Reverb #5: Let Go

Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

This one’s pretty easy to answer—and also hard.

This year I let go of three different regular writing gigs, two of them paying gigs, with nothing lined up to take their place. I was pretty sure that the season to work on those things was over, and that other opportunities would arise, but I wasn’t sure about that. One never is.

Many many years ago, at the beginning of my career, I was talking to a friend, also near the beginning of her career. She’d been asked to lead a conference—she didn’t feel it was hers to do, but was afraid of saying no because Maybe if I say no too often, people will stop asking. It’s scarcity thinking and comes from a place of fear, not trust. On the other hand, I have witnessed this first-hand. Once in a while, someone will go out on a limb for the uber-selective person who says no to things a lot. More often, it seems, if they want a sure thing, they will ask the reliable go-to person who’s likely to be an easier yes.

There’s a sense when you’re just starting out that you say yes to as much as possible for the experience and the learning. Also, in my religious tradition, we believe that a person’s call is confirmed by the community, so when someone asks us to do something, we really pay attention to that: If they asked me, they must think I’m the right person…

So… there was some baggage associated with letting go of a lot of stuff. However, since nature abhors a vacuum, I felt it was important to do, and even a bit exciting. It’s also good to say no to things just to prove to yourself that the world goes on without you.

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3 thoughts on “Reverb #5: Let Go

  1. Rachel Heslin says:

    Expectations. Time and again, once I convinced myself to let go of how I thought things “should” be, life became less of a struggle, and things almost always turned out far better than if I had continued to try to orchestrate every detail of the results.

  2. Jan Lorah says:

    Yes, this is an easy one, Mary Ann. I let go of a relationship that was dragging me down; it was difficult, but I had to just go cold turkey. I let go of a job that was consuming so much of my time that I had little time to schedule spiritual direction clients. So far, I’ve added nothing — neither another job, or more clients… but I am ready to be surprised by God’s grace, and just await the next opportunity.

  3. […] made some big decisions this year, including the decision to say no to some things that allowed me to say yes to some other stuff. But the decision that has brought the most […]

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