Well, as you know, last month my daughter's former home burned to the ground with everything she owned in it including her car. She literally left with the clothes on her back. I went through my own experience with it, feeling intuitively that I needed to keep my commitment with myself to NOT step in and help. But, man, it wasn't easy. I spent a few days, on and off, going thru that awful stuff of "what kind of a mother would allow her daughter to go thru this mess without any help?" Then I felt judged by a friend who is from a culture which doesn't believe in detachment from one's kids under any circumstances.....it sent me in a spin for awhile. All of it was my own internal battle about where that line of demarcation is.....that boundary which is clear and firm which lets us know when to help, when to stop......it seems to move around a lot! But I did find another level of accepting what I cannot control. I kept refraining, just stepping back, keeping in touch with her but not stepping in. It wasn't easy.......but here's what happened as I kept myself away. *She contacted her Dad and they are now fostering a relationship which they never had before. They are talking about her visiting him and helping him when he has upcoming surgery. *She is talking to a friend about traveling to Costa Rica. She wants to travel, something she has never spoken about before. *She found a really nice place to stay for awhile with some regular, healthy, typical folks.....in fact a family. Through this family, she has found odd jobs to make money. *She is figuring out ways to get a car. She's met people who are helping her in various ways to do that. *She is beginning to accept the loss and in fact, even though I doubt she would admit to this, she appears relieved. *She called and made arrangements to pay her restitution to the state......something she usually ignores until there are severe consequences. When I asked her if she intends to pay it, she said, "of course." * Her demeanor is quite different, her responses are more in line with typical responses. She is calm, sturdy, resilient.....she feels to me as if she has begun some new experience of life....I can't put it into words quite yet....but the difference in her is obvious. I think she is feeling her own power now. I agreed to take her to our acupuncture and chiropractic appointments once a week. That was what felt appropriate for me to do. And, she is so grateful too. When I stepped out, others stepped in to help. She has and is going through grief about the losses, which to me feels very important for her. I always felt that she did not grieve the loss of her husband all those years ago, that she may have gotten stuck somehow in the anger phase of grief. I'm a huge believer in feeling our grief and sorrow....at least for me, feeling the grief in life has opened the door for liberation, freedom and joy.....I believe grief can keep us stuck.....expressing it feels healthier and so freeing. These go rounds with detachment and acceptance feel like life lessons to me. I was confronted with a situation which had a lot of drama (the fire) and the invitation from within me to get in there and help was at times, very, very enticing. But, the deeper part of me knew that it wasn't appropriate to step in and help.....and I knew I had to hold that line.....shaky as that line was. Very often, in the past, I stepped in to lower the intensity and fear I was feeling.......of course to help her as well.....but it would serve to bring the energy down for me so I could be ok. Exactly like an addict needing a fix, I needed to enable. Many say codependency is an addiction and I would tend to agree......recovery is a real bear, but it is doable. From this vantage point I can see that this detachment/acceptance stuff is incremental, it is a process of letting go......I've been at this for years and this last go around with the fire felt very important....it really feels as if she is now in her own orbit and I am in my own......we are separate. When I was busy being codependent, the lines between she and I were so blurred, I couldn't differentiate between where I ended and where she began......we were enmeshed. It was as if I surgically disconnected us over time.....the scalpel being my love of self and my love for her.....which didn't really feel that way at the time, but feels that way now. So many times I stepped in to save her and I did damage to both of us. Stepping out and pushing her into making her own choices and figuring it out on her own gave her strength, resolve and power.......the power to change her own life without my interference. I believe I was continuing to send her messages that I believed she couldn't do it without me every time I stepped in and enabled....and when I told her I trusted she would figure it out without me, it felt really weird, but.......she did it. So, in a month we are leaving for Kauai for a month, to rest and check out possible housing and if it is an option to actually move there. I found that after so many years of enabling, and the PTSD that comes along with having a difficult adult child......I need a LONG REST! It's been amazing to have time and space to rest and rejuvenate after such a long haul....and this trip will be heaven....in the place we love the most on the whole planet.......what a gift. As I reflect on all of this, it becomes clear to me that, for me, life is about acceptance. Not only with our kids but in every part of our lives. If we can accept what is and not argue with reality and live in this present moment, not the past and not the future..... what we gain is peace of mind and a deep sense of calm and lightheartedness.......it ain't easy, but I'm learning that the results can be profoundly life altering and absolutely life affirming.