Some thoughts and Rohr wisdom about letting go

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I've posted some threads by Richard Rohr before...with some hesitation because he is a Franciscan priest and so espouses the Christian point of view, but there are some "larger than life" lessons in what he offers. Here is one of those (edited):

    "...Most of what we call "thinking" is narcissistic reaction to the moment. Moment by moment, you're judging things and labeling them, whether they attract or repel you. That really isn't thinking, but self-centered reactions and the stating of your preferences to yourself. It takes work to return to the placeholder space within you that is quiet, that doesn't get caught up in all your commentaries and emotional evaluations, up and down, in and out, with or against. Some kind of contemplative practice will allow you to watch yourself doing all of this and notice how futile it all is. In contemplation, your inner witness is still...and lets everything else float by. It observes and learns from your thoughts and sensations, but it doesn't attach to any of them. It lets go and lets go and lets go. This takes years of practice, until letting go becomes an art form. You learn not to be so opinionated, not to be emotionally dragged up and down, but to stay in this quiet place that watches everything come and go with calm equanimity.

    When you learn how to stay here, you'll recognize you are not your thinking and you are not your feelings.

    What you were thinking even an hour ago, you're not thinking anymore. Therefore it is not you.

    Your thinking is essentially unstable. Yet most people think they are their thinking!

    Such a life is inherently insecure. Many people in contemporary secular society have little solid ground on which to stand, to create a mature and happy life."

    I think this big idea has so much to do with us. I remember when Difficult Child was at his worst, and I was at my worst, and completely and totally in despair and miserable. How was I going to live with the fact that my precious, precious son was completely lost? And that it looked like despite EVERYTHING I had tried, he was going to continue to BE LOST. How to live with this?

    I slowly grew to understand that I was going to have to change. I could not live in this completely out of control mindset that I had much of the time. I was filled with fear, despair, sadness, grief, disappointment...on and on. You know. You have felt/do feel the same way about your precious child. It is nearly intolerable, to function and still feel this way.

    I had to change. I had no choice (rock bottom). I was completely sick and tired of myself and my thoughts and my feelings. Rock bottom.

    That is when I started listening and working hard to change. Over time, I began to grasp this concept Rohr describes here. That I am not my feelings. I don't have to act on my feelings. One of the biggest turnarounds in my life---hearing this, really hearing it, and then working to learn how to do it. Feelings R me. Or Feelings WERE me. Separating myself---and my actions---from my feelings meant this: I had to sit with those feelings and feel them and let them flow through me...and not. do. anything. Was the hardest thing I had ever done, and at first I thought the intensity and force of those feelings was going to literally kill me. But they didn't.

    And better yet, I saw that I "recovered" and was able to better function for a while...little by little I started to change...first by not pushing away my very real feelings...a kind of reverse action---letting them in....feeling them...not doing anything. That took some more boundaries with Difficult Child because as I was doing this work on me, I couldn't allow the drama of his life to take me over again...some of these times were when he was in it made a natural boundary...others I set. I developed a bitter distaste for the drama of his ongoing, neverending story. I would get physically sickened by the bs and the emergency of his life. I began to see that basically nothing was truly an emergency when it came to him.

    I really didn't have to do...anything. That helped a lot, understanding that.

    Please know that I am still very much a work in progress. Sometimes, right in the middle of a reaction, I step outside myself and see what I am doing. I recognize it as I am doing it. Sometimes I don't until later. Sometimes, I'm sure, I never recognize it. Old habits die very very hard.

    But I have made a lot of progress here. This is a place of peace, getting to this point. It is so worth the work.

    Food for thought.
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  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is great COM. I am working on this myself. Excellent.
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Com.
  4. Very helpful, thank you for sharing!
  5. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    I subscribed to Richard Rohr's newsletter and find great comfort in them after you shared them here before ( or someone, I can't remember). He reminds me of Eckhart Tolle but more in Christian realm. I'm not offended by any of it - I take it all in and use it to deal with my reaction to life. Thanks for sharing - this one is especially true.
  6. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member



    This is correct. They say that the proper way to handle anxious, intrusive thoughts...worries, is too first FEEL them. If you push them away, aside or out of your mind, they become much larger. I think this is CBT.

    I like this picture.

    Thank you for this.
  7. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    I just started listening to Robert Rohr. Trying to incorporate his thoughts on letting go and a contemplative life. Especially when so much around me is chaos due to my son's inability to manage his emotions. Yesterday he was feeling good, had gone to his dance classes (of which he only goes if he is feeling ok). Until the Dallas shootings. Then all hell broke loose. He ranted and raved about what was going on and people's responses to it on Facebook. How he was finally having a good day, but now how could his day be ok and how could he ever be happy because he has never been happy and never will be. So on a so forth.....! He was crying and ranting even with his girlfriend there. One positive, he made the call to see a therapist. They do dbt and cbt. I pray he sticks with it. His emotions are on the extreme end of the continuum and his way of dealing with uncomfortable feelings is avoidance. Dropped jobs, classes activities etc. His world has been reduced to his girlfriend, and a couple of acquaintance friends. Thinking of starting the disability process but unsure what his diagnoses is until he sees these therapists. Borderline (BPD), bipolar, anxiety disorders, ADHD, all of the about in varing amounts.?In the meantime trying to do me which is painfully difficult when there is this black cloud over my head worrying about my son and his future.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Maisy, hang in there. Does your son live with you? I hope you can get some distance from him and his behavior. It's so hard when they suck up all of the energy and focus in the room.

    Please keep posting here. If you start your own thread and provide some more context and background, you will get lots of ideas, support and encouragement.

    We understand. Warm hugs today.
  9. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Thanks for the reply! My son has an apartment but comes and stays a few days occasionally. Not sure I like that idea but have a hard time saying no.
  10. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

  11. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

    Thank you for this information. I have been at this point myself over my son. I am grieving from the hurt and betrayal and (as I see it) a lack of respect. However, I am learning "to go with my feelings", sit in my office at work with the door closed & weep, then pray to God, and keep going on with my day. I love my son dearly. He will be 33 on March 16th, but I will be damned if he is going to steal my joy! I am coming to a lot of this revelation as I am writing this, so thank you. It is time for us to take care of us & live in the "here & now" with THE GREAT I AM!