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.