Finding Freedom From Parental Worry

Once upon a time there was a mother who worried.

This mother turned her worry into a part-time job and often forgot to enjoy the experience of raising humans. She mistakenly thought that if she worried enough, she could thwart impending disaster and spare herself unimaginable heartache.  

For this mistaken belief, she suffered. Bargaining with the devil is costly and Satan takes all forms of payment. The mother lost sleep, sanity and serenity. 

The weight of worry grew in proportion with the children. Stories of teen escapades were revealed in bits and pieces, making the mother woozy. But shockingly, none of the stories equalled the terrifying possibilities that marinated in her imagination.

In other words, most of the mother’s fears never came to pass.

Reflecting on the fact that she had invested far too much in the fruitless schemes of the mind, the mother determined that it was time to reclaim her peace. 

The mind, she determined, was like an unsafe neighborhood. Best not to enter unaccompanied, lest fear lure her into a dark alley and rob her. 

Over time, the mother learned to keep company with more amiable companions like love and trust. She began praying and practicing the principle of detachment. Gradually, she felt lighter. Anxiety had been a heavy weight to carry.

These days, the mother practices safe thinking with the fervor of a zealot. Now that she has tasted freedom, alternative options have lost their appeal.

When a young adult son shares photos of his escapades….

the first thing she sees is Joy instead of Pain; Fun instead of Danger. And she, too, feels happy. Without fear lurking over her shoulder, the mother is able to partake in the amusement of her children’s lives.

Sometimes the mother entertains Regret and wants to cry over foregone chances at happiness. But instead, she works on self-forgiveness because she’s finally wise enough to recognize thieves in all their cunning disguises.

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