In a half hour, a complete stranger helped me to understand a power struggle between my daughter Keely and myself that has caused us much strife over the past year. I left this call with a “stranger” able to breathe freely in a way I haven’t felt in months.
This person somehow, in a twist of celestial fate, showed up in my Facebook feed yesterday offering free 30-minute calls to people. She goes by April Dawn*, which I find even more interesting, as my daughter goes by Keely Dawn.
She reminded me indirectly of the mirror our lives are to our internal state. I expressed concern over my daughter’s ability to make things happen in her life for herself, and how I hate being in the position of having to decide whether to step up for her again or to let her feel the consequences of her lack of action. April said she sensed a lack of trust in my relationship with my daughter, and asked me to turn around my lack of trust in my daughter’s ability to make things happen. She asked if in some way I might be acting from the fear that I am not able to make those things happen in my life, and it hit me like a brick.
Yes, as always, it was my issue all along.
I let myself down when I was 18 when I quit San Francisco Ballet School. I have lived with that regret ever since. I have found ways back to dance here and there. I blamed circumstance. I pointed the finger at my folks for not financially supporting me when I needed it. But in the end, it was my responsibility to ask for help, and to find a way to make it happen, to believe in myself enough and to love myself enough to make my dream my life.
And I didn’t do that for myself.
And I project that regret onto my daughter, fearing she will do the same thing. And it’s not right, nor is it helpful.
The call happened twenty minutes ago, and already some of the details are fading, but the lesson isn’t. I have put so much energy into trying to “help” my daughter succeed at what I think are the most basic things, and all I really need to do is make things happen for myself. Live by example.
My fear of not being able to make my own dreams come true, has led me to put pressure on my daughter to make hers happen. Near the end of the call, April asked how I felt about making things happen for myself, and I remembered that in the past year, I have actually made some huge strides for myself in that direction. Lately, I have been feeling very stuck and impotent in that area, but reminding myself of the steps I have taken suddenly reaffirmed my trust in myself, and hence, my trust that my daughter will be o.k. She is on her own path, and she will find her own way. I sighed out tension I have been holding for months.
When I take away my fear of letting myself down and learn to trust myself, I suddenly trust that my daughter can do what’s right for herself. And when I am in that place of trust, I can guide vs push her. I can be there for her, but let herself do what she needs to do. I can allow her to find her own way, and remain available for her, but not intercept.
I can trust her because I can trust myself, and that’s a HUGE relief for both of us!
*April Dawn has a Relationship promotion going which I am happy to spread the word about. If she can help me reach clarity in a half hour on something I have missed for months, I can only imagine how she can help guide people in 4 months!