Acceptance for Tin Man

If we could accept our emotions and experiences in the present, or even when we reflect on them, our load would be lighter.

Yesterday was spent with Older Child, who leaves for college in a few days! We’re not sure who among us was present with him, and we worry, “Are we doing it right or wrong?”

How can there even be such a distinction?

Because we’re trying to practice presence.

No one is always mindful!

Don’t cling. Let Older Child continue the journey.

We are proud and sad of Older Child’s bravery to go to college and not live at home. This is for us the definition of “bittersweet.” We will miss this person we admire and love and respect so much, and this Child is now an Emerging Adult, who is going to experience life outside the bubble we created at home.

Oh, how we’ve tried to keep the kids from danger. We clung so tightly that we became the problem!

Learning to not over-identify with the kids has been a primary therapy goal. We are pleased to report progress on this topic since our last hospital stay!

For example, Younger Child is struggling mightily with friend issues. This is a major trigger for us.

    And we are not Younger Child.
    All things pass: feelings, sensations, situations, life, mountains. So don’t over-identify with anything as transient as teenage friend drama of a child.
    We can listen. Offer advice if asked or ask if advice is wanted.
  • These situations seem life-or-death to us because our danger-o-meter is broken from trauma and OCD, and they are not actually dire situations. They belong to Younger Child, are an important part of Child’s journey, and we can help by listening, taking a back seat most of the time, and not being Younger Child.
  • If we could accept all that we are writing here, we could feel proud and compassionate toward us. We are missing that, as the Tin Man thinks he’s missing a heart. “But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t, didn’t already have” (“Tin Man,” America). So maybe we have it. It’s just lost.

    A lot more is going on, too. Too much to overwhelm in one post. We want to stop being a victim. We want to be able to fill our own cup with compassion. We’re not there yet, so we’ll keep receiving from therapists and Spouse and even Children. And we’ll give to them when we can. We need compassion from us. May practice help.

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