Every decision you make is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. - Neale Donald Walsch
This type of quote used to confuse me. Intellectually, I agreed.
But the "who you are" part? For me, that's where things got fuzzy.
We're so accustomed to thinking about what to do.
And even considering what to do, I was lost. Estrangement threw me. I was convinced there must be a right or wrong path through it. That someone out there must have answers.
Eventually I realized that my path is up to me, and I have to own it. I wrote about that journey here.
So the question became who do I want to be as an estranged mom. And I did not have an answer.
I had to learn the skill of thinking purposefully to decide who I want to be.
If you're like me, and struggling to get your footing as an estranged parent, consider these questions:
What actions align with your goal? Not a goal for the situation, a goal for you. If you want peace, what thoughts bring you peace? Figure it out, act from there. For some that's moving on. Thoughts of being free of estrangement drama create peace. For others attempting contact brings peace. Identify your desired emotion. Think accordingly. Act on it.
If any decision could be the "right" choice, which would you do? So many of us "don't know what to do." We escalate confusion by thinking we can fix things, by listening to others, by doubting ourselves. The antidote is to think and choose on purpose. Make decisions solely because you like the thoughts behind your choices. Believe it's the right decision for the person you want to be today.
Wha do you need to take care of you? No one can help you feel better through this. Not even your child. Your thinking, feelings, and actions are your responsibility. Rise to it. Be honest with yourself, consider yourself when making decisions. Is it painful to reach out? Or is it more painful not to?
What would a future version of yourself tell you? Maybe in the future you want to be someone at peace. Someone who is reconciled. Or not. Someone living an incredible life either way. If you knew that everything turned out in the end, what insights, wisdom, and guidance would you share? How would you think differently today, if you knew your future would be amazing?
What are your values? Everyone has beliefs that help them make all kinds of decisions in life. We've already made too many to count. While estrangement seems so out-of-the-ordinary, it's really just another experience. So if one of your core values is family, how do you apply that to estrangement?
Do you want to keep your beliefs? Piggy-backing off values, it's also true that life changes us. When old beliefs cause suffering, question them. If valuing family means that families stick together no matter what, it could cause anger and pain. If you want to feel differently, think differently. Is that belief always true? What do you make it mean that your family is disjointed right now? Can you be estranged and still value family? Thought patterns don't have to be accepted, we can change them if we choose.
Asking questions stimulates the brain to look for answers.
When estranged we have so many questions, but many of them are reactive and not helpful. When you ask and think on purpose, then knowing how to make decisions with integrity is clear.
The truth is, the only control we have in estrangement is the person we become through it. If you need some help sorting it all out (because it can be easier said than done!) I offer a free 30 minute mini-session to get started. Click here for more information!
Live forward with clarity, human mommas.