"You are beautiful and your spirit is beautiful too". This was one of the most riveting compliments I've ever received from a stranger. A parent at my school stopped me while I was singing with a student and gave me the most inspiring compliments. She went on to say how she admires my bond with my students and how I'm always smiling. My first question was how does this woman know so much about me, but we've never formally met? However, little did she know, I haven't been smiling lately, mainly because I'm struggling to let go of things I can't change.
"Letting go" is a current struggle in my life that I've allowed to attack my happiness. I've held on to situations from the past mainly because I feel like no one understands or values my opinion, when eighty-five percent of the time I'm right. I'm that person who pulls up all types of evidence to support my claims and then people look at me as though I've committed a crime. I will admit, I feel the need to get my point across, be heard and often times be right. Therefore, I've always thought that part of letting go of a situation meant that I had to have this dramatic face off with the person who caused me pain. I'm always looking for a solution to the problem, but the reality is sometimes situations end with there still being a problem until one person decides to let go.
As an educator, letting go is one of the most challenging things for me, because I'm obsess with having control over situations and people's decisions. I didn't realize this until my first year as a lead teacher. My theory was that if I was kind to my assistant and allowed her to get away with things that the average person wouldn't, that meant I was not controlling. However, I didn't allow her to instructionally support students or manage whole group behavior because I didn't want to feel like I had to give up control over my classroom. I know it sounds "bad" but let me defend my actions. My assistant was a lead teacher for over ten years, and was demoted to an assistant because she didn't meet the educational requirements to be a lead teacher again. Therefore, I felt like she wanted me to fail and other times she wanted to take over in order to show me that she was a better fit for the position. (But were cool nonetheless.)
I was in the middle of doing my off-balance "yoga" when a chant came to my mind "I cannot control people or situations, I can only control my actions and thoughts". I struggle daily with accepting people being condescending, ungrateful, not telling the truth and etc... I often feel powerless. and when I'm explaining my frustration to someone who I trust and suppose to confide in they state "F*** it ". (As if I'm suppose to allow people to use and emotionally abuse me.) Therefore, yoga sessions is a way for me to let go of all of my expectations of people and my negative thoughts. I try to invests and surround myself with positive thoughts, people and environments.I believe that one is only powerless when they allow others to dictate their next move.
During my early years, I wasn't vocal, which transpired into anger, depression and anxiety. I'm currently learning that letting go is not me losing a battle, but me being at peace with things that I cannot change. When someone is being an asshole to me, my first thought is to respond. I realized that when I responded nothing was resolved, their was a lack of respect and people played the roll as the "victim" when I was hitting them with harsh facts (Figuratively). I had to "live in my truth" and admit that I lacked compassion for others, who I felt have done me wrong. In contrast, I didn't realize I placed myself in the victim role as well. I've been so quick to look at the person who had done me wrong not understanding that I must look past what the person is doing, and look at the situation. Sometimes the situation is the bigger picture, which may lead you to your purpose. Purpose trumps power! Therefore, the ART of letting go is not easy, but it's okay to burst out in tears and let go of all the baggage you carry that no-one knows about. Afterwards, there's a choice you have to make: A. change your perspective or B. remove yourself from the situation. What is your regimen for "letting go"?