Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letting Go ...

I have to tell you a secret.

I always get scared writing about things I know I don't have all the answers to. My last big post 'Faith Stuff' was a step out for me. I don't like talking religion, definitely not into politics, and often terrified to share my angle on things. It's because I know my angle changes as my experience changes. Know that I am so very open to hear your thoughts.

I'll be honest. I could probably write another 45 posts trying to more fully explain where I stand in regards to the 'Christian' thing and spirituality and all that stuff, but it would be written out of defensiveness and perhaps turn into a forum of debate. I never really want to write out of those places.

I'd much rather share my story, my thoughts throughout my story and what I've learned. I know some people would and do read into my relaxed views on certain things and assume what I may mean, but my hope is that as I live and write I can display myself, my faith and well ... my stuff, in an honest light.

I guess part of me doesn't want to seem like I'm embarrassed about my faith or my belief in Christianity. I'm not. I just don't want people to assume the other way either. I want my life to be my testimony more than anything. It's very imperfect but it's mine.

All that to say ... I'm trying to let go.

Not just on this blog with different topics, but in my life too. I am doing my best to let go of worrying about judgments that may come from revealing my heart.

It's kind of like free falling. Daring, scary, freeing, risky and yet amazing.

You've journeyed with me a bit regarding my job lately. How much of a beast my schedule had become. How much I was judging others based on their lack of schedule (according to me - the judge). And you've read how much I was judging myself as well in this area.

I have learned that the only way (at least that I have found) to stop all of this judgment on everyone, is to let go.

For me specifically, it means letting go of worry about money. Letting go of being concerned about building a good reputation at work. It means letting go of the enormous amount of pride I've been carrying around telling everyone how many hours I work every week and then collecting up all of the pity I get(and carrying it around too). I've had to let go of control over all of these things (I really thought I had control - how ridiculous!).

Ultimately I have found myself having to let go of my judgments on others.

These are just a few things I've had to loosen my grip with and then eventually ... let go of.

I'm not saying I have let go of all of these things but I am definitely in the process of doing so. I'm sure all of the parents out there could write a post or ten about letting go of their growing children. It doesn't happen over night.

I found it amazing as the first thing I have consciously been trying to let go of has been my work schedule. It's kind of weird because somethings you just let go of and you let things just fall as they might. In terms of work I haven't been able to just let go, I've had to instead let go of one thing and hold onto another.

I am doing my best to let go of all of the things that have created worry regarding work, but specifically with my schedule I've had to hold onto my off time (like with an immortal grip). Sometimes we let go of things but don't recognize that there might be something out there that will help us hold on to want we actually need.

If I want a better body (as I do) I make the decision to eat better and move more. I decide that I'm going to exercise 3 times a week and cut out chocolate. The first week is easy, then it gets more difficult. I have a meeting one night when I was going to exercise, then I feel guilty because I've told myself what a failure I am for breaking my commitment. I head to the store because chocolate will make me feel better (it always has, at least for a few minutes). After I eat a couple of bars I feel ten times worse. Why? Because I see my one or two mistakes as complete failures rather than bumps in the road.

In this scenario my judgment is skewed. I've given myself a death sentence for doing the only thing I know how to do. I tried letting go of my old lifestyle without learning new things to hold onto to keep me 'safe' from going back to the old habits I knew.

How does this relate to my letting go of my old scheduling nightmares? Well, it would be crazy for my to think I could just say no. Unless you absolutely don't care what yourself or anyone thinks (great for you!) or you just dont' care to work, you will not logically understand why you should say no. At least this is the case for me. You look at all the 'free time' in your day timer and think 'Well, there's no reason to say no, I'm not doing anything else'. But I should be doing anything else!! I should be writing my name in a blank spot, or my friend's name, or my mom's name, or time's name, or MY NAME (again a great choice).

In letting go of my hours at work I have learned the hard way that I have to replace that time with something to hold on to. It's not romantic and it does take practice but once I get the hang of it I know it'll be worth while.

I think this letting go thing works for anyone that is over stressed and over worked. I know we all hold onto things that do us no good. I want to challenge you to thing of something you are holding onto that isn't good for you.

Is it a display for others that you have it all together? Is it pride over your home, or how it looks when people pop over? Is it the fact that you make sure to have all of the answers at work? Are you holding onto the position of favourite volunteer at church or another program you're involved in? Maybe its' your appearance, are you uptight about people seeing the real you? Maybe it's your heart's appearance that you are trying to hide.

I don't know what you may struggle with holding on to but I want to dare you all to do it with me. It's a wee bit scary at first, to jump. But honestly it's the best feeling in the world. You may need to close your eyes for the first little while before you get the courage to open them up, but do it anyway. Jump and then stretch out your soul and enjoy.

I'm not going to lie to you. Some jumps are short and just necessary for the short term and you may not have the choice to be completely free forever. Some jumps we need to make to just keep us sane for the long term (you know , like skipping cooking supper and ordering in and NOT judging yourself for it!!! OR skipping the gym to just rest. Or hiring a cleaning lady to do your spring cleaning just because right now you need to ... jump).

But I believe under the short jumps we need to make to stay afloat there are bigger, higher, harder jumps we need to take that will actually appear more subtle than they really are. It's amazing how sometimes small changes hurt the most.

Please come with me. I'll hold your hand. Let's jump together!

P.S. Don't worry, we have awesome parachutes!!!