Being a parent!
Hello friends. I am very fortunate to be a father to four incredible children, aged 11, 14, 18 and 20. Two years I got divorced from their mother, after 20 years of a marriage that was quite challenging at times and the day we told the children was, to date, the worse day of my life. Even more upsetting than watching my Dad, aged 51, take his last breath.
It’s really hard, parenting. Trying to do the best for your children whilst also looking after your own sanity and happiness. It’s a tricky balancing act with many compromises having to be made along the way.
It’s not been easy for any of us adjusting to post-divorce life, but I think we are all eventually finding a new rhythm. I am so proud of the children and so grateful that their mother and I still get on OK and even if we have different belief systems, we are always there for the children, wanting the best for them.
As some of you may know about me, my spiritual awakening started without any warning whilst I was driving on the M5 motorway in Devon, UK in September 2011. Those 20 seconds of bliss, joy, love and connectedness changed the course and outlook of my life. You can read about it here if you are interested.
Three weeks ago I had another great energy shift, with so much sticky old low frequency energy flooding out of me, like a great dam bursting. At first I sobbed and howled, then I shook and finally I laughed uncontrollably. A great cosmic belly laugh! It was such an amazing release.
It was just after this shift that I had a big ‘a-ha’ moment, particularly about the children and this is what I wanted to share with you today.
I AM ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MYSELF.
For a people-pleaser like me, this realisation hit me hard between the eyes.
This means I am not responsible for the happiness of anyone else, including my children. I do not know what is best for them and I trust that deep down they do. Whatever happens in life as they get older and leave home, our role as parents is to love them unconditionally, forgive them unconditionally and be proud of them NO MATTER WHAT. We are privileged to share in their journey, but it’s their journey.
This is very empowering for them and for us as well. It’s not easy letting go, but I promise you it's worth practicing. There is so much freedom and spaciousness in letting go. You are not in control, you never were, so trust in life and it will always be OK.
If this sounds selfish, only being responsible for your self, then let me pose this question - who else is going to look after your self? It’s no-one else’s job. It’s your job to love your self. It’s your job to forgive your self and it’s your job to be proud of your self, no matter what.
You can only give away what you feel inside.
Your children, your family and friends and even people you only meet for 10 seconds in the coffee shop will all benefit from you taking care of your self. Do the inner work, perhaps see a therapist, get fit, eat more healthily, spend time on your own if you need to. Just be honest about what you need.
I am now looking after my self so much more than I ever used to and I feel so much more peaceful and content as a result.
Finally, just a comment about empowerment for our children. Yesterday I asked my son Eddie to pick up two wet towels and crumpled school clothes off his bedroom floor – the so-called ‘floordrobe!’. (A few months ago I would have just picked up the wet towels and cleared up after him).
Anyway, he looked at me and said I was so mean to be asking him! I replied that what I thought was much meaner was to continue doing it for him so that by the time he eventually leaves home, he has no clue how to take care of himself. I am not responsible for Eddie’s wet towels or crumpled school clothes!
So to all parents out there, I salute your bravery. I salute my own bravery too.
And to all families coping with divorce, I am thinking of you and willing you to find a peaceful way forward. Remember that hurt people hurt people. Be courageous and take care of yourselves.
Love from me. Xxx
- Rob Holmes