Tag Archives: new beginnings

Go Forth – Saying Goodbye as my First Child Leaves Home

Licia and Jess as baby for web 163x250 Go Forth   Saying Goodbye as my First Child Leaves Home

Jess as a babe (on mama’s lap)

As I write this, the three guys I live with are playing football on the other side of the floor-length living room windows.  It is a hot, muggy Florida evening, my husband and two boys are enjoying some guy time, and my oldest son is going to college in three days.

What a strange thing, the days winding down, like a tunnel closing in, before the inevitable flight of your first born from the nest. It is a surreal sensation.  One that millions of mothers before me have experienced, but which is new to me.  An odd and unpleasant rite of passage, or kind of developmental phase.  I associate “developmental phase” with babies learning to walk, or teenagers learning to reason.  But apparently we parents have them, too.  Truly, I suspect that we have them until we croak.

I have had the usual symptoms of this strange affliction…pride, disbelief, curiosity, dread, grief, exhilaration, dread, grief…and did I mention dread and grief?  I relished his senior year, enjoying every time he was willing to sit down and talk with me, wanted a hug (even though he would choose the most inopportune moments, such as having my hands in the sink of dirty dishes, or when I was writing…but that is me being too damn busy).  When he graduated, another level of realization hit my brain, and I cried at his ceremony with the budding awareness of how close we were getting to his departure.

As the summer wound down, I felt my anxiety increase, wanting to stop the days and reverse time.  I kept seeing him as a little baby, cooing in my lap, a far cry from the grown man he has become.  I was very careful when he was young to show excitement as he grew, not wanting to burden him with my attachment.  But now, I am openly expressing my wish that he would shrink for just a few precious stolen moments, as well as my astonishment and pride that he is now ready to leave us.

And now, three days before we all pack into the car to take him to his new home, I feel something akin to what I felt before he was born: a kind of odd limbo that comes in the chasm between leaping from a known reality into an unknown one…that moment of uncertainty as you hang in the air, unsure yet hopeful that you will land where you plan to.  As a mother, I presume it is like facing a death…my son’s, or my own, I’m not sure.

It is my most basic instinct to keep him close to me so he will be safe.  When I was pregnant with him, he was two weeks late, and still had to be induced; my OB was unwilling to let me go any further because of his size (he was almost 10 pounds when he was born).  His birth was very difficult; the pushing alone took two hours to release him from my body, me fighting myself.  I have since understood why.  Every cell in my body wanted to keep him insulated from this crazy world, a world that I believed in my bones and blood – regardless of all my healing, affirmations and positive thinking – was unsafe.  If I could keep him in my body, I could keep him from harm.  But of course, he had to be born, and of course I had to let him be.

Jess’ leaving us to go to school is strangely similar to his birth.  Instead of him leaving my body, he is leaving our house and immediate care.  He will no longer be in my sight, where I can put a hand on him.  He will no longer be asleep in his bed where I can hear him snoring, or where I can remind him to do his homework for the fifteenth time while he talks on the phone to his friends.  He will no longer be hanging by me while I stir the soup, waiting for a hug.  In some very real ways, I feel that the sun is deserting me.

And yet, this is what is supposed to happen.  This is the job of the parent, the one who prepares the child for the eventual release into the wild.  I am following the long line of life, living through countless creatures, one after another, bringing their kind into the world and diminishing so that their young can become the next in line.  I am allowed to feel sad, scared, and like my heart is going to break, but that is not going to change anything.  I can no more prevent him from leaving than I could prevent him from being born.  And why would I be so selfish?  This is his path.  He must go, and I must say goodbye to this chapter in our lives.

How does a mother live through this?  How does a mother let go?  She just does.  Life isn’t up to us…it is bigger than us, and we don’t get to have it the way we want it all the time.  And thank goodness for that.  How would we ever grow if life were not fraught with pain and danger, uncertainties and heartbreaks?  How would we ever grow if we really had it all under control?

Life is living through me right now, just as it has for countless others before me.  And it is living through my son, expressing and showing up in his own unique skin and eyes and heart.  Life lives us, not the other way around, and we get to be here for the ride.  On and on it goes, births and deaths, hellos and goodbyes.  The circle of life continues.  How amazing.  How utterly, curiously amazing.

My dearest son, the one who I centered my life around for 18 years, I love you so very dearly.  I celebrate you, and dance for you, and shout to the sky in honor of you.  You have made me so very proud over these years, and it is my great privilege to know you.  Thank you for teaching me, even though it often looked like I was teaching you.  Our time together has been so very precious to me.  Go forth and live your life, and do good things.  Go into the world, the one I tried to ready you for and to protect you from as much as I could without robbing you of that readiness.  I give you to it.  Go forth.  Go forth.

