Fight-or-flight response…I’m sure you are all familiar with this terminology. It’s an instinct that we all have. Part of our human nature that we needed for survival many thousands of years ago. It is a great thing to have. But have you ever noticed that we seem to fight way more than we flight? Think about your life…are you a fighter or a flighter?
I know I definitely have fought my way through this parenting gig over flying through it. We all think as a mother or parent that we know what is best for our child…but do we really? I admit that I’ve been wrong many times. I realize my instincts are more based on my selfish, controlling nature than actually what may be the best for my child. What might help my child soar through this Universe. But I am slowing releasing this control and encouraging my children to take flight and stop this internal fight we all feel the need to participate in.
I remember a few years ago, my son was the only grade nine student on the high school varsity basketball team. I really struggled with this for many reasons. First of all, he was very slight in stature and still only a baby in my eyes! These grade 12 boys were morphing into real, live men! Huge…muscular…HAIRY…men! On the court, they made my son look like he should be in grade six, not grade nine.
The biggest reason for my apprehension was the team travel situations. My 14 year old innocent child was going on weekend trips with 18 year olds. Try swallowing that one! Two opposite ends of the spectrum teenage spectrum. What an 18 year old is exposed to was nothing that I wanted my 14 year old to witness. I wanted to shelter my son from these more mature boys that I thought would most likely corrupt his precious, naive mind.
Two years have passed and now I have seen my son’s life unfold through divine providence. Everything that happened was all happening for his benefit. Not only did having him on the varsity team at a younger age give him the opportunity to work with the best basketball coach in the province, but it also enabled him to better himself as an athlete. This amazing opportunity of being on this team also gave him the experience of winning the AAA Provincial banner for his school, and now his name is forever on the wall of his local school.
This opportunity also formed his solid friend circle. Two of his teammates, who are now in second year university, remain two of his nearest and dearest friends. These two boys, that as a mother I had a fight response towards, turned out to be two of the greatest young men that my son’s life was ever blessed with. They continue to support him, work out with him, and make an effort when they come home from university to connect with him. They broke the mold with these two fine young gentleman, and I was the controlling one who wanted to fight this situation, instead of let my son take flight and become all that the universe was trying to create him to be.
Now that I look back, if I had of intervened and not let my son play on this team, his life might be totally different. Sometimes, even as parents, we have to just sit back and let the Universe take control of the situation, even if it is giving you gray hair with worry. In all reality, the Universe has a master plan. We can fight it, or we can fly with it. Maybe that is a different fight or flight response that we should be working on…fight the Universe, or fly with the Universe…it is all up to us.
How many things come into our worlds that we “label” as good and bad…but are they really? Or is it just our own insecurities and our horrible urge to control or fight against our lives as they unfold for us? Not too many of us enjoy the unknown. Not too many of us love taking risks, especially if we’ve predetermined things as “bad” before we’ve even given it a try. We have to stop judging life “good” or “bad” and just learn to roll with the punches. We have to stop fighting the things that come into our lives, and let the Universe fly them in the direction they were supposed to soar.
As Lao Tzu says in the 38th chapter of the Tao Te Ching, “A truly good man does nothing, Yet nothing is left undone. A foolish man is always doing, Yet much remains to be done” Let the universe fight your battles and you just sit back and enjoy the flight!