by Sheri McGregor
Don’t let the pain of estrangement ruin your New Year.
On this beautiful morning, no matter where you live or what the weather is like, imagine the world before you as if a soft blanket of snow has gently fallen in the night.
Gone are the muddy footprints and trails to nowhere. Erased are the well-worn ruts to unhelpful thinking, worries, whys? and what ifs?
On this blank slate of the New Year, take a little time to imagine the trails forward you will make. While it’s true that any of us can start fresh anytime, today it’s official.
Are you excited? I am.
Even in estrangement, make this a terrific year.
It’s time to start.
Think of the changes you will make. Maybe it’s to alter how often you reach out, or to let go of expectation or a desired outcome. Perhaps it’s to leave the strife behind entirely, and embrace your own happiness—and if so, what does that mean? Your goals are your own. Make them now and begin to work toward them. Yes, work may be involved. But it doesn’t have to be grueling. Even tiny steps inch you forward.
Take a few minutes to really consider what you’d like to leave behind. Get a pen and paper and jot down your thoughts.
Estrangement: Time and energy wasted
For many parents of estranged adult children, so much time and energy has been consumed by the emotional pain that they’ve missed the good that’s beside or in front of them. Others have striven for a goal that is beyond their control. Don’t let next year dawn with regret. Consider how 2019 will be different.
Turn back to the goals section in Done With The Crying, and consider what improvements you can make. One mother wrote to say that she had read the book but would start the exercises today. Her responses will be her own unique road map to make 2019 about moving forward with purpose.
Just want peace and happiness?
Some who have suffered the raw emotions and hurt of estrangement say all they want is peace and happiness in the coming year. Even this takes a plan. Without preparation, the same old issues, hurtful thinking, and habits will return. Consider:
- What will you do when your mind wanders to the same old pointless questions?
- How will you handle an uninformed question?
Consider whatever it is that robs you of peace and happiness. And then you can make a plan. Without forethought, even the most useful resolutions can go awry. In Done With The Crying, there is an exercise to get you thinking about each area of your life and how you can make it better. Try it. Work on just a few areas at a time. Make a plan to move forward, and also how not to slide back.
I would love to hear about your plans for the New Year, and what you share by leaving a comment will help other parents, too. You’ll also find a few links below, to articles here at the site that can be of use as you move forward.
Even if estrangement has muddied things up for you this past year, imagine that beautiful blanket of snow for the New Year. What helpful trails will you make in it? Where will your tracks lead?
HUGS to all. ~~ Sheri McGregor