Dang it. Dang it. Dang it.
And I am just now sitting down to write a blog?
It was supposed to GO OUT today.
Well, I guess that is PERFECT, given the topic for today…or should I say this month!
I’m grateful that moments are always Divinely Orchestrated to make sure I really get the message, but sometimes the process of getting the message feels like crap. There, I said it.
I’ve been getting the “Let Go” message from all angles the last few weeks, and it wasn’t until the last one that I finally learned what I needed to really let go…
It all started a few weeks ago when I had to let go as a Parent.
“Honey, are you done with your project?”
“Great! Let’s review it before you turn it in.”
When he stopped groaning and brought me the project, I reviewed the instructions and quickly realized he had either missed or completely ignored a chunk of the instructions.
“Sweetie, it looks like these 3 of the 7 items are missing completely from your project.” I pointed at the bulleted points the teacher had used to communicate instructions.
“Look, it won’t take too long at all. All you need to do is…” and I made him a quick checklist to complete and left him to it.
A few hours later, I checked it again.
He raced through this – he has all of the elements, but only barely.
“Well, you did it. But I think you could…” and I gave him a few more things to do to make it look like he cared about the project.
We went through this process at least two more times, and by the end of it, we were both frustrated with each other and exhausted.
He’s a smart kid, and he seems to be getting a little apathetic – not putting in the effort required to keep his grades where he wants them.
And then it hit me…
And I’m making it worse…dang it.
Before kissing him goodnight, I kneeled down by his head and looked him in the eyes, praying for the words that would help him to understand.
“Sweetie, listen. I know I pushed you hard today, and I’m sorry if I pushed too hard.” He nodded to confirm that I had driven him crazy. “I know this first quarter of 6th grade has been very overwhelming for you, adjusting to having four teachers with different styles and a new project-based curriculum. We had to work through the first few projects together, but I realized today that I need to let you do this on your own now.” I paused to let it sink in. “You know how to do these projects now. You know how carefully you have to read the instructions to get it all done well and get a good grade. You know how to manage your time and work on the next two projects due rather than all of them at once. And…now your grade is completely in your hands. If you only give 70% effort to a project, then you will only get 70% reward. I’m not going to make up the extra 30% for you by making you redo stuff a million times.”
His eyes widened with surprise.
“It doesn’t mean that I won’t help you when you ask for it, but I’m not going to harp on you anymore. You are now 100% responsible for your grades. And you can handle it. You’re smart and you know how to apply your heart and mind and get things done.”
He nodded in agreement, and opened his arms for a hug.
His next project was due a few days later, and I kept my word, even though it was excruciating.
The morning it was due, I walked in to the kitchen to see him working.
“Ugh. I just looked at the instructions again and realized I didn’t write a summary for this darn thing. It won’t take me too long, Mom, and then I’ll be ready to leave.”
To keep myself from hovering, reviewing, and supporting, I started to make my own breakfast and quietly took a deep breath, still worried about the shocking disappointment that might occur when he received his grade.
The lesson continued a few hours later when I had to let go as a Friend.
As I read the email and clicked through to the website, my heart began to race.
Oh no. They are abandoning their core message for someone else’s.
I’ve seen it a million times before:
Budding messagepreneur with dynamic gifts and a powerful message/brand opportunity.
Absorbed into someone else’s message and brand. Caught up with, investing in, and using their talent to grow someone else’s dream.
Dang. I bet they just added 2 – 3 years to the launch of their own thing. They’ll be excited and invest and it will grow and be amazing, but that Divine Inspiration for their own message/brand will call them again – make them feel restless and unfulfilled until they do their own thing. And it’s SO hard to leave…
My blood began to boil with indignation on their behalf.
Part of me really wanted to pick up the phone and ask, “What are you doing?” and hopefully save them from losing years to someone else’s dream.
But the other part of me wouldn’t let me pick up the phone.
When I abandoned my message and jumped in to someone else’s dream, it felt like I was losing time on my own message, but what I was really doing was gaining a ton of knowledge, experience, and know-how that I still rely on today. In fact, if I hadn’t gotten lost for a while, I don’t know that I could have grown my business as quickly as I did. Ugh, I just don’t want to see them suffer through the pain of extricating themself from someone else’s dream. It totally sucks.
I said a silent prayer for them before I closed the email and went back to work.
The next day, I had to let go as a Business Owner.
“What do you think of this?” I knew what her response would be before I asked the question. I didn’t like what I had written. The first part was good but it took a turn when I tried to pack in all of the lessons I learned during the experience I was sharing.
She confirmed my feeling – said it wasn’t powerful and finished with a smiley, “What if your message IS the answer?” As in, “Just do what you’ve taught us to do.”
The problem was I didn’t have time to rewrite it and get it out for my weekly blog.
Seriously, what is up with this week?
I feel like I’m running in quicksand!
It’s been impossible to focus like normal.
I had to reschedule a bunch of appointments cuz of dumb time blunders.
Then I couldn’t wrap my head around this blog.
I really don’t want to make another phone call for the next retreat.
After trying to work for another 30 minutes, I closed the computer and walked out of the office.
I know better than to push against nature. It just takes me a while to remember.
And, of course, I went to wellness appointments the following two days and had to let go as a Woman Healing Her Mind, Body, and Soul.
“Amanda, it’s okay. You’re on the right path. I know it feels like crap right now, but you ARE healing.” As she worked on my lower back, I could almost feel my body refusing to let her make any headway. But she didn’t give up. She kept massaging, applying pressure, and stretching it, and then finally, “Ah, there it is. It finally let go.”
Oh my goodness, there it is again. “Let go.”
And then again, the next day…
“Amanda, just relax. Let go. You can do this.” The beautiful Hispanic woman I’d met only a few days before began to stroke my arm like my mom did when I was little, holding space for me to let go of decades of physical toxicity.
As I laid there, letting her work on me, I could feel my body holding on, refusing to let go.
How do I let go?
Almost as soon as I asked the question, a series of images flashed through my mind to give me the answer. I saw a little girl holding on to a pair of scissors and an adult ordering her to put them down. The little girl’s grip got tighter. The adult started to move toward her to take them away, and she turned and began to run with the scissors. Realizing she was getting the opposite outcome she wanted, the adult sat down and started talking to the little girl about what she wanted to do with the scissors. The girl’s grip relaxed and she put them down on the table a few minutes into her explanation.
I can’t force myself to let go.
I have to figure out why I’m holding on.
I have to figure out what I want to do with this old crap.
So, I closed my eyes and went inward.
“Mandy, why are you holding on? What do you want to accomplish?”
The answer came quickly, “I want to make all this stuff right and good. I want to make sense of the pain. I want to help other people. I want to play more. I want more vacation. I want to write.”
“Ah…okay. That’s exactly what we’re doing here – making things right and good, so that we can help others and do everything that we want to do. But we have to let go of the old stuff to keep moving forward. It’s slowing us down right now. Can you help me?”
Before she could answer, I heard the therapist say, “Ah, there you go. You did it. You let go.”
So, the answer to “How do I let go?” is the answer to “What do I want more than this?”
I guess that makes sense.
I don’t want my son to be disappointed or fail, but I want him to learn responsibility MORE.
I don’t want my friend to lose themself in someone else’s dream and go through the pain of starting over, but I want them to take whatever detours are necessary to gather what they need to really own and commit to their own brand with confidence MORE.
I don’t want to disappoint clients and business coaches, but I want to be able to honor my natural physical and emotional cycles (December and January are always difficult to work through) and my desires to play and enjoy the season MORE.
So, the next time I’m faced having to let go, I’m going to ask, “What do I want even MORE than this?”