent is a parent. By the time that child become an adult, that parent has spent the majority of their adult life dedicated to the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical development of that developing person. All parents do this to a greater or lesser degree.
So, as the adult child peels away to begin to carve out their own space in this life, this can feel counterintuitive to the parent. This is the VOID, aka empty-nest syndrome. It isn’t about having empty rooms in your house so much as it is having empty space in your life.
Even the words sound painful. Where once there was “I am so busy I have no time for myself” now there is “I have so much time to myself I don’t know what to do with it all.” And while your first thought is always your child and how each decision you make will affect them, their first thought is now – rightfully so – how their decisions will affect themselves…not you.
This is normal. This is not selfish. This is expansion and you did it too. While we may have ventured to be different parents than the ones who raised us, we will repeat some patterns until we consciously examine them.
It feels like abandonment.
And I promise you, whether you’ve attended to your abandonment issues or not, they WILL real their ugly heads one more time here!
I’m not going to sugar coat it. It feels like this piece of your heart that you gave legs to, just up and walked out without considering your feelings at all. But it isn’t their job to consider your feelings…not like that anyhow. Yes, in how they speak to you and how they treat you, but going on and designing a life of their own requires no invoice to you. You have to catch yourself when you start feeling abandoned and do a reality check. What were you doing at that age? How did YOU feel about your parents?
So what happens now?
Now we learn how to make decisions without thinking of them first. Its time to put ourselves first again. We take a good look at our expectations of others and ask ourselves, if the roles were reversed what would our actions be? What might our intention be? And…how best can we support that adult child in this new phase of our relationship? (Hint: Sometimes the best support looks like nothing.)
We also learn how to use that empty space to our advantage. The Universe empties that which is full and fills that which is empty. So, be open to what the Universe is about to send you. Don’t look to substitute, just allow what is supposed to fill that space to come at its own pace.
Your relationship will find its new normal. A normal that is equal to the time, love and attention you started it with. Everything will settle into its equilibrium. You will have a new and beautiful relationship with your child, once again – as soon as you stop expecting it to return to something it was before. It’s preparing to be something it has never been, much like a caterpillar in its cocoon on the way to being a butterfly.
Be patient…you’re a parent, you’ve got lots of experience with that.
I love you.
I SO love you.