My son has become obsessed with robots. If he’s not building one, in his own way, he’s at least imaging when he’s going to create the next one.
“Daddy, when can we take the car apart and rebuild it as R2D2?”
Gryphon would like to make a robot out of basically anything he can find. Due to one relevant detail, though, we have yet to build a “real” robot.
In short, Daddy is not an engineer.
Nevertheless, all year, I’ve heard, “When can we build a REAL robot?”
Tactfully maneuvering this question has only worked to a degree; eventually, I start to worry,,,
… Cue the anxiety. Cue the tension …
Are you familiar with those feelings? I’ve been led to believe they can be pretty prevalent this time of year. Is that true for you? It certainly can be for me.
If I’ve learned anything from Gryphon’s growing passion, though, it is that I need to own my relationship with these feelings. As far as Gryphon is concerned, we can build R2D2 out of pipe cleaners (which we have, by the way; we’ve also drawn “it”, at least 50 times), or we can just do something else. It does not matter. All that matters to him is that we feel connected, and from what I can tell, the only way to pull off such a monumentally simple task is, well, to BE TOGETHER.
If I give in to the tension, if I allow myself to freak out, the moment will be lost. We will not be experiencing each other, not fully, at least. We certainly shall not feel connected in the ways we desire.
Doesn’t this relate to every moment, though, especially RIGHT NOW? In other words, is not the point of the season, as we call it, to be together?
I think you know that it is, AND, it is sincerely difficult to remember this reality. It takes great effort to even believe this simple detail. Perhaps we’ve been forgetting it for quite some time.
We can remember, though, and we may have to integrate new habits in order to do so. We may have to train ourselves to BE with each other.
Suppose you are feeling immersed, in the coming days, in the drama of finishing those tasks, of arriving to that party on time, of finding the perfect gift. In the midst of it all, try something new. Try it right away, wherever you are.
SIMPLY STOP. Stand still. Go be alone if you need to be, for a moment. Sit down if you like. You can even lie.
Yes, you can even lie down.
Do you feel that tension? Do you feel how much you are contracting your muscles? Do you feel yourself clenching your jaw? Are you holding your hips?
Do you want to be engaging those muscles?
Don’t your legs feel tired? Can you relax them enough to just let them be heavy on the ground?
Let it alllll relax. Let it all be soft. Yes, SOFT.
You do not have to feel tense. If you train yourself to let go, you will see just how unnecessarily contracted your muscles are. In doing so, you may remember something. Perhaps you’ll recall a sense of ease. Maybe even peace.
You may, even, just maybe, be able to truly connect with the people around you, with the people you love.
Gryphon will be receiving quite a few “normal” gifts this year. Courtesy of LEGO—I am actually tempted to rewrite this whole piece as a shameless plug for LEGO; “Feeling tense? Go play with LEGOs!”—Gryphon and I shall be able to explore real robotics on a level which should cater to my expertise. Assuming I have even the slightest engineering capabilities, I foresee an easier time handling the robot questions.
Whatever the case, my future as a novice mad scientist would be short lived if I didn’t make an effort to let go when feeling tense. Truly, you must intentionally LET GO. Lie down. If you don’t, you’ll be sharing a version of yourself which is limited, and you’ll be depriving people of the real gift, YOU.
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