I have had a few conversations lately about acceptance and letting go. The fact that this topic has come up as a theme tells me that I need to pay attention. There is something for me to notice here. I have learned that when things show up repeatedly, that I need to stop and listen, that I need to be curious and ask questions, that I need to listen some more.
I have come to the conclusion that learning to let go is a life-long endeavor. For someone who started off on the HIGH CONTROL NEEDS end of the spectrum, I think I’m doing pretty
So those are some control (small-c) issues I’ve worked on with a modicum of success. I also have some Control (large-C) issues that I continue to struggle with. I worry about the high cancer risks in my family history that bring me to specialists for annual and bi-annual screenings. I worry about what other people think when I share my coaching stuff on Facebook and overly think the invitations that come or don't come my way.
On the other side of the same coin of letting go, comes the idea of acceptance. How willing am I to accept what the Universe puts in my path? Acceptance is not a passive endeavor.
Imagine trying to cross a powerful river. If you try to fight the current, it zaps you of your energy. When you hold on tight to the rock, you end up bruised, bashed against it and no closer to the other side. Allowing the current to guide you across, staying present in the moment and letting go of - before you know it you have made it to the other side. Perhaps soaking wet, and you are stronger and softer for it.
It sounds pretty easy when things are going well or even well-ish. But what about when we are faced with significant challenges? In the face of a scary diagnosis, divorce, the loss of a loved-one, how do we find our way across the river of despair?
The weight of despair and grief are enough to sink us to the bottom of the river. This week I saw on Facebook a sculpture by Celeste Roberge. It’s a welded steel frame of a person bent over, and it is filled with rocks. Somewhere along the way the title “The Weight of Grief” was given to this piece. It resonated for me. Being doubled-over by feelings of loss, feeling like there is no place to grab hold and make the world right itself again.
Interestingly, with a little research, I found the actual title of the piece. According to her own website, Celeste Roberge calls this “Rising Cairn.”
What if the person is not being crumpled by the weight of grief? What if, in fact, this person is rising up, asserting her own power and strength. Perhaps having been knocked to the ground by despair or loss, nevertheless, she rises. She is filled with the strength of her experiences, her humanness, her soul.
In times of despair, it becomes even more important to be weighted down within ourselves, feeling the flesh and bones that carry us, aware of the ground under our feet. When we know the place where our feet stand, we can withstand the buffeting of the wind or the pull of a current. Even doubled over with pain, our bodies tell us: You are here. You are here, now.
Be with what is present. It is the first step on the journey of acceptance.
Place your feet flat on the floor. Notice how they connect you to the ground. Whether standing or sitting, notice the support they offer you, without effort or tension. What is present for you? What have you been holding tightly that needs to be let go? Or what have you been dancing around that needs to be named?
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