Letting Go Without Letting Go of Myself
I had a lot of fears about becoming a mother. I feared that I would resent my family for having to quit my career. I feared that I would never live up to my potential or ambition. I feared that somehow, by having a family, my gifts and talents would wind up unused and wasted.
I know well that being a mother means letting go. From the very beginning, Ryan and I had to let go when we learned of the timing of our pregnancy and the fact we were having two at the same time. I had to let go of my ideas of what kind of birth I wanted to experience, what kind of parenting techniques I'd like to employ, and the fact that I didn't want to need any help. Things don't go according to plan in life, and when they don't , it's a nudge to let go.
I've grown custom to the art of letting go, but recently I've realized that in the process I don't have to let go of myself. There are some qualities about me that are so engrained to my identity that they feel closer than my own skin. It's these qualities, that when given the chance to flourish, make me feel most like myself which quickly translates to JOY. & when I'm joyful, I'm a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
So I have made it a priority to grow these things and to let go in all else.
Some things that make me, me:
1. My Catholic Faith: Nothing can or will ever take this away from me.
2. Writing: Words have always meant something to me. I love the way they sound when you arrange them together purposefully. I love the way the pen feels on paper when you write something sweet in cursive. I love the way you can choose to build or bruise. I try to write something every day.
3. Learning: I am the definition of a life long learner. I will never stop learning something new. Just the other day, I spent my free nap time taking an online seminar in sustainability. Knowledge is appealing to me, and cultivates within me a sense of agency like I know not without it. It's exhilarating to learn something new.
Just to name a few.
I guess I just wanted to share that in the midst of letting go to almost every notion I have, there are some things that are best to hold on to. So here I am, caught in a whirlwind that sounds a lot like the rhythm of my own breathing.
Let go. Hold on. Let go. Hold on.
The trick is to have the prudence to know with which to do what.