(shared with permission) Some months ago a client was telling me of all the moving pieces she felt the need to control with regards to a particular event in her life, in order for things to go well, and for her to meet the goals that she had. Putting the pieces in place had been an ongoing effort for many months and it was obviously emotionally and mentally draining for her.
I said to her that it seemed she was pushing a very large boulder up a steep, steep hill. She said that was what this felt like. I asked her what was the worse that could happen if she just stepped aside, stopped pushing the boulder and let go. Silence.
During this conversation a memory came to me and I shared it with her. When my oldest niece was about 2 years old I took her to the park to play. When we arrived her attention was immediately drawn to this large rock that was in the middle of the playground. She ran over to it and proceeded, with great effort, to pick it up, just a few inches off of the ground. She said “It’s heavy.” I suggested that we move on to the swings or slides and she said no. Quite emphatically. She was solely attracted to this rock.
Over the next 20 minutes or so she worked diligently to lift this rock up onto a bench in the playground. She groaned, struggled and through heavy breaths kept saying “It’s heavy, it’s heavy.” Any offers of help were met with a firm “No!” Once she got the rock up on the bench she climbed up beside it, pulled the rock onto her lap and struggled again to lift it up. “It’s heavy!”
I’m not sure what her eventual goal was with lifting this rock but could see that she was becoming tired and frustrated. She didn’t want any help though. Toddler logic. I suggested we go play in other parts of the playground and she could come back to the rock. Dropping it in her lap and pushing the rock back onto the bench she said “OK”. On we went to climb, swing, play in the sand and have some fun
When it was time to head back home I asked her if she wanted to bring the rock home with her. “No” she said and walked past it with hardly a glance as we headed out of the playground. She was done with it and had let go of whatever idea or goal she had.
During your lifetime I’m sure that you’ve struggled with some ideas, relationships, meeting goals and getting “it” done. If you think back to 5 or 10 years ago can you remember one goal you struggled to meet and held on to? What about another that you let go of? Did it feel better to hold onto the struggle or let go? When you think of where you are now, today, how important are those life events that you let go of? Was it freeing to let go or do you feel a sense of remorse?
During the coming blogs we’re going to dive deeper into Letting Go, the difficulties that arise, ways to ease into it, the benefits mentally, emotionally and physically. I welcome your comments and input as we go along on this journey together.