My youngest daughter Mariah lives 2000 miles away. Pretty frequently, she gets in the habit of texting me "mom I'll call you tonight." I wait, no call. The next day "Mom I'll call you tonight." I wait no call. This is a reoccurring pattern.
There is this natural urge or tug at my heart to create meaning from this pattern. Meaning she doesn't follow through with anything. I also have a tug to make this personal, thinking, why doesn't she want to talk to me, am I not good enough? What's wrong with me? What's wrong with her... All this is, is THOUGHT. A dark deep low mental state that creates suffering, where? In my thoughts. This darkness can be avoided if you're awareness is turned up, and you address these feelings at the start. This is a big part of my coaching practice that I work one-on-one with clients to become skilled at.
Weeks and sometimes months will go by without her calling. However, I do call her occasionally without leaving a message; she doesn't have a voicemail set up. My intentions are simple: having a little red bubble show up on her phone, letting her know I am thinking of her.
Mariah, my oldest daughter, and I share a text thread that we all contribute to regularly. I often text random photos with zero meaning on my part but just a glimpse of what's happening in my world, with the soul intent of creating a red bubble. These photos can be from my shoes (most recently, I made it to the gym before realizing I had miss match shoes), videos or pictures of the family dog, Tux, to a meal I'm eating. I also like to text funny experiences that I'm having that might cause a reaction in one or both of my daughters.
The point of this blog is to point out that I, too, am human.
I can create a lot of meaning and take things personally super easily. However, I likely know only a tiny fraction of my daughter's reality, struggles, challenges, and what consumes her mental and physical energy. I can certainly assume, but assumptions are all too often incorrect.
I know she is working full time as a manager of a Starbucks and going to school full time, plus juggling some Uber eats and helping her boyfriend rebuild vehicles. I deeply miss seeing her and visiting with her daily. I was incredibly close to her throughout her childhood.
I know that this life is her journey and that she can suffer in her own imagination from time to time, as we all do. The distance is heartbreaking as a mother, but that feeling is created via my thinking and choice. I can easily flip a switch and choose to feel differently. I decide to see what I can and cannot control. I choose to live in the feeling that I want to feel.
I guard my feelings very closely.
Our feelings create our experiences in life!
I choose to feel that I hold a sacred space for her when and if she needs me, feeling calm, proud of her, at peace, loving her for who she is, respecting, and holding trusting space for when or if she needs me to listen to something that she's experiencing without judgment or criticism. I refrained from reacting and continue to work on my relationship with myself, for that's my most important relationship. By doing this, I can show up as the best possible mom to my daughters.