Most estranged parents feel like time is a thief, stealing opportunities and happiness while they’re estranged from an adult child. This makes parents feel a bit desperate, so they reach out in ineffectual ways. But the reality is, you can only do so much. You can’t push the river.
Fortunately, in addition to be a thief, Time is also your friend. Time heals heartbreaks and bad feelings, and can even help heal estrangement.
If your child has asked for space, only Time will allow you to grant that request. Letting Time work its healing magic allows your estrangement to evolve. Are there things you can do to repair and improve your relationship with your child? Yes, and we’ll talk about those in future episodes. But there are also factors that have nothing to do with you, that take the time they take.
Meanwhile, don’t throw “good money after bad” by wasting the time you’re losing with your child. Consciously live your life as fully as you can today, because you can’t get this time back whether your child returns later or doesn’t.
This isn’t about filling empty hours with meaningless activities while you wait for things to get better. This is about living the fullest, most rewarding and intentional life you can. If you have unrealized dreams, what about investing some time in pursuing them? Focus on things that will help you feel more productive, more connected to your spouse or friends or community, more alive and in control of your own life. Time will be working in the background in the meantime, bringing about healing, growth and change.
So don’t worry about taking your eye off the prize. Practice having faith that Time is not just a thief, but is also the bearer of new possibilities. Hopefully things won’t look quite so bad if you keep that in mind.