I just read a great Brian Post entry this morning. Brian is a social worker who has a website that promotes love based parenting. He basically said, don't look for peace later... find it NOW by accepting your children as who they are and loving them as they are. This will bring peace. When we have expectations for the way things "should be" as opposed to an acceptance of the way they are, we live in a state of stress. (I personally think this is the secret of being content in every situation). He said, find hope in knowing that love always has the potential to heal. I like that, it simplifies things for me. My job is not to "fix" my children, but to accept and love them where they are and let love nurture and heal them into all they were created to be.
When I was a kid I was terrified of roller coasters. Despite my fear, I made myself get on this really scary one that had 2 or 3 loops. I remember holding onto the bar so tight that my knuckles turned white. My whole body was so tense that it ached and I felt nauseous. Then it dawned on me that no matter how tightly I gripped the bar, I couldn't save myself if the darn thing flew off the track. I decided to get off, but it was too late, it had already started to roll. I had a choice to make, I could either waste a lot of energy on trying to control a situation that was out of my hands or I could just surrender and accept my fate. I chose to relax and let go... Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be. I leaned back and closed my eyes and let go. To my surprise, I had the ride of my life. It was awesome! I learned a valuable lesson that day.
I've often gone back to that moment again and again when I realize I'm white knuckling it through life. Trying to control the outcome of things is an exhausting and painful way to live. It sucks all the joy out of life. I've found that accepting where I am, letting go, and trusting that I'm in greater hands than my own is the path to peace.