I am going through a challenging transition as I raise my daughter. At 17 years old, she is growing fiercely independent and not really listening to me anymore. I still talk to her, but I can tell (by the vacant stare and constant eye rolls) she’s not listening.
This has been harder than I thought it would be. When she was little I managed almost everything she did: bedtime, clothing choices, mealtimes, play dates. Now the more I try to advise her the more she rebels.
I realize this is typical teenage behavior. What I didn’t realize was how difficult it would be to manage my feelings about it. From an ego level, I feel disrespected and unloved. How could this child be so defiant after all I have done and continue to do for her? However, from a spiritual level, I get it. The most important lesson in raising a teen is letting go of control.
Surrendering control is a life lesson for all of us. In reality there are very few things we can control. The more controlling we are the less joy we experience.
Control is rooted in fear.
In the moment when I am being controlling I can feel my breath quicken, my heart beating faster, increased agitation, and have trouble focusing. It’s not good.
If I let go of control and surrender to what is, I feel just the opposite: calm, peaceful, my breathing is deeper, and a knowingness that everything is and will be okay.
Being controlling is like paddling in a river upstream. It’s exhausting and requires lots of effort that gets you nowhere. A great question to ask yourself when you feel you are being controlling is: would it feel better to let go? If the answer is yes, and it almost always is, then surrender.
Surrender = Complete acceptance of what is + Faith that all is well.
While we really can’t control much in life, we can control how we choose to react. Join me in attempting to surrender your control. Lay down your burdens. Let your stubborn teens make their mistakes, stay out of things that aren’t your business, don’t micromanage anything. Let life happen and choose to flow with the current of the river.
Hilary of Hilary’s Mindful Living