One could also say Give In. Sometimes it’s necessary to find balance by letting go, giving in.
Letting go of grudges can be hard, but there’s undeniable sense in it. It takes courage to float free without that solid feeling of anger to push against. It may take years to let go of a grudge, but with persistence, it is finally done and then it seems so sensible.
R came to visit for a few weeks. Five years after he left me, I’m able to fully embrace his wonderful being without any regret, anger, grudge or hurt. None. That’s freedom.
Letting go of expectation is also difficult. We all expect a lot of ourselves. Sometimes I’m just bogged down with expectation. It’s a mire through which I slog, unable to move. It’s so ironic that my attempts to motivate myself are the reason I can’t. Once a counselor told me I need a T-shirt that says “Should Man”, since I over used that word in our sessions.
I have a pile of shirts which need to be ironed. I washed them, but haven’t had time or focus to iron them. They’ve migrated all around the house in various meaningful places of expectation, in the basement while they waited to be ironed the first time weeks ago, then in my living room, waiting to be taken to the cleaners to be washed again so they could be ironed by someone else, up in my bedroom, where I had no idea why they were there, and now back int he living room, conspicuously staring at me, accusing. The ironing dream may happen, it may not. Luckily I don’t wear them often. But this time, I think I’ll give up and have them professionally done. At least that clears the slate, and hopefully next time, I’ll iron each one as I it.
Giving up on changing habits. I wish I could be more disciplined in many, many things. I “should” do so much more. But I don’t. Even though I don’t agonize like I used to, I still bind myself to those weights and drag them around. I should get up earlier, I should read more, I should blog less. When I stop “shoulding”, I panic, “What now?” (That response I have yet to figure out.)
Luckily blogging fills ALL my time so I don’t notice what I’m not doing. So if the house is burning down, I’ll just call the fire brigade and keep blogging until they get here. When the cats need feeding, they tell me, and I go back to blogging. I’m just whining lightly here. I know what I’m doing, and I know I have to check myself. Blogging gives me a certain high, so despite my “shoulding” I continue. So giving up and giving in is a calculated risk I’m willing to take.
Pema Chodron says start from where you are. This means completely accepting where you are in every detail, emotionally, physically, habitually, socially. And Stay with yourself. Stay with your frustrations, your fears, from the inside out. Start from where you are, over and over and over.
So giving up is not throwing up your hands and saying “f**k it”. It’s softening enough to say it’s OK to be where you are, and it’s also OK to move a little here or there. That way you fogive as you go.