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Monday, July 27, 2009

Monsters in the Closet


My eldest daughter Madelynne has been having bad dreams. Dreams that I died, that the whole family turns in to monsters, dreams of losing me. She's afraid someone or something will take me away from her.

My daughters are 6, 5 and 3 and none of them can imagine life without me. I've gone on business trips and training things, but I've never gone a day without talking to them. They also know that I'll come back. Even so, it's hard for them when I leave. It's hard for me too. I miss them. It's physically painful for me to be away from them for too long, or to imagine losing them. They are a part of my body, my soul, my daily life.

I can understand her fear. She's been through a lot. Lots of moves, her dad coming and going for drinking problems, rehab, deployment and divorce. I've been the stable focus in their lives from the beginning. I've been their world. Madelynne is turning a corner into a new phase of life, where differentiation occurs. After 7, she'll start to relate to the world more independently. In the first stage, especially with my 3 year old, they still feel a physical part of their mother. Their life force is somehow still attached even if the umbilical chord isn't. But they grow up.

Madelynne is feeling this growing up. And I assure her that nothing could take me away from her, or her away from me. That I will do everything in my power to keep her safe and loved and with me until she is old enough to move on. I also assure her of others in her life who love her and would move the earth to give her a home should something unforeseen happen. That she is loved, surrounded by family and totally nurtured. But I also try to make the point that God is everywhere, and she is NEVER alone because she is always in the presence of the Divine.

Prayer, meditation, breathing, spiritual devotions; these are all things we do to connect to the Divine in our own way. And we have practices in our home to help me and my children stay in that Divine connection even when scared, nervous or angry. I certainly have been tested in that these last few weeks. My test was to stay present, to trust that my children would be cared for and safe and all would be well in my struggles. Letting go was not easy. Is not easy. But I passed this test. And once again I was shown that all my needs, and all my children's needs are being met.

The more I practice this, the more they will feel it and feeling it, all will shift. Their fears will shift when my fears are no longer ruling my life. I can feel it happening even now. And when that happens, there will be no (or less) fear of separation, loss and abandonment. There will also be clarity. A new vision that the monsters in life really aren't as scary as we all thought. In fact, rather than fear, we can face them with laughter and joy. With true happiness. Because that is where the REAL power lies. Just watch Monsters, Inc.