Friday, May 1, 2015

Life is a gift

My oldest, 17-and-a-half, finally obtained her driver's license yesterday. She wanted no fanfare because of being embarrassed about how long it had taken her. No Facebook posts and, maybe, she would be bothered by this. She passed with only two points off and a lot of beforehand grief on her part.

We had a very sweet and honest conversation on the way to the exam station. I hadn't prodded her much for information on why she delayed, I know she does things in her own time and for her own reasons. She was a 29-hour birth delivery.

And I have really been pondering what that 29 hours must have been like for her after recently confronting my violent birthing process and re-doing it.

In the car on the way to the driving exam, my daughter grew very anxious, her cheeks flushed. "Mom," she confessed, "I hate when this happens. I have performance anxiety, even in band. I make myself crazy."

She was asking me for help. We talked about deep breathing and looking at the benefit she will gain afterward. I insisted that she NOT beat herself up, but I know how the self works in moments like these. When she was little and become anxious, I soothed her with Rescue Remedy, Bach flower homeopathic drops recommended by a friend. They seemed to work. I hadn't even thought – in the busyness of my day – to tote them along this time. I had not realized that she still struggled.

It breaks my heart. And leads me to wonder how much she struggled and became anxious during her birthing process: being forced into labor by drugs when she wasn't ready. Almost 11 days late and with no amniotic fluid, the doc said we couldn't risk waiting any longer. Like me and many of us, she was forced out. Perhaps not with forceps, but with drugs.

"What happens to the mother, happens to the child," my shaman had told me last week. Just how did this baby experience the drugs. Did they make her anxious?

That state, she confided, is why she had waited so long to take her test. I had no idea and guessed it was more her perfectionist tendencies. "No. Mom. I let those go. I was avoiding getting worked up."

I centered and remained calm, working with her to breathe and reminding her how we automatically go into shallow breathing when we feel stressed. That the long, deep breath is cleansing and a signal to the brain and body to relax.

She settled some, but the delay in her appointment, I knew, stirred the anxiousness. And then, it was her turn. I laid my hand on her knee as the tester emerged from the previous nervous teen and tried to send her calming energy. And then she was gone. Off on her own, doing big, grown-up things over which I had no control. For a split second, I could have fallen apart and into her anxiety, but I chose to ask Spirit in and hold her as close as possible. "Just be with her and let her feel you."

We had talked about prayer in times of distress and she revealed that she had pursued that path. I was grateful. And I knew, right now, God was with her – no matter what. Then I could let go.

Apparently she did, too, and came in with a grin. "It was so much easier than I thought;" almost the same words she used after her temporary-driving permit book test.

As Jesus said "...with God all things are possible."

• When have I witnessed or experienced the grip of anxiety?
• How do I deal with stress?
• How do I help others deal with stress?
• How do things change when I invite God in?
• How have I learned that with God all things are possible?

over ripe
by medical

she wasn't
quite ready
to enter
this world

I wasn't

yet have
I am meant
to be here, 


as she
my daughter

in the
here and

life is
a gift

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1 comment:

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