I posted this last December. I'm reposting now because I was curious to discover how much I am focused on letting go now, still. "Letting go" is definitely a theme for 2012 as I plan online classes centered around this concept – and as I finish my new book, "The Geography of Loss."
From December 2010:
I'm participating in a 31-day blogging challenge called reverb10, responding to writing prompts that are designed to elicit reflections on 2010, and hopes for 2011. You can find out more about it here. I am challenging myself to respond to each prompt in 15 minutes or less.
Today's challenge: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
I let go of striving this year.
Of listening to other people tell me how to build a business, create a personal brand, drive readers to my blog, get more followers, attract more friends on Facebook, get rich, be a thought leader, be a wealthy thought leader, be a platinum wealthy thought leader, get to the top of Amazon page rankings, rise to the front page of Google, be an A-lister whatever that is, be on Oprah, get noticed, make a million dollar book deal, get rid of the heartbreak of psoriasis.
I let go of all that striving. It was exhausting me. It was making me itchy. It was taking me off course and into a world of upward mobility for the sake of upward mobility. It felt false and cheap and breathless. So much advice about how. I don't care about how. I want to know why. I want to be wealthy in a very different way.
I unsubscribed, de-followed, blocked all that striving and upward mobility. I responded to people who asked me questions about writing a successful blog and book with one question: "What do you long to say with your life? Let that be your guide, not the audience, the purchaser, the SEO." I responded to advertisers who wanted to advertise on my blog with a single word: "No." I responded to invitations to be an affiliate to sell other people's materials with a single word: "No." If I love what you're doing, I want to tell about it because I love it, not because I'll make money from the sale.
I let go of readers who berated me for writing as an advocate for my fellow lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex human beings. I stopped defending my beliefs around human rights, stopped making it okay for people to denounce whole groups of human beings, stopped being polite about it.
I decided to listen to my own voice instead.
And here's what my voice said:
Here, now, this is enough.
Loving what and whom I love is enough.
Living life on a human scale is enough.
Writing what I love and question and care about is enough.
Here, now, this is enough.
I let go of expectations, mine and yours. Of any need to be clever, rich, thin, quieter, hot, even happy.
I let go of people who made me feel less than. I let go of people who are addicted to misery. I let go of any need to be clever or sophisticated or hip.
I picked up my ordinary.
I decided to just be.
[rock by kim mailhot, the rock fairy]