Mindful with Irene (5)

‘I realize it’s time to take the next step. Time to let go. But that’s so scary!’ Irene (46), together with Astrid, is the founder of Flow Magazine. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in daily life.

Increasingly, my conversations with friends, New Love and colleagues are about letting go. And their message comes in loud and clear: I should loosen the apron strings when it comes to my children. And I know they are right. So why don’t I? Is it because of my own upbringing (I was given a lot of freedom, and I want to do things completely differently)? Or does it come from my belief that I need to compensate the divorce with a great deal of love and security, otherwise they won’t become balanced adults?

New Love’s recent explanation probably hit the (sore) spot the most: “Maybe you don’t dare to let go because you’re afraid of being alone?” I had to bite my tongue, because somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I knew that this was the core of the issue. When ex left, I missed the sense of safety and togetherness of our relationship enormously. And maybe I am secretly looking for my children to fill that gap.

I realize it’s time to take the next step. Time to let go. But that’s so scary! I know that the sense of security I want to give my children is now securely anchored within them. I also know that it’s time to take one other step. To open up and allow myself to feel that sense of togetherness and safety with New Love.

But why do I still find it all so scary? In the book, Calming Your Anxious Mind by Jeffrey Brantley, I read that psychological anxiety and panic reveal a great deal about you and the way you live your life. It asks us what we can learn from this and encourages us to be curious.

My good intention: to observe my fears with a curious mind, and to slowly but surely let things go. To let my children discover the world themselves more. And to be more open myself to new security. The children are ready. Am I?

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Illustration: Marloes de Vries