Last weekend during a three hour yoga workshop I connected with the feeling that I’ve been holding too tightly to outcomes in my life.
And I – again – realised that when I feel as though my life is spinning out of my control, I hang on to whatever idea that feels like a lifeline as though it is indeed a lifeline.
Not only do I hold onto this idea, but I defend it, protect it, and nurture it so vehemently that I often don’t see it is nothing more than a rope, the end of which is sitting at my feet, coiled, not actually attached to any solution.
It’s just a rope, an idea, something that helped me to stop from going under briefly, but not because it was a lifeline, it helped me surface for a moment because I saw it as a lifeline and I kicked toward it.
While I have been going along to the outside world merrily so far this year with a smile on my face (mostly) and a lightness in my step (mostly), internally I have felt out of control with the life that appears to be sliding out of my reach.
- Housing prices skyrocketing in my town. Forcing me to choose between the town that I love and the family that I want to create.
- Adoption being on hold until I can work out housing, which means moving.
- The need to find a job somewhere where housing is affordable.
- Job search. Enough said. (Boo-hiss!)
- The whole idea of moving. And the physical aspects of that: packing, hiring someone to move my stuff, driving or flying across the country or province, actually moving.
- Plus, the undercurrent of anger that I feel about being forced out of the town I’ve given 10 long years to with the feeling of no reward for my contributions to the community.
This last point feels big when I actually say it out loud. Big and painful.
All of these things have me feeling like my life is out of my control. And I find myself clinging to an idea, or clinging to a single thought, as though my life depends upon it.
Because I don’t know the answers.
I don’t know how this part of my story continues.
Because I’m scared.
What is fear’s purpose in today’s society? I wonder this often.
Fear served early man when he was prey to larger predators, helped keep him alive.
Are we still prey to larger predators?
Do we have to be fearful of life?
During the 15 minute meditation at the end of the yoga workshop I could see clearly and feel clearly how tightly I was holding onto the fear of this change and the anger at feeling forced into change.
How tightly I was holding onto this belief that I was not in control of the circumstances in which I find myself.
As I sat with that feeling, I was able to let it go just a little, and then a little more, and what I found was a true lightness that told me “you are safe”.
We all want to feel safe, and loved, and cherished. We want to feel that we matter, that our being here matters, that our lives matter.
For those few moments I felt safe, I felt myself releasing the hold on the rope with no end that was not a lifeline at all – it was just a rope, an idea. It had served its purpose, which was to make me kick my legs to the surface of my despair and feel the sunshine of hope for a better tomorrow, for a solution to present itself.
For a few moments I felt relief from that internal struggle that I hide from most.
Relief is a powerful tool.
And as I released myself from holding the fear, I could see that the way forward is equal parts letting go and active forward motion – such as job search, location search, networking with people who can help, and exploration of all of the options.
When I hold tightly I get caught up in the “active forward motion” part, trying to force things into place and hold on to those things being my “only” way forward. Causing panic within my heart when any one of those active steps I’m taking does not pan out (like a job, or a housing option, or someone telling me the province I’m looking at is not as good an option as I thought).
When I accept that there are elements in all of life that are beyond my grasp and beyond my action, elements that are filling the gaps of my action with a little magic, then I can breathe hope into my hands to let go just a little.
Perhaps even enough to allow the action to take root and grow into a solution that will not only surprise but also delight me.
My problems haven’t changed, they are still all as outlined in bullet points above, but today I feel a little relief from the internal panic.
I don’t know the answers, or the direction of my future at this point in time and that is frightening, but today I am safe, I am loved, I am cherished, if only by me.
Take steps forward, and take time to let go.
Letting go for me is appreciating where I am, who I am, and what surrounds me now.
My self-care: writing, taking a walk, meditating, taking a bath, reading a book, stretching, watching a movie, sleeping, yoga, talking with a good friend, laughing.
When I think about the need for self-care as a grown woman, and all that I continue to learn about myself and my own needs as life goes on its merry adventure around me, I also see how important these awarenesses will be for loving and supporting my future children.
The experiences I have had in my life, including this one right now of feeling forced out of the place that I’ve called home for the last 10 years, will parallel the feelings they will feel at being placed in another new home, with another new family. With me.
Their feeling of anger, loss, frustration, and even hope for a different future, I imagine will be overwhelming for them at times resulting in outward actions showing their overwhelm but, more importantly to acknowledge, these feelings may also be deeply hidden underneath the smiles, underneath the appearance of daily healthy function. As I am doing.
My experiences will make me a more open mom to the feelings of overwhelm that may be hidden behind false smiles, and help me connect with understanding the undercurrent, understanding the fear, and the need to hold onto something – anything – that gives them a lifeline, that gives a little hope.
And perhaps as I focus a little more on finding relief through self-care, I will in turn guide them to finding the relief in letting go, in finding a way to acknowledge the stress and struggles of the internal world that sometimes builds around fear, and to show them that it is okay to feel it, and to release it.
All of my experiences and self-awarenesses are teaching me to become a better mom.
Today I feel a little relief from the panic, and I remember why I am taking actions toward a new life in a more affordable location, because I am a childless mother and I am ready to create a family, and to welcome my children home.
I am already a wonderful mother, ready for the gift of motherhood.
As frightening as finding a job, and a suitable affordable location, and the whole move will be, those are just steps to greater understanding and to our family.
Location doesn’t matter. Length of time in a location doesn’t matter.
Love matters. Family matters.
Wherever I land will be a new adventure for me and for our family. Maybe my children are on the other side of the country waiting for me to make that move? Maybe the magical part of life is giving me the nudge to move because it’s bringing us together. Because we are ready.
Isn’t that a nice and relief-giving thought? Yes, it is indeed!
How about you? Do you find that your internal struggles sometimes cause you to hold onto an idea or a concept long after it has served its purpose? What are your relief giving strategies?
I’d love to hear from you.
Warm smiles and Love,