Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
(Prompt Author: Alice Bradley)
Having parented young children, I have had my share of incidents where I screamed “LET GO NOW!” while 20 greedy fingers held on to some object of mutual desire with ferocious intensity.
The “letting go” I have done in 2010 did not involve THAT kind of yelling and physical tension. It was a quieter letting go, with ramifications beyond who gets to keep the toy.
1) A “Rolling of the Eyes”/ “What Else Did You Expect?” Attitude
Professionally, 2010 marked the second full year of my organization’s affiliation with our Third Party Administrator. Having been through the procurement process, the implementation stage, and a challenging transition, my attitude, from the vantage point of having a leadership role in customer service, deteriorated. It wasn’t just me; as an organization we developed some beliefs about the vendor that leaned toward the assumption that things would always work out for the worst. As John Miller, creator of the QBQ method of personal accountability, alludes to on his website and in his trainings, asking questions like, “Why did we have to make it work with a bidder who didn’t have the highest quality scores?” is “nothing more than victim thinking.” Good Riddance, Victim Thinking.
2) Rekindling Friendships via Social Media Works … Sometimes
I am a ridiculously, relentlessly, never-give-up-on-people kind of friend (I hope). When I first began dabbling in social media, I went on a feeding frenzy of “friending” people. It was great. And it remains great, mostly. I have discovered that with some friendships, the passage of 20 years could have well been 20 minutes. With other friendships, there has been too much change. Sometimes, a few messages, statuses, and Facebook “pokes” won’t bridge the gap that has grown over lives that have taken different paths. When I posted a relatively innocuous “like” about an article that attempted to explain in a calm and reasonable way some of the background of current relations in America between Christians and Muslims, one friend who I had reconnected with posted a critical, sarcastic response. I respect that friend’s opinion, but somehow it felt weird and off-putting to be having the exchange via computer screens, in front of her hundreds of “friends” and my 1,000+ friends. I would still dearly love a face-to-face chat with her, but it won’t be what it was when we were college roommates. Letting go of assumptions that people will remain the same.
I want things to go a certain way. Don’t we all? That’s not going to happen. As my children grow into who they are going to be as individuals, it is time to trust/hope/pray that 14 years (for my daughter) and 11 years (for my son) of my (and my husband’s) parenting has given them some tools to cope with a world that concurrently holds fascinating possibilities I could never have imagined while it presents them with hazards I know were not part of my young adult years. When I walk into church by myself every Sunday morning alone, knowing how fundamental spirituality and worship have always been to my life, I mourn the fact that it isn’t going to work to force them to come with me. Hoping that I can “let go” of my vision of them in the pew with me while God works in their hearts.
Letting go of these things will end up being the first step toward “manifesting what’s next.”