Being scared of losing your children or loved ones, is totally reasonable, and I’m not suggesting that it’s possible to totally remove it, especially as a certain degree of fear is what keeps our eyes open for potential dangers for our children. However, there is ‘healthy fear’ and a fear that gets in the way of your relationship, driving them away and running your brain and your life.
The problem with Fear of Loss of anything, is that it gets in the way, and can make you needy, hence pushing what you are desperate to keep, away from you.
There is a scientific law, that you can’t create or destroy anything it just changes form (for example, try it with water, which can become steam or ice, but not disappear totally). And this is the one to bear in mind when fearing the loss of something or someone, because what you are thinking is that there was nothing like it in your life before. But in fact there was. Just in one or more different packages.
You can apply this concept to anything: Loss of Job, Money/Object, Qualifications/knowledge, Loved One, Recognition, Health, Way of Life. I looked at the fear of losing my little boy, after he had an accident and ended up in A&E on our first evening in America. He was OK, but I was freaked! The reason I am talking you through this process, is because I didn’t think that I had a big fear of losing my little one, but even so, the results from working through this process were amazing and brought us even closer together.
I’ll talk you through how I approached it:
Step 1 – Is to list the things, or characteristics of the person/thing that you believe came into your life when this person or thing appeared. List as many as you like and then fine-tune them down to a short-list.
My main one for my little boy was being my ‘Being Guide’, which might sound a bit esoteric, but I meant was that it would feel as though a part of my soul had gone if he wasn’t there, which was the bit that guided me to ‘be’ who I was deep down. Have you seen film of the ‘Golden Compass’? It was the scene when the young heroine Lyra was about to have her Demon (sort of like a soul companion) cut away from her by a machine, that had me in masses of tearful hysterics, that sort of explained how I imagined it would feel.
Step 2 – Is to look at who or what was there beforehand. It might be in a very different area of life, so this takes an open mind and the ability to think out of the box, e.g. Spiritual, Mental/Learning, Work, Financial, Physical, Social, Family/Relationships.
Max obviously primarily affected my family life and work life. But when looking back I found many guides, primarily in Physical (e.g. fitness), Spiritual and Mental.
Step 3 – Is to look at what were the upsides, benefits or advantages to the way it was beforehand?
For me that would have been fitness, weight, being a size 10, learning from my many teachers, earning money.
Step 4 – Is to look at what the downsides, costs or disadvantages where to the way it is now with the person/thing that you are scared of losing.
This isn’t about not appreciating this the child that you love. Just about seeing them more clearly, so that you are less desperate to keep hold of them, after all, everything has an up & downside, it’s just that we can be blinded to the downsides sometimes! By this stage it was getting easier for me and the downsides where things like lack of sleep, difficulty to work and all the worries that came along with the package called ‘Max’.
Finally – keep asking the questions until you feel that you no longer fear losing them, even though you appreciate them still.
For me afterwards, it felt as though a silk veil had been lifted between us and I could suddenly hold him closer than ever before. I would have said that we had a close and good relationship beforehand, but looking back I do remember feeling as though I couldn’t hold him close enough or express my love for him enough. In fact he appeared to pick up on the shift as well and now regularly demands a tummy-to-tummy cuddle, almost as a reflection of the fact that there isn’t anything keeping me from him any more. I’ve even been able to teach him the idea simply, if he is missing someone or something, and he is just 3yrs old!
Now, as a Mum, I don’t expect to totally tackle the fears we have of losing our children, whereas I have done so for other things that I care less about for example, money, or jobs or other people. So I will probably repeat this exercise regularly, whenever I feel any sense of distance between us, or an inability to express how much I love him.