The first clear memory I have of the concept of “letting go” was the first time I ever went water skiing. I was young and not very physically active so it didn’t take long before I was down. With the water rushing loudly passed my ears, I couldn’t hear the screams from those on the boat telling me to let go of the tow rope. Instead, I remained like a fish on a hook being dragged in against its will and ultimate fate.
I surprisingly don’t have a lot of residual humiliation about this event since I it was my first time water skiing or any skiing for that matter. And my wiring was such that letting go seemed like giving up to me. Not to mention that I had a significant anxiety about deep water and there was no way on god’s green earth that I was going to calmly tread water all on my own while the boat took its sweet time turning around to get me. All the while the creatures of my nightmares were chomping at the bit under the water to the theme song of the Jaws movie that was playing loudly inside my head.
That was then, this is now. So what am I clinging to now?
Maybe letting go is only a challenge because we have, what we consider to be, valid reasons for holding on so tightly. But then again, maybe those reasons are as old as a movie from the 70’s and need to be re-evaluated.
“Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.”
(David Foster Wallace)
This hour, this day, this month and this year, I’m looking for new ways to let go of any current “tow ropes” that I am hanging onto for dear life but do well to just let go of. And I’m reaching out to others for support in this since we’re not wired to go on this journey alone.
The only way I will know what is truly weighing me down is to practice letting go and to watch for the claw marks. Here’s to a new year of things being set out to the curb covered in scratches!