“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”
~ Hermann Hesse
The last couple of months have been tough ones at our house, for a variety of reasons. I have been in the process of coming off of a long-term medication, with unfortunate and adverse effects; I was responsible for creating the catalog for a recent fundraising auction, which took the bulk of my attention for many weeks; the pollen counts have been through the roof and the whole family has been coughing, sniffly, sneezy, and headachy; my husband has had to work some nights and weekends; and my boys have been their usual incredibly sensitive selves, where even slight challenges or changes get magnified by that lens of sensitivity. Often, when the boys start to “act out,” I know it’s a sign that I am uncentered and need to take steps to ground and recharge, so this past week I was working hard to do my part to restore order from the chaos . . . with mixed results, due at least in part to how out of whack everything had gotten.
By Saturday, the delicate balance in our family looked more like an off-balance washing machine, so it wasn’t necessarily surprising when a straw broke my proverbial camel’s back and I snapped. In a fit of frustration, I started saying, “Fine, it’s all my fault! I get it!” I was frustrated with myself more than anything, but I had been running on empty far too long, and all of my pent up anger and frustration and exhaustion started leaking out. Thankfully the grouchiness didn’t last–with help from my mum and my husband, we were able to turn the energy around in that statement. If it truly was all my fault, then I could also be “blamed” for the gorgeous weather, the abundance at the farmer’s market, the shade from the trees, and the scent of orange blossoms in the air. Writing about it now I can feel the shift inside again, the healing laughter that it created and my sense that I could just let go of “responsibility” alongside “blame.”
Letting go is truly empowering. Yes, of course, it is probably the highest form of empowerment to recognize that by shifting myself (my thoughts, my energy, etc.) I can shift the world around me, however that knowledge can also be crazymaking when things aren’t going as well as you expect/hope/want. As a parent, I need reminding from time to time to let go, to not hold on so tight. There’s a happy balance in there where you find your sea legs, staying present and aware of what’s happening so you can shift where you need to, while holding on to any expectations you have of the outcome gently, letting go of the worry and replacing it with, say, curiosity about what will happen next.
As a write this, it’s another absolutely beautiful day that I’m happy to take credit for, but I’m also happy to not be responsible for it. I am happy to leave the care of my children in the hands of others for a few hours while I reboot and recharge and dream of what curiosity will bring. No matter how bad things get, no matter how awful and guilty and grouchy I feel, there is always more good than not. There is always more good than not. Namaste.