When It’s Okay to NOT Let Go
Those who know me know how radically different my “now” life is from my “then” life a little less than three years ago. I chose to make major changes that certainly impacted me and a whole bunch of other people in the process.
I’ve been thinking a lot about all that stuff lately and my internal critic is telling me I shouldn’t be having the thoughts. It’s all over and done, after all. I keep telling myself that I need to let it all go and then judging myself because I’m not.
Maybe letting go isn’t the issue.
Maybe I need to let things be instead.
My friend Tom Catton says, “If I can’t let it go, maybe I should let it be.”
Such wise words and ones that I’ve taken to heart in the last couple of days.
I don’t know about you but I am a processor. I love to process, in fact. I thrive on extricating the details–the whys and wherefores–from situations. I like to question. It’s almost as if I have an urgent need to understand a situation or conversation or even a person before I can accept them.
Can you relate?
All this digging and scraping for underlying messages and meaning is part of what makes me good at my job. However, I am discovering there are also heavy burdens that accompany the seemingly good character qualities.
First, my mind is always “on.” I find myself constantly nibbling at the edges of whatever I’m hyper-focused on, not satisfied until I’ve thoroughly chewed through all the possibilities and ramifications.
I’m also an angler, continually re-positioning to eye-ball the scene in my mind from a different vantage point.
Plus, I am an ace practitioner of the “yeah buts,” as in “yeah, but what if . . . (fill in the blank).”
When I am in the throes of one of my obsessive mental processes, it is extremely difficult to just stop and let it go.
For reasons I do not understand, however, it does seem easier to let “it” be.
I’ve been practicing. When I find myself starting the familiar patterns, I stop, take a deep breath and as I exhale, breathe the two-syllable word, “o-kay.”
That one word does a couple of things. One, I become focused on right here, right now, and two, I realize that everything, absolutely everything, IS okay in the instant I utter the word.
That is the gentle, simple process of mindfulness that is working for me today. Today is as far as I choose to see with any degree of intensity. I can make plans for tomorrow but today is the only capsule of time that requires a laser-focus.
I have noticed a third benefit to my new mindful practice.
Breathing the word o-kay feels very loving and generally brings at least a slight smile–always good for this overly intense mind of mine.
What are some simple mindful practices that you use to keep you grounded in the here and now?