I once dreamed that an acquaintance said to me over the phone, ‘You try too hard.’ This was years ago but it still echoes in my mind. I always try. Why wouldn’t I? Who would I be if I didn’t. I grew up in a family where our unspoken mantra was: Hard work, not cleanliness, is next to godliness. So I try and try, which is exhausting. Sometimes–possibly most of the time–it works against me.
I envy people who can let go and simply be. They’re the ones sitting under the sun smiling as the speed walkers like me race past to our endless destinations–because there’s always a finish line to cross.
This constant anxiety to get somewhere so I can finally be Somebody is… unsatisfying. And it’s left me wondering if this is all there is.
It comes down to feeling in control–if I tried harder, then I can be better, closer to my ideal. I’d finally be good enough, and then I’d belong, with you.
I know this is an endless race. I also know that I’m the one dictating the rules where I keep raising the stakes, making it impossible to win.
I’m practicing letting go, not focusing on the finish line, but on each step along the path instead. ‘If it happens, it happens. If not, then I’ll enjoy the moment anyway,’ I say to myself now.
This is not easy. It’s like rubbing suede the wrong way–it feels wrong, and yet! I’m noticing that when I take my focus off the finish line it actually finds its way to me. Why does it work this way?
It’s hard to let go and trust that it will all work out. Maybe that’s what I need the most–to trust.