The other day I drove my son to Logan airport to catch a plane to Texas, then to Argentina. Car rides are always a wonderful time to spend with people you care about. Even with the intrusion of cell phones and ipods, it is still a contained space with limited distractions. And even though S. slept for much of the way after a late night packing and early departure, it was still lovely to be with him. I like to be his mom taking care of him while he sleeps, keeping him safe.
Keeping him safe is an illusion, of course. Life with grown children means a constant letting go and just hoping and praying that they will be okay. My sister, interfaith minister and family counselor, both deeply spiritual and highly practical, offered me a great tool for handling worry. “Surround yourself with a white light.”
In idle moments I am a worrier. Lying in bed, I sometimes worry about my physical state -- that weird feeling in my chest or my head. Sometimes walking alone somewhere I get fearful of attacks in the dark from strange animals or strange people, or something completely indefinable. When that happens I think of my sister's suggestion. I conjure up an image of myself surrounded by a crystalline, white light, a glow of protection, an aura of confidence. It is really just a tool of distraction, in a way, but my credulous side really believes that I can make a difference in my vulnerability, somehow, through that positive visualization. Whatever the reason, it helps.
On a lighter note – I tried positive visualization on the tennis court last week when my partner and I were losing by a lot. I saw our winning score in my head and focused hard on it. And we won! With that score!
But, anyway – back to the white light…
I use the white light tool on other people that I fear for as well. If someone is very ill I do a kind of meditation, focus on them in their sick bed, with a white light of peace, comfort, healing all around them. Or when one of my children is on the road to somewhere, I close my eyes and create a white light around the car speeding through the night.
So when my precious son flew to Argentina under a full moon on Friday night, I hardly had to visualize much. I pictured his airplane flying through the clear sky, bathed in the light of the moon.
He is there now, safe and sound. I guess it worked.