Sometimes A Parent's Job Is To Be A Soft Place To Land

baby of mine

After sending my adult son a text just to say hi and let him know I love him, because even though he's older parenthood never ends. What I didn't know was I was about to receive a phone call about a half hour later. Turns out this wasn't going to be an ordinary chat with him. Nope, this was something very different and was going to require much more listening on my end than ever before.

In the process of our two-hour call, I found myself needing to continually stop my internal dialogue as he spoke so I could be fully present to what was being said. He was pouring his heart out to me in a way he never had about himself—past, present and future—about discoveries that are showing up as he goes deeper into his own spiritual awakening.

I understand him in ways most others don't. It's always been that way and yet this time I found myself on new ground with him—not understanding most of what he was expressing and with that came all sorts of emotions. There were many times I found myself getting angry, wanting to give him a different perspective, show him where he was wrong in his thinking. But that would be wrong. It would be wrong of me because that would deny him of everything he clearly needed to share. He needed my heart, not my words.

The more I listened the more I was able to realize how easily any of us on the receiving end of someone exposing their soul in a way that makes us uncomfortable or fearful or angry or any other emotion that may come up, could put up a wall and not let them in. Being uncomfortable is not an easy place to hang out and yet it's the only way to the other side for greater understanding and comfort.

When I hung up the phone my mind was reeling. What in the world just happened? I'm confused and although he may be feeling better I have no idea what to do with all that he shared. For the rest of the evening I felt lost and really uncomfortable. I so wanted to get to the other side of this—and fast!

Sleep that night was non-existent and I can't remember the last time that happened. When I got up the next morning I went for my usual walk doing what I could to relax and just be with my surroundings—clear my mind. Then the tears started to come and I just sat and cried, finally surrendering to what is while quietly asking, “Please tell me, what am I supposed to do with this?”

And then it came—"Linda, you're not supposed to do anything. He just needed to let you in deeper and have a soft place for it to all land. He trusts you and the relationship and for that you can be grateful."

A peace washed over me and I knew everything was going to be fine. I was on the other side even without perfect clarity of all he shared.

He called again the next day. We spoke for another two hours but this time was different. He was lighter, more joyful and I realized this was possible because he freed himself the day before by sharing his full truth with me without feeling judged, without being wronged.

I share this experience with you because sometimes it really is best to hold a space for someone to let it all out, no matter what it's bringing up in you. You'll be able to deal with those emotions in good time, I promise. The closer you are to someone, the more you love and care about someone, the harder this can be, especially if you're feeling a bit attacked. Silence, with an open heart and your full attention is the greatest gift you can give in the moment.

The choice is always there—you either pick up your sword and start swinging so you avoid feeling uncomfortable or you lay your sword down and learn what you can about the other person and yourself so a deeper, stronger relationship is created. I, for one, will be forever grateful that I decided to put my sword down.

Remember, we all need someone that we can land softly on and in order to receive that we need to be willing to be that for someone else.

Linda Salazar, founder of Your Heart Is In Your Hands, is a Relationship Coach, author, speaker and media personality working with smart, proactive, spiritually open women who are ready for remarkable relationships. Contact Linda here.