In your parenting relationships it (detaching) means constantly reminding yourself that your children are on their own paths and they are not going to live their lives the way you decide they should. It means guiding them, helping them to become self-reliant, and always letting them know that you unconditionally love them. . . -Dr. Wayne Dyer, You’ll See it When You Believe it.
My mother did this with me as a child and still does to this very day and it has made such a difference in my life. Mom is an expert – I think without even knowing it – at loving fully and unconditionally and then letting go so that her children could grow and take risks to become the individuals we are. While it’s always scary for a parent to let go with her child, the presence of a disability or any significant difference certainly adds layers to that fear. If a child has various daily needs, a mother worries about how those will be met, how much her child will struggle, and as every mother does, wonders will her child be happy.
My mother spent so many years worrying about these things for me. I think it has only been since I have approached. . . yes, middle age. . .and my life has become more settled, that her concerns have eased some. Like most children, I would respond to her concerns with a nonchalant, “Don’t worry, Mom.” To this, she would quip, “Don’t tell me not to worry; that’s my job.”
Well, I told her not to worry because she was giving me – on a daily basis – the single most important thing to insure happiness in my life: LOVE. All I have ever remember is being loved by my mother, profoundly and completely. My earliest memory of her is shortly before I turned two, reading books with her, talking about noses, and touching her nose. A seemingly simple interaction, but I remember feeling so safe and loved. I believed I have felt this way, either consciously or unconsciously, every day of my life because of my mother’s (and father’s, but we’ll talk about him in June) love.
It is the single, most important thing that has shaped my life. It gave me the courage to embrace living with a disability and all the struggles that accompanies it. My mother’s love taught me that I was valued. In fact, it instilled that in my core. Nothing empowers like love and a sense of value. Life is still certainly difficult, but I believe when we feel loved and valued, the challenges we face seem to be a little more surmountable and with purpose, rather than just a means to an end.
I will take a hundred more lifetimes of living with a disability, if I could keep getting the mother I have been given. I cannot say it enough, Thank you, Mom. So. . .now will you ease up on the worrying?
In July, I will be presenting at the Texas Parent to Parent Annual Conference on Empowering Your Child with a Healthy Sense of Self. A parent’s love and value on her child will certainly be the essence of my talk.