Yes, I can – The question is not if but how!
How often do we ask ourselves “Can I do this?” or “Can I do that?” or “Should I really do that?” Instead of feeling what we feel and formulating questions of a “how”, we challenge and doubt what we feel : “How can I do this, how can I do that?” just shows a different attitude than “I do not know if I can do this and whether I should do that.”
So we feel something, take a very clear momentum, and immediately begin to think through it and question its justification. The first thought is often the end of freedom that we take away from ourselves.
Breaking the inner truth in thinking
We talk well or give up, digging up our old ways and setting our standards and those of third parties to new situations and circumstances or to the feelings we are feeling. The longer we think about them, the more chaotic and uncertain we become. The more we begin to search for solutions, ask others, read again, we confuse ourselves and superimpose the feeling that was clearly there at the beginning and said to us: THIS WAY and not otherwise, with explanations and ideas that do not suit us at all.
Does it mean that we shouldn’t think anymore? Of course not. But every feeling is there to be really and completely felt and not to be immediately interpreted, superimposed and concealed.
Every feeling is an expression of truth
If we want to truly live, we must learn to give space to these feelings and to jump. Following the feeling means breaking out of mind and embarking on an adventure in us. Nothing has to be explained, justified, explained or defined. Who takes space and time for a feeling, always does the right thing. We do not have to decide from the first impulse or act without thinking. We often believe that we are acting out of a feeling, but in truth we are doing it from our thoughts about that feeling and not from the experience we have made in complete empathy.
We seldom resonate with our feelings, even skilfully ignoring them because the mind can become very dominant and loud, want to do it “right” and avoid “mistakes”. We are often unaware of the fact that we are only able to grow, to develop, to be true and to quickly get rid of our thought carousel on the basis of experience gained and unthinkable eventualities.
However we turn it around: as soon as our feelings are overshadowed by thoughts, the self ceases to speak and the ego takes over. And suddenly we decide things that then do not feel good anymore, do things that we may regret, or decide on something that will make us wider and wider in our resistance. And: we remain in doubt, if we have really done the right thing. That does not happen when we feel. If we allow ourselves to truly feel everything that touched us and allowed us to do so – even if it hurt – we stand firm in what is true and right for us.
Tears of healing
I was in such a feeling. It blew me away, completely overpowered, I was a wreck, in tears, at the end of my tether, so to speak. I think I have not experienced it that way, yet. The first impulse was: I want to get out of here, flee, find a solution that suits me, conforms to us and I want to make a decision. IMMEDIATELY!
My thoughts went fast within everything that came up with this feeling of eventualities. Pictures were created in my mind and scenarios painted. So they were there, immediately, my thoughts.
When I realized that I was about to drown out my feelings about them, and that I was trying to “save” myself from tears by seeking explanatory, solving ways to make myself feel better again, I paused.
The feeling was there. It just wanted to be felt. Without evaluation, without solution, without displacement.
So I just let it happen. I cried, let me down without wanting to find a way out there. Just feel. For the first time.
We all know how liberating tears can be, and my body literally let all the tension and pain flow out of it. After that, the situation was the same, but the tension was gone. I now “knew” what I felt, what it felt like to be in this new situation, and could now use my mind as a tool to think about what I wanted to do with that very clear feeling.
My daughter wants to got to school
My ex-husband wishes that the children are closer to him and live a “more normal life” that fits in with his views, the children want a school experience and time with their friends in Germany.
What to do?
I was torn between a strong sense of rejection and that of understanding. What had made me so sad? That our life would turn 180 degrees? That I had to decide what is right (did I have to do that?)? That I was able to perceive the needs of all and therefore also had to react to them? That the children currently want something different than I do? That the father of the children lives and represents a completely different life model and just like me is responsibile? Where did this deep sadness come from?
