Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Swing Under the Tree



I just read a blog entry on letting go.  The author related the need to let go in yoga to letting go in life, instead of fretting and focusing on obvious strength and success.  Having participated in the yoga from P90X I can certainly appreciate the literal implications as well as the figurative.  You should read it; it's a wonderful post:  On Strength and Letting Go

It was a very appropriate read for me today, as I am finding myself getting more and more wound-up and fretful in the last several months.  There have been a lot of struggles and stress in my life in the last couple years . . . things I don't necessarily have to expound upon, because frankly, I'm not sure how much it matters.  Everyone has their piles of worry.  I'm no different.  I'm no more special with my grievances than the next person. 

I have been stretched very thinly, trying to take care of myself, my family, my husband's family, friends, work, and trying to make significant changes to my health, my career, and our living conditions.  And for some reason, during this same time as when I have been working drastically on myself, everyone else has needed me more than ever before.  Murphy's Law, I suppose?

For the most part, I have been keeping it together quite well.  In fact, I've found that my threshold has grown immensely.  But recently it seems that things are beginning to unravel.  People are getting upset and I'm starting to lose it.  I'm making more mistakes, thinking less clearly, and feeling more anxious.  I'm feeling more dread than joy.  This isn't supposed to happen when you work so hard.  But it does, no matter what.  It does when you work too hard, and forget or refuse to let things go. 

One of my problems is that I care too much, which therefore sets the worry bugs a runnin'.  I don't worry about everything, but there are a few areas in which I worry enough for a few people.  I can let myself get so bothered that I almost feel as though I have an outer-body experience, lasting a couple days or more.  Nothing feels real or normal when this occurs, but instead feels unsettled and difficult to grasp.  Most often these qualities are brought about by conflict -- something with which I am not terribly good.  Much of that comes from my struggles with social anxiety.  Life is easy for no one, but it introduces special challenges for people who can have a hard time socially.

You know what it's like to feel like you can't win?  I'm sure you do.  That's how I feel most of the time.  But I'm sick of even being concerned about the game.  Because no matter how hard I work to do the right thing all the time, say the right things, support other people, grow my skills and character, sometimes (and maybe a lot of times) shit is going to happen.  And no matter how frustrated or down I get about this fact, it's still going to happen.  So I might as well accept it and stop working myself into a frenzy.  (I can hear the cheers right now from my husband and parents.)  It's time to just let things go.

My dad is a minister, and many times during church he will begin a prayer session by saying, "Take off your shoes and go to your special place . . ."  That special place for me is always my swing under the tree in our back yard.  I spent many hours there not only playing, but dreaming and thinking and just being.  It was my own little pocket of Utopia where I could be myself and let everything flow in and out of me without any worries or filters.  That swing is long gone, but the state of mind can still be brought back.

If things get left undone, if people are left to take care of themselves a little more, if I don't change all the things about myself that need changing . . . so be it.  I'm trying.  And that's all anyone can do, right?  And if someone expects more than that, well, it's nothing that I can control.  But that doesn't mean that I have to allow them to make me feel as though I am not enough.  Even though I may not fully believe it yet, I am going to tell myself that I am enough.  And where I am is okay.  I just have to breath and let things fall where they may.  Sometimes all you can do is swing.