Jess 2012 250x165 Go Forth   Saying Goodbye as my First Child Leaves Home

Jess 2012

P.S.  Addendum Spring 2013:  Looking back at this post now, I see a mother’s premonition that her son would not return home quite the same.  Jess suffered a traumatic brain injury on March 25, 2013 as a result of a skateboarding accident, requiring emergency brain surgery to ave his life.  He is recovering miraculously well, and will return to school (with a new sense of purpose and direction) in the fall of 2013.  Please see the story here “A New Definition of Allowing”.   Life has made some interesting choices about my son, and all of us.

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2012- The Year of Self Love

Self Regenerating Generator Fractal Painting by Peter Berry 250x250 2012  The Year of Self Love

"Self-Regenerating Generator", Fractal Painting by Peter Berry, 2010

I love new cycles.  I enjoy bringing intention and attention to the endings and beginnings of things; it just feels holy to me to honor the passing of something old and celebrating the emergence of something new!

With that in mind, I like to consider a theme for the new calendar year as they roll around.  I have had some amazing support from Higher Consciousness in terms of suggestions at the start of my years; inevitably, the themes turn out to be predictive in quality.

I was so excited after years of outrageous growth, uncertainty and movement that 2011’s theme was “Stability” for me, and that has absolutely been the case.  I’ve had so much stabilization of my foundation this year; feeling so much more solid under my feet means I can build and grow in new, exciting ways.

However, this coming year I propose a more universal theme of “Self Love”.

I say universal because when I tune in to Higher Consciousness, I’m told that Self Love is a theme that will work for everyone, not just me…that we are entering a larger cycle and energy opportunity in which we can ALL benefit from this theme.

Let me explain what I mean by “Self Love”.  I feel that we are misinformed about what Self Love means; Self Love is not selfish or arrogant, but sane and kind.  To truly love ourselves does not mean that we will run rampant and cause chaos and destruction because we are so self-centered.

Self Love is compassionate, responsible, even.   I envision having reverence for ourselves as if we were our own beloved child, similar to how a divine source might have reverence for us.   I suspect people that grew up with conscious, loving parents know how to do this for themselves because they were treated as if they were loved unconditionally.  And yet, we can all learn how to do this…it is a choice that we can make every moment, every day.

There are 3 reasons why I feel Self Love is a worthy pursuit:

  1. Reverence for ourselves as Human Beings - the fragile, animal bodies that we inhabit; the mixed up, mashed up fracas of a world we have created; the building of our lives for years and years with our hopes and dreams while the threat of death ever looms to take it all away from us…I feel we must have compassion for ourselves as we live in a world that challenges our survival!  What courage it takes to be human, to choose to live and do the best we can each day!
  2. Reverence for ourselves as Spirit Embodied – Creation continues unceasingly through sheer playfulness and generosity.  Like a fractal, there is an unending unfolding of new life, new expansion, new creation.  The universal courage we must innately possess as spirits to enter this frontier, where consciousness is expanded through the playground of physical experience, played out in an infinitude of scenarios!  While our human self may live from a limited viewpoint of trying to stay alive, our spirit never forgets our immensity, our divinity, or our infinite nature, never forgets what we come from, and reminds us that we come from Love.
  3. Reverence for our part in All Creation, and that Love for Self means Love for Others – Making choice to care for ourselves from a place of love means that we are enabled to make choices to love others; how we are inside is how we act outside.  It all starts with our relationship with self.  And learning to love ourselves is one of the greatest acts of service we can give to the world.

And this is where we’re at in our evolutionary development.  Humanity has fully explored separation, power over, dominance, authoritarianism, patriarchy…we’re now coming into an era of partnership, union, community, balance.  Coming into union with all creation means coming into union with ourselves.  The integration that occurs internally when we choose to stop making war on ourselves, to see ourselves as both human and spirit, and to have love for ourselves and others, is nothing less than the key to changing our lives and the world.

I invite you, as one aspect of All Creation, to join me in the choice to hold ourselves tenderly as we navigate the creation of a new cycle.  We have the chance to enhance our time on earth so much by choosing love as our mode of survival.

Many Blessings in your new year!

xoxoxo,  Licia

If I can assist you in determining a supportive personal theme for your 2012, contact me to set up your individual session!  

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The Children are the Way Showers

  O men, grown sick with toil and care, Leave for awhile the crowded mart; O women, sinking with despair, Weary of limb and faint of heart, Forget your years to-day and come As children back to childhood’s house. ~Phoebe Cary I have known for a long time that humanity is embarking on a newContinue Reading

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Glorious Debris, part 2

The continuing story of my Midlife Collage! After the initial 4 elements were in place, some months later I was guided to place the above image and wording on the back of the collage. What does this mean? First of all, for just one lovely image (it is artwork from the WeMoon calendar) to have beenContinue Reading

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Glorious Debris

I’ve been making intentional collages for over 20 years.  (Collage, of course, is an art technique named from the French, in which one brings together disparate parts to create something new.)  I did as a kid, but I started in earnest in my first year teaching art in the Atlanta public schools.  Maybe it was because theContinue Reading

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