Radically Accepting That Which I Cannot Control

Katie Watts Renell's picture

There is nothing I would rather do than watch my 10 month old go about the business of exploring, playing, learning and expanding her world all day long. I could literally just sit, and watch that little creature do her thing for 8 hour stretches without batting an eye. She is the most curious, excitable, enthusiastic, squishy little thing in the whole world, and I could literally eat her with a spoon.

She is just at an incredible age, and quite frankly, I don’t want her to get any older! SLOW DOWN! FREEZE! I want these moments to last forever, and for her to stay this age until I’M ready for her to get older! I know there are these incredible milestones coming up… her first words, her first steps, a big girl bed, and I am looking forward to seeing all of it, I really am… and yet, it’s very painful to think of my sweet baby girl growing up. I don’t want it to happen. I find myself worrying about things that I can’t control. I can easily go down the rabbit hole of “What If” thoughts, which threaten to paralyze me with fear, and thus rob me of the joy I take in watching her grow, and intrude on the quality time that I spend with her. I have to consciously remind myself,  on a daily basis to practice a sense of gratitude of what I actually have, and let go of that, that I cannot control. This will be my life's work and struggle, and it is most definitely a STRUGGLE.

For me, I find it very helpful to stay mindful of the moments I have with her; the mornings, and evenings, the long weekends, floating with her at the pool, the lazy Saturdays and Sundays, the holidays. Drink it all in, and really lean into the experiences that she’s sharing with me. Of course I will worry, that’s natural and normal. Time is finite. I don’t want to look back and see that I’ve filled my days with worry thoughts and dread, and I have to find my own middle path somewhere between validating myself for the fears I have and not allowing those fears to control my life or ability to experience joyful moments. It’s a choice to Turn the Mind away from the rabbit hole of “What If’s,” and towards the road of RIGHT NOW and the things I can control.