Sending Your Child Off to College: How Radical Acceptance Can Help You Understand Your Conflicting Emotions

By Caroline Kurkcuoglu, LMFT
www.sfvcollaborativecounseling.com

horse

This is a very important week for my family, my daughter will be signing to Delaware State University as a Division 1 athlete. I watched her ride horses for 13 years now. Horses have been part of our family as long as we can remember. She started competing at a very young age. She rode different horses all the time since we did not have the money to purchase one for a long time. The time now has come for her to choose to follow her passion. She will be living in Delaware for four years of her life.

I have been putting off getting ready for her signing ceremony, wishing that she changes her mind and stays here with us. I have been having such a difficult time with her leaving.

This week I realized that I was not accepting her leaving. Every time I thought about her leaving I reassured myself that she will be coming back for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Summer breaks. I thought about me going and visiting her. Was I pushing away my feelings of sadness and pain? I thought I knew how to handle my pain correctly.  I thought about all the positives in order to not allow myself to feel anxious. What I was doing in fact was just reassuring myself. I had not accepted the fact that she was leaving, that my life was going to change.

Radical acceptance is accepting what you cannot change, what you cannot control. Radical acceptance is simply embracing the pain the fear and the anxiety this change will bring into my life. Yet having understanding and compassion for it. To be able to say this is going to be something totally different than what we had. Sometimes resisting could delay facing your feelings and allowing you to heal. Resisting could add suffering to pain. Accepting the reality and the fact that you have no control could be so healing.

I practiced radical acceptance this week, just simply focusing on my breath, simple listening to my colleague Kim Scott’s guided meditations and just accepting that my daughter will be leaving our house.

Do you ever find yourself going through this emotional state? You can call me…. we all go through stages in our lives when we experience challenges and at times talking it through with a therapist makes all the difference.

Caroline Kurkcuoglu
818 635-7662

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