Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Never Tear Us Apart

December 5: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Before I begin, I know I'm woefully behind on the #reverb10 posts. I got stalled on Wonder and, because I tend to move linearly, at least when it comes to writing - call it OCD, whatever - I have some catching up to do. Fear not! I shall be reverbing and reflecting and manifesting and what have you much over the next few days.

Now that that's out of the way...

I recently described grief to a friend as a process. What I meant - and stated to him - was that there is no "and then that happened" moment whereby you are suddenly over it.

Letting go of something, someone, or some behavior is a similar process. Perhaps it is the same process as grief is a kind of letting go. Regardless, letting go doesn't mean that it's entirely over - whatever "it" is - it just means that the process has consciously begun. The "and then that happened" moment does occur, when you realize something must be let go, but it may take weeks, months, years, an entire lifetime for the process to finish its course.

So, when I look back at 2010, searching for those things of which I let go, I keep coming back to the same things, the same processes...

Letting go of expectations.
Letting go of control.

They are one and the same really.

And both require an extraordinary amount of diligence and vigilance to remember to let them go.

The locus of control - believing that ones behaviors are the primary cause of events in one's life - is important to remember. But! What's important to remember isn't that we control our destinies but to what extent we have control over others. Which is to say we have little to no control over others and that's what's important to remember.

I can control my behaviors, my actions, and, to some extent, my feelings. I cannot control anything else about my life or how others act and react to me.

Thus, by letting go of the idea of control...of controlling others...I manage my expectations of what they may or may not do or say.

So...the beginning of this year, as much promise as it held - promise of a new, lovely relationship - it also held no tangible promises and no expectations. So that, when the relationship drew to a close...or, not really a close as much as a shift in the nature of it...there was no resentment. Was I disappointed? Of course. Was I sad? Of course. But not because my expectations weren't met. Only because I wasn't ready for that shift to occur.

In spite of the sadness though, there was joy in the fact that I'd successfully navigated the dangerous waters of Expectation - not giving in to the temptation of them, constantly reminding myself not to have them, hyper-aware of them attempting to creep in...and the relationship, therefore, however brief, was a success.

2011 - constant vigilance for the sneak of the expectation and the creep of the desire to control.

1 comment:

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Letting go as you are intending is an art form, and as you noted - like grief, there are ebbs and flows and the "feeling better" is more like a steeping of a cup of tea than the opening and shutting of a door or the turning on of a light.

Beautifully written and oh, yes - I feel connected to your words and your spirit.

I look forward to knowing you better through reverb10!

My "Letting Go" Reverb10 post.