Papa Glow: Loving Without Attachment
Remember that first moment your child was placed into your arms after birth? Of course you do! Every parent understands that instantaneous bond when you feel a love so powerful it literally takes your breath away.
Mamas begin to feel this connection in the womb. A fierce sense of love, protection, and commitment are established almost as soon as a woman is told she’s pregnant. But admittedly, for us Papas, it’s when we first lay eyes and hold the miracle of life we’ve just created together with our partner. In that moment, the love is so pure.
As our children grow, it’s important to remember the innocence of this love. As their personalities ego develop, it can be difficult for parents to acknowledge the difference between their own wants and desires versus those of their children. It’s okay to want things for your child. But, when desire turns into attachment, both children and parents suffer.
What if your desire for them is “better” than what you think they desire for themselves? That, Mamas, is attachment. Who are we to say that what we desire is better for them? There is a universal plan in play that requires our trust and faith, even when we think otherwise.
The next time your daughter wants to wear her Cinderella pajamas to school as a dress, let her. When your son wants to play basketball but you want him to play baseball, let him. When your daughter wants to play soccer instead of ballet, or wants to cut her hair after it took years to grow it long, let her. When your son wants to go to a different college than the one you desire, let him.
Your job is to love them for who they are. Explore why your desire is more important than their own.
A Mindfulness Exercise for Loving Without Attachment:
Go and sit quietly. Close your eyes and begin to pay attention to your breath. Lengthen your exhale and calm the body and mind. As you become present, witness your thoughts and trace them back to their origin.
- When you were a child, were you not allowed to wear the clothes you wanted to school?
- Were you only permitted to play the sport your parents played when they were kids?
- Did you feel love in these moments?
We often repeat the same patterns subconsciously because our inner child is unhealed from these experiences.
As a father of two daughters, I’ve had the opportunity for this lesson more times than I can count. Becoming mindful of when love is absent and attachment is in play is a gift for our own healing and growth.
Edward Harrold is an inspirational leader, coach, and educator. Ed’s mastery in the science of breath has guided him to apply mindful, conscious breathing practices in fitness, weight loss, stress reduction, and overall health and well-being. Together with his wife Wendy, Ed founded the Center for Whole Self Health in 2006.
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