A few days ago, I had one of those days that everyone I worked with gave me the itch, it was one of those days that every conversation I had pushed my buttons in a different direction and resulted in feelings and thoughts that followed me everywhere.
The Same day, evening time, I thought to myself that maybe when I move into dinner preparation mode and occupy my head with other tasks, my thoughts and feelings will all fade away, but apparently, they didn’t leave, or shall I dare to say that I didn’t let them go?
So the moment my husband got home and saw the squint in between my eyes he knew. I knew that I don’t need to wait for his next question: “what’s wrong?” I just went for it: “I need to vent," I said, "just listen and let me know what you think”. Three stories seasoned our food alongside with sweet paprika and chili paper. Three interactions with three different people that I felt and left each conversation very uncomfortable for various reasons. To my surprise my husband didn’t say that I am over reacting, he acknowledged my emotions.
After dinner I took a break and wanted to move on, my craving was to let go of the thoughts that kept going in my head and stirred with the different emotions that showed up on my day. I took a moment to see what was happening to me: It started with not being seen and acknowledged, then feeling manipulated and ended with a situation that caught me unprepared and surprised and made me feel upset with myself for not fully showing up. Three different human interactions along the day that left me upset with others and myself, three separated stories that caught me unable to let go of the labyrinth I felt inside my head (although there was a voice in me saying: "enough! just let go!").
Let go! Two short words that we say to ourselves and to others so many times, but let me ask you: how many times when someone told you to let go you were ready, or willing, or able just to do it?
I know the stories and what I make up of them don’t serve me, so my craving is to let go, but even though this is my wish I still haven't found the magic word to let go, and I am damn sure it is not: "let go!".
So I am writing to you from the midst of my messiness because I want to tell you something, something I wanted to write about for a while, but it had to wait until the right moment. I wanted to write about letting go, and how I, Noa, don’t believe in us letting go when someone tells us to (or even when we tell ourselves).
Most of the day we interact with others, and I am learning to notice myself in each of these experiences (even with animals). I am noticing what ticks me, and what makes me show up fully, what liberates me and what/who limits me. It is about how I want to show up with others, and in what situations I fall, stumble or do everything wrong. I don't see my role or other leaders role as changing/fixing others' behaviors. They change when we change. For example, when someone says something to manipulate me, or hurt me purposely I can choose to react, or I can choose to respond. From noticing myself, I have learned thatI prefer to pause and choose quiet. Not because I don't know what to say, or afraid to lose control, but because I need to bring myself into a place of resonating choice. Not the choice the other side is trying to impose on me, but the way I choose to show up with others and if after I took a big breath I will choose to lose control - so now it is a place of choice.
Back to letting go, when we hear others sharing their stories, their messiness, their hurt