A lot of people — parents and children — are experiencing anxiety around this school year. Things are all over the place; some schools are about to start, some have started, and others have pushed back the date. Many parents are oozing their anxiety, trying desperately to control it. They can’t stand not knowing what the plan is; it is so uncomfortable.
What if we stopped trying to control a moving target, and simply surrendered into what is? What if the lesson of the virus is that every day, something new is happening? Why is it so important to us as humans to know the future, to control the plan? What if we let go of the plan and simply accept that we can’t always know what comes next?
These are questions I ask myself when I get my pot stirred, talking to someone who can’t stop focusing on the schools and protocols. Don’t get me wrong: I feel for the kids, parents and the schools navigating the situation. It’s undoubtedly stressful, but I am not talking about stress as related to jobs and schedules; I am talking about anxiety.
As parents, we need to model for our children the ability to let go and be flexible. Our willingness to surrender to the not knowing makes them more comfortable and, truthfully, builds resilience. It seems like we have built cocoons. We have created these safe, controlled worlds for our children, so the uncertainty of simply not knowing a plan unravels both us and our kids.
What if we chose to not allow the anxiety to control us? If we chose to stop telling the story in our head? Can anyone tell me when their anxiety has actually helped them?