Dear Amy: You often say that we need to practice compassionate separation, especially with our adult children. I need advice on how to do that shift.
There’s a saying that being a parent is like wandering the world without you, and it’s true.
As a mother who is “as happy as my most unhappy child”, I struggle with this all the time.
I’ve really improved in not offering unsolicited advice or comments, but I’m always concerned about the choices they make, and I feel their pain perhaps even more acutely than they do (and often thereafter).
This is compounded by the fact that one of my adult children has serious mental health issues.
Worry often wakes me up in the middle of the night.
Are there any techniques or books you recommend that help develop more compassionate indifference?
– worried mother
For those concerned: You probably remember the old Dunkin’ Donuts ad. “It’s time to make donuts!”
Your adult children are having a negative experience and your mom’s brain is saying: Ding! It’s time to make donuts! ” And then either take action or go into worry mode (or both).
Developing love and compassionate indifference is a process that involves a certain amount of realistic self-esteem. Some people are temperamentally more prone to worry than others. And whenever your child suffers from serious health problems, this causes a wave of worry.
It helps to ask yourself realistically what your worries are for.
Is your fretting helping your children, relieving their pain, or relieving their wounds?
Does it make you (or them) stronger or more resilient? Does it make you a better person and parent, or better able to serve your own highest purpose?
No, worry distracts you and robs you of your strength.
Worrying expresses a parent’s strong desire to control the outcome, even though they know they can’t.
If you really understand and accept your helplessness. If you allow other adults to make choices, even if they are bad choices, the most powerful thing you can do is overcome their challenges.
I often imagine this powerful witnessing process as walking hand in hand together. Not read or read.
Letting go of the need to worry is also liberating for the person you care about.
And once you truly understand that you don’t have to make donuts, you can experience the most tender relationships in a new way.
Persuasive teachers who have helped us deal with these emotions and impulses are Pema Chodron, Brené Brown, and Glennon Doyle. All have multiple book and video teachings available.
Dear Amy: A few years ago a longtime friend haunted us.
There was no argument that provoked that event.
When I asked what was wrong, she and her husband were told “they are Fadi Dadi so they decided to travel alone”.
We’ve been vacationing together for years, but the way we arrange things hasn’t changed.
After this, they cut us off completely and haven’t heard from them since.
A recent photo on social media showed the spouse looking very frail, as if he was undergoing chemotherapy.
I don’t know for sure, so I don’t know if I should reach out or leave things as they are.
What do you think?
– ghost friend
Dear Friends: If you are connected with this couple on social media, you have channels of communication.
Yes, I think you should reach out. You don’t have to mention this spouse’s frail appearance, but you can message him: I hope both of you are safe. If you need to contact us, please contact us. “
Dear Amy: Regarding your letter from “Daughter of a Proud Veteran,” the National Cemetery Service (part of the Veterans Administration) wishes that veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors be buried with military honors. We have a new process to help you plan your
Here is the website: https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/pre-need-eligibility/
– Ted Wong, Veterans Experience Office, CX Communications Sustainment Chapter Head
Dear Ted: Thank you! Just to clarify – this site will help families determine eligibility.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at: firstname.lastname@example.org Or write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or her Facebook. )
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