Q: Dear Todd,I gave birth to my daughter a year ago and she has taught me a lot of things about being present and appreciating every moment we have. However, no matter how mindful I’m trying to be, I struggle to keep anxiety away when it comes to her well-being or happiness. Would you have any advice for me on this?
Todd Answers: Our love can easily turn into anxiety, attachment, and fear. Instead of feeling pure love, these other elements often arise.
First off, your daughter is so lucky to have you. Any parent who loves so deeply and worries so greatly gets a gold star A+.
You are absolutely right. Simply saying “accept this or that” will not help in this case, because we wouldn’t accept anything bad. We are their protectors and it is programmed into our DNA.
What I will say is, what would your daughter, when she is all grown up, have to say? Would she want you riddled with anxiety and fear? Or, would she want you to love without anxiety, to protect without fear, to care without doubts? And, what do you think will better help her become the person you wish her to be, an overprotective anxious mother or a calm peaceful presence of love?
Your worries are better served if instead, they can become stressless caution. Caution is safety without anxiety. Caution is preparing for the worst with optimism for the best. Caution is wisdom. Worries are needless anxiety that only ends up making the desired outcome more difficult to reach.
You can transform this worry into stress-free love and caution. Try as we might, everyone becomes hurt, sad, and ill at some point in their lives. But, creating a space of love, peacefulness, and not panicking, will teach her better than words how to face whatever obstacles she faces with peace, calm, and clarity. You simply have to trust in this magical miraculous universe and in its wisdom and design. What comes will come.
We can’t do anything about what is outside of our control. But we can control our inner world. And your miracle of a daughter can be a daily reminder of the peacefulness of her completely present mind totally free from anxiety. Whenever you notice anxious or fearful thoughts, simply notice them, notice the stress in your body, release any tension and exhale all of it out. Take a few conscious breaths, observe your daughter’s breath and let it calm you, and together, you can both grow in peace and wisdom.
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