Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb #5: Letting Go

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

I had all sorts of answers for this one until this morning.

I had all sorts of thoughts swirling in my head. I could answer: I let go of perfectionism this year. "Best is good. Better is best." It really is--and it is a daily practice, a daily ritual of reminding myself that it is so.

I could talk about how I let go of my investment in homeschooling my daughter and let her go to school. That one still smarts.

I thought about keeping things light and breezy and talking about how I got rid of hundreds of pounds of stuff with various de-cluttering projects this year. I could have deepened that with a reflection on how de-cluttering can be a spiritual practice: a "warming up" as it were, of the way to shed attachment to any particular identity (as expressed by the items we keep on display) .

I thought about discussing my anger and unforgiveness, still, towards certain family members and how I'm slowly realizing that that's really my anger and unforgiveness of myself projected onto that person(s).

But this morning, I re-listened to Session 5 of Richard Rohr's Lecture series called, "The Art of Letting Go." (Yes, I know. It hadn't even occurred to me until this morning that that was what I was listening to.)

And I was struck anew with a truth I have learned before: that growth requires dying. The mustard seed must die before it becomes a tree. You must lose yourself to find yourself. All that. I knew that.

What I didn't know is that the current hell I find myself in is just the death throes of another growth.

(And just what does "hell" look like, at the moment?
Well, there's the yelling.
The fear my son needs more help than I can give him.
The shame of being fat.
The disconnection from any spiritual life at the moment.
and, here's the kicker, my sense of powerlessness to do anything about any of it.)

Since I devoured Brene Brown's recent book, "The Gifts of Imperfection," I have been aware that I need to find others to help me get through the crap I am currently stuck in. Brown writes that in order to process shame, one needs a "safe place" to share it--a person who has earned the right to hear the story and hold it.

I have been thinking two parallel thoughts (1) I need a therapist, and (2) we need to find another Church. In both, though, I'm looking for the same thing: a person, a woman to model what the next stage looks like, someone to ease me into the surrender to God that must happen if I am not to regress into a further self-centered, egotistic brat.

I know, deep down in my gut, that I am not sufficient to carry myself through the current crises. I've been in crises for over a year. I'm doing my best. I've been reading books, listening to Richard Rohr, even! I've started journaling again and (obviously) using this space to tackle more complex topics that simply organizing, de-cluttering and housecleaning (as important as those things are). But no matter what I do, I am not going to get myself out of the current darkness.

So, I really don't think I can progress beyond my current state of stuck-ness without others. And that kills me. Furthermore, I have developed a severe mis-trust of women, generally.

But, I can't do it on my own--and right now, I cannot see how I can do it with others, let alone who this person is supposed to be and how I am supposed to find her given the state of extreme emotional isolation I currently live in.

So, there we go. I haven't done it yet, but this is my (public) promise to continue to let go; to let go of my fears and mistrust and move on.

*I realise I am quite behind in my reverb writing. Other than perhaps making it difficult for folks to find certain prompts, it doesn't matter at all.


LOJO said...

I think you and I have more in common than I ever imagined. Next year is my "work on me" year. Seems I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Alana, my heart goes out to you. I will pray for you that God would guide you to a new church, meet you where you are at, and give you a friendship.
From a fellow Simplify 101er...

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