I have an amazing grip. You might even be able to call it A Death Grip. This can be a double edged sword. It means I’m resilient and can keep going after things even when the going gets tough. But it also means that I have had a lot of experience with being dragged. Which leads to lots of road rash…and tears…
I’ve always struggled with being able to “let go”. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that were super fab at just moving on. I always have thought that the problem was that I couldn’t let go, or that I didn’t know how. But what I have realized is that, in all brutal (and it does feel brutal) honesty, I often just won’t let go. I’ve got road rash because I was unwilling to stop getting road rash. Lovely.
Let me put this in real-time, real-life perspective.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression over the course of my life. And when I get in that low place, it can be very difficult for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. All I can see are the things that don’t seem to be working, the ways I seem to be failing, the relationships I seem to be crushing, the ways I seem to have made a mess of everything.
And because I’m such a firm believer in the adage, “You find what you look for.” I get even more upset at myself because I know I’m not even trying to look for what’s working. I’d go so far as to say I can literally turn a blind-eye to anything good in my life when I get in this frame of mind.
So for the past few weeks, this dark place has been my home.
The thing that gets me though, is that my life is actually pretty good right now. Seriously. Nothing horrible or traumatic to report. In fact, my private practice is growing, my new website is done (yay!), no one has gone out the window to run away in the past few weeks, my son keeps making me pictures of dragons (which makes me feel loved), and my puppy is sorta-kinda getting to the point where she is almost house trained (plus, she’s really cute). See? Not so bad.
So what’s my problem? Well, let me tell you–
I’ve had a whole running list of what the problems are, because, let’s face it—even when life is ok, it’s not perfect. There is always something negative to focus on. I promise there is. All you have to do is decide that’s what you’re looking for and, like a magical unicorn, it appears. (Except this unicorn is like an angry, pissed-off unicorn and not a rainbow and light type of unicorn.)
So the truth is, I grabbed onto the rope of the angry, pissed-off unicorn and let it run, with me dragging in the dirt behind. I knew what I was doing. I knew what to do to improve the situation. I just needed to let go of the rope and turn around to look for the rainbow and light unicorn. That’s all. But I had a fucking death grip on my anger and there was no way in hell I was going to let go. I was right, dammit. My life sucked and there was nothing I could do about it.
And then I saw it. The Zen Proverb. “Let go or be dragged.”
I’d seen it before, but it really hit home this time. I saw things for what they were. Even though I knew how to change the situation, I chose not to.
It’s not like I, all of the sudden, figure out how to feel better and I let go of the rope immediately. It’s that I often find myself knowing how to feel better and then waiting until the road rash is a big bloody mess before I am willing to let go.
I’ll be honest. I don’t a-hundred-percent know why we do this (because we all do it).
- Maybe it feels less scary to stay with what we know than to face something different.
- Maybe we need to be willing to seek help to let go and that feels terrifying.
- Maybe it feels easier to just suffer along than to have to do the work it takes to make changes.
- Maybe we have to skid along the rocky bottom before we realize it hurts too much.
- Maybe we haven’t quite realized that we do have the power to let go of the rope.
But we do. We have the power to let go. It might not be easy. We might not be able to do it without support. We might not yet even believe it is possible. But it is. And the bottom line is: we either let go or we get dragged.
So I’m telling myself to let go and look for the rainbow and light unicorns in my life (of which there are many). And I’m reminding myself that I have more choices than I think and that I need to start being much wiser with those choices. Besides, I’m running out of bandages this week.
Where are you holding on when it would be so much better for you to let go? And if you don’t want to let go yet, it might be good to ask yourself why.
As you’ve probably guessed, I’m in favor of letting go as soon as you realize you need to. Otherwise, you just end up with nasty road rash…and lots of tears… And that’s not what of any of us want. I’m sure of it 😉