All great changes are preceded by chaos. ~Deepak Chopra
I knew 2012 was my year to learn the meaning of the words Let Go. I knew the moment I truly heard and embraced these words my life would change. I had a new focus. I wanted to be present in each and every moment so that my life, the life I’m supposed to be living, could find me – or I could find it – or if I got lucky it would show up waving a flag. If I chose to not be present, I will miss life.
I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now. ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
These life lessons on the importance of letting go keep finding me. They’ve been joyous moments. They have been a few seconds in a busy day that make my heart feel light – a squeal from Chet when I show up to pick him up, a request for a piggyback ride from Cole to carry him to bed that turned into a wonderful life conversation, sincere hugs from my husband (that I need to get better at accepting) when he knows I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. They have all been joyous moments up until this weekend.
This weekend’s life lesson makes my heart hurt. Out of respect for my eight year old, I’m not comfortable sharing the details, but I can say that Cole made a very bad decision. As I’m trying to navigate through this very unfamiliar territory, I’m realizing how easy it is to let go when life is good. It is easy to stay present when the moments put a smile on your face. It is not easy to stay present when the moment makes your heart sad.
Instead it’s easy to look back to search for answers. It’s easy to look forward to a time when you hope it will all be gone. It is hard to stay present in a moment when you want to hide.
‘Why do we have to listen to our hearts?’ the boy asked.
‘Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.’ ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Although this path is not how I intended to get to our destination, it is taking us there. It’s put us on fast forward. Our hands free lifestyle has become an extreme transition instead of a gradual change. Cole is no longer permitted to use anything that connects to the internet (until I feel he is mature enough to understand its magnitude). He is also grounded from all video games and television for a month. Cole is going hands free cold turkey.
It has been less than 48-hours since our peaceful home environment started to unravel. It’s been less than 48 hours since Cole has touched a video game or watched television. While I have heard I’m bored a few dozen times (an hour), the changes are already evident. Void of computers and technology, I’m finding peace within our house. Cole’s bad decision forced me to take a strong stance as a parent, and the outcome is making me smile. I know we have a long road ahead of us, but I’m glad we are on this path.
Instead of hiding behind a computer screen last night, I saw my son’s face. We played “hippie frisbee” for over an hour. He laughed at my inability to throw the frisbee at a target. He tried to be my teacher. I made it to 2nd grade each time before he demoted me back to Kindergarten. As a family we watched the Olympics. (yes. I’m allowing him to watch TV with us as a family.) We cheered on the USA. We laughed at men in speedos. He demonstrated his own diving moves off the couch. At bedtime, during gratitude, he provide Christian and I with one of the best belly laughs of the year.
This is the life I don’t want to miss. Even if I choose to give up technology, my journey has no purpose if those I share my life with don’t join me along the way.
Cole’s decision was wrong and can never be repeated again. It has created a lot of unnecessary stress in our household. Out of that chaos we are finding simplicity and true genuine happiness. Together. As a family. For that, I am very thankful.
We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Perfect Timing – I finished reading The Alchemist on the day I also discovered Cole’s bad decision. I’d highly recommend you add the book to your summer reading list if you haven’t read it before, or even if you have already read it – read it again. It’s that good!