Reset Buttons

Cup of morning reflection

Cup of morning reflection

I think we adults have three main reset buttons to our psyches when our emotions are in a twist. I try to practice them each day so I only have to do little resets and not huge, scary ones.

The first reset, I’ve talked about before: gratitude. A little time each morning before the day begins or at the end, wrapping up, reminding myself all I have to be grateful for. And there’s lots. Our health. Spring birdsong in the morning. Running hot water for showers. It’s a very long list.

The second reset is forgiveness. This one is tougher, but like anything else gets easier with practice. Are there any humans or deities that I am angry with? That I feel have done me an injustice? Am I angry or disappointed in myself?

In this situation: Am I angry with my son for leaving? No, he is just being who he is. Am I disappointed in myself for having “failed him?” No. He has been a challenging person to parent from the get-go and I have given it my full attention. In this case, there is no need for forgiveness.

The third reset is discarding incorrect beliefs. We see the world through our belief filters. The information that gets through is colored by them, and then we make “rational” choices based on those facts. But sometimes the beliefs we hold are not true. I think most of us over the age of thirty have had the experience of freedom that comes when you realize a belief you held is not true. “I’m not stupid. Just because my third grade teacher said so. It isn’t true.”

In this case, I have believed that I could make my son’s transition into the adult world of responsibilities easier by providing for him a couple more years. Do I know that this is true? I do not. It is possibly true, but I can’t know that it is true. Maybe his life will be better in the future for the struggles that he has now. My oldest son has told me that the struggles he had with his step-father made him a better person. It was a difficult time in his life, but he appreciates the strength it has given him.

The turbulence of my emotions eases, and with renewed vigor and appreciation for the beauty of the spring blossoms and warmer temperatures, I face the new day.

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9 responses to “Reset Buttons

  1. I know of your pain and struggles. My daughter (now 32 with a daughter of her own) was difficult in her teen years (aren’t they all!) and opted to move out abruptly. I was grief stricken and it took me a while to recover – she and I had been very close as she grew up. She made mistakes that I had to watch and forbear. She did come out the other side, as did I. I know that doesn’t predict the future but know that those of us out here with similar experiences are sending you good thoughts and want you to know you are not alone.

  2. Sending good thoughts and peace of mind your way.

  3. Thinking of you as well . . . .

  4. That conflict of wanting to protect your child and yet knowing they need to experience life for themselves – and learn to make lemonade with lemons!

    It’s hard for us and them but at the end of the day, I have come to the conclusion that our parenting is pretty much over by the age of around 12 – catching up after that is next to impossible from what I have now seen in life, but if the foundation is good, they will come through! And really, what exactly is success? Or failure? Isn’t it often just a point of view? I know that as a result of your “third reset”, I have radically altered a lot of my own stances! Life, eh.

    • I could not agree more! I don’t know of any interesting people that have not experienced what society usually labels “big failures” in life. I also agree with you that most parenting is done by the age of 11 or 12! I just never dare to say it aloud. I even start to think that many major mental constructions (ability to feel empathy, attitude towards authority, self-reliance, self-esteem etc…) sets in place between the age of 1 and 2 and that thereafter it is just reinforcement. But of course, I am not sure of that and it is maybe excessively controversial!

  5. Thank you for articulating so well and reminding me of that third reset as I go through the teen years with my daughter.

  6. Fawn,
    You are stronger than you know and are dealing with this situation with grace.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.
    Jane

  7. Lovely thoughts. I feel better for from reading them. Thank you!

  8. I am so sad that your youngest son is most likely leaving the nest too soon. He may be back when the reality of life’s’ responsibilities hit him. All of your children need your love. Take care of yourself and welcome your new grandchild into the fold.

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