“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” – Lao Tzu
This month, I'm focusing on releasing things that no longer serve -- habits, ideas, fears, weight, anything that no longer fits the person I choose to be. Even if the behaviors or thoughts aren't harmful to me, carrying around things that no longer belong to the person I am now slows me down. It makes me heavier, like carrying a pile of rocks in my body. And it takes up room in my beingness that is needed for the new -- new ideas, new relationships, new behaviors that belong to the person I am becoming.
My life is a perfect example of this process right now. I'm in my senior year of ministerial school. A year from now, I will have graduated. I will have passed my comprehensive exams and will be preparing to take my final ministerial panels. I am becoming a minister. Being a minister has required me to take on quite a few new aspects -- a deeper spiritual practice, a fuller willingness to look at my own triggers and emotions, an ability to give a loving "No" to new activities that don't fit at the moment. My life, though, was already quite full before I began this transformation. I had this plan (yeah, go ahead and laugh) that I would simply rearrange my life a bit to make room. I wouldn't have to give anything up. Nothing would fall away. Famous last words...
What has become clear to me over the past 2 1/2 years is how difficult it is to lug around the rocks that don't fit into my life any longer. Those old, unprocessed emotions are too much to bear. Grudges and stories about my victim-hood were so much a part of my identity that I didn't know who I was without them -- but it turns out that who I am without them is a person with a heightened capacity for joy and trust. Habits of overeating and indulgence felt like a major source of fun in my life -- but without them I am lighter, brighter and more energetic. Overachieving to please others seemed simply a part of my personality -- but softening and relaxing left room for my real personality to shine through. A few people may be less thrilled with me, but the rest actually see ME now, and not just what I accomplish.
Whoever you are, whatever your story, I'm willing to bet you are carrying around a few heavy rocks that no longer belong to you. If you put them down, you'll find you have the space for some wonderful new thing that fits the person you are becoming. Put down the rocks. Make the space. You deserve it. And so it is.