Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
I once did a high ropes course many feet in the air. Climbing rickety, swinging ladders made out of rope? No problem. Dancing on a wire 30 feet in the air? Piece o’ cake. Then I hit the last part of the course. All I had to do was get on a swing and let go. I sat there for 15 minutes. Petrified. Totally white knuckling it. Yeah. I’d say letting go was not my strong suit.
Since that moment 8 years ago, letting go has become much easier. I’ve let go again and again. One of the biggest things I let go of this year was O.P.P. Something I fondly refer to as Other People’s Problems.
You may think this something easy to do. Not for this trained coach and ultimate people person. I’ve spent my life cleaning up the messes of other people. Sometimes asked, other times–well you know the rest of that sentence.
(It’s) like I’ve got a shotgun in my mouth, with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of gun metal. Robert Downey Jr. after one of his many arrests
Although he’s talking his drug addiction, I think many of us can relate to things we know are bad for us but we just can’t seem to stop. Mine? Helping people I perceived to be in trouble.
I’ve watched friends struggle over the years with bad choices. Bad relationships–with jobs that were toxic for them as well as the usual romantic ones. I’ve sat side by side with clients who just couldn’t seem to pull it off (whatever they’re working on) despite years of work together. Despite trying, it seems they liked the struggle more than the absence of what ever was their personal albatross. Despite their troubles I just couldn’t stop supporting them. It used to make me work harder to help them. Then it made me sad. Then I just stopped. I simply let go.
I realized that I had to let go of helping others let go. Ironic isn’t it? It became uber clear: Sometimes you have to let others live their own life path. Actually, you pretty much always do. It was confusing and tough at times letting go of own personal taste of gun metal in helping others. But I did it. Turns out I like the absence of it better.
I still support my friends & clients through tough times. It’s pretty much in my DNA. Always has been. Will likely always be a a part of me. But now–I know when to stop and let them follow their own unique path. Who’s to say it’s bad for them or that it isn’t perfect just as it is? Now helping others when they’re having a rough day is the proverbial cherry. Not the cake.
So now I focus on me and making my life what I want it to be. Much better.