Pick a Lane

Imagine that you are driving down the highway. The car you are following begins to weave in and out of traffic, changing lanes every few seconds. You tense up and brace for whatever might happen as the driver slows down and then speeds up, driving erratically and impulsively.

The feelings that we experience driving behind someone like this is similar to how a child feels when their parent consistently changes their mind, their decisions, their reactions to the same situation and their parenting approaches. This instability creates a strong feeling of insecurity, uneasiness and anxiety. In some cases, it creates intense anger.

Inconsistency in parenting leaves children without a solid foundation to support them. They never know which way an event will be experienced or reacted to. This is actually one of the most difficult situations we can place a child in, almost worse than a consistently poor approach to parenting. The consistently poor approach at least provides a certain level of constancy. 

We need to pick a lane and stay in it. We might encounter bumps in the road as well as twists and turns. This does not mean we have to adhere to parenting methods that we explore thoroughly and find flaws in. After consulting with others we respect and doing our due diligence, if we find that an approach does not work, we can change our mind. We have every right to say, "We tried this approach and after giving it some thought, we are doing things another way." We can also apologize when we make mistakes and missteps. However, erratically changing the way we parent on a regular basis, without solid thought and planning, creates an intense feeling of anxiety in our child caused by the person they need to be able to count on the most.

The Inevitability of Change

Life can seem so tenuous; at any minute the bottom can fall out as we experience some type of adversity. There are not many of us that have not experienced this; we are traveling along, living our lives, when wham - we are hit by an event that we do not desire. This may be the loss of a job, death of a loved one, a major illness or financial disaster. All we know is, the life we took for granted and often complained about, now looks pretty good. 

It is no wonder so many of us have pervasive feelings of anxiety and stress peppered with moments of relief and happiness.  Our problem may lie in the resistance of what life is guaranteed to bring all of us: change. We only want the change of our choosing yet, that is not our choice to make. Our bodies are vulnerable, our earth experiences regular catastrophes, our relationships change through choice or loss.  Life humbles us and lets us know that ultimately, we are not in charge; not in the way we prefer anyway. 

Our souls love the wealth of experiences that prompt our growth. Yet, it is our ego's resistance to the inevitability of change that creates our unhappiness and it lies in the rigidity with which we frame our lives. If we seized the opportunity to take what we can from what we are dealt, to make the proverbial "lemonade from lemons."we would find some type of relief. The time when life hands us that gut-wrenching experience, when these words seem insulting and nonsensical, is when we need to search it out the most. It is this time when we need to reach for trust in a plan greater than ours. Trust can be the foundation upon which we lay our fears and our anger and our confusion. 

We have lost our connection with the Truth of who we really are. If we moved toward aligning ourselves with our True Self, not the one made of skins and bones or the one defined by our relationship status or bank account or career title, we would understand that within this connection, we find a sense of peace, joy and clarity not built upon things that can be taken away. To find this connection, we have to unplug from the distractions of our ego and the busyness our world often demands from us.

Here, within this quiet connection, we finally realize that the tangible things we have placed our trust in are bound to disappoint us. However, we can change our perspective and push our fears aside by placing our Trust in what the Universe has planned for us which is not necessarily easier,  however it is often grander, than we could ever dare to imagine.