I think it was moved by the pain of letting go. I sensed that this path would mean that I would have to let go, release more, and that these young people will increasingly make decisions for themselves in which we may then re-relate. No pain that I would say was negative, but rather a chance to reposition ourselves in it and find ways that can “pull” us all, where the feeling carries each one of us. Together, but also each one in his own way and in the respect of one’s own needs and feelings.
I am the mother, I am responsible, I live my version of “real life”, a free life and of course it hurts me to imagine that the children I am accompanying now go into an unknown bondage to make an experience I would have liked to keep them away from.
Would that be my responsibility? Is it about keeping the children from their own experiences because they think they know better? My answer is and has always been: no.
I do not want to “educate” them to freedom, I do not educate them at all.
I want to give them their own experiences and views, in every way. As a result, I quickly realized that neither the desire of their father nor my own played a role here, but only the need of my daughter to try out school, to get an idea of what it is that mum always says she doesn’t like. She wants to position herself, wants to shape her life, even if she can not name it that way, and that’s exactly what I always wanted to accompany the children in and in which I encouraged them: “Feel the right thing for you. It is your life, do not let anything persuade you, make your own experiences and get to know your way. I am behind you.”
Autonomy and connectedness
The children do neither live my life, nor their father’s. They are independent human beings and they are seen and respected. So I realized that I had to find ways to integrate their wishes, their decisions into my life and to find ways to organize my life around them. THIS is my responsibility. To arrange that both, them and I, as well as all other family members, in this change are fine and no one “on the track”.
One thing was certain from the start and I clearly communicated it with the children:
I would not exchange my freedom, my needs, my vision for theirs, but organize something manageable for us all, taking care of the kind of relationship we want to live.
Ignorance and curiosity
How exactly that will look like I do not know today. I always feel and on this second day back in Germany there is not only a heaviness in me, which calls itself probably wanderlust, but also a fear, that there could be no possibilities to get everything under one roof. Who will have to back off then? On whose “costs” will these changes take place? What price am I willing to pay and where do I – so that I can continue to be authentically related to the children – be mindful of my own needs?
That means chaos. How should it work if mom is permanently traveling with temporary stays in Germany, dad lives and works in Germany, school is associated with duties and time regulations and does not leave us any leeway that does not consider primarily the relationships of family members but a curriculum or school laws ?
Of course, my path led to the school office and of course I initially received the news that reported: In Germany children are required to attend school – no exceptions. As if I did not know that.
The mother lion in me
No reason for me to let that stop me and not check it again, contact another office and wait for an answer. Just because something has always been “that way” or “usually does” does not mean that you can not make changes and create exceptions.
I want a solution that supports the well-being of my family and does not rest on paragraphs. I do not know how far I have to go, but it feels like a long journey ahead of me.
Of course I could always completely leave Germany, but the price would be high in terms of the relationship of the children to their dad and vice versa, my own need for a life in my partnership. If I permanently stayed in Germany, I would deny my self and live a life that is not mine – unthinkable. Everything is possible and conceivable for each of us, and it is exactly this flexibility that we can create – the question is not if, but how.
What I wish for?
That my daughter and my eldest son can do their schooling and spend more time with their dad, but that they are still free to be with me. That means: traveling.
Of course, I would adjust my life, my “travel times”, everything would have to be settled in consultation with the school and I could take the “school supplies” with the children during their absence, so they have no “gaps”. (For this my teacher’s title may make sense ;-))
Certainly, I will have to do some traveling alone in the future, especially when I have lectures and live coachings in other places. I will also be traveling much shorter to be able to accompany the children in their new situation in the best possible way and not have to be without them or not to take the youngest away from his siblings. Everything will have to be defined by calendars and plans, which is a horror to me, but that is the compromise that I must make, if I choose to respect the self-determination of my children.
You see how many thoughts and feelings come together and that it is not an easy decision that I have to make. In any case, it will give me more experience and growth and I am very curious to see how our family evolves in this new situation. Just good that no decision is set in stone and we can always change.
Here and now it means: I have to jump, to let be. To fee. To observe and let come whatever might come.
How would you have decided in my situation? Comments below. Thank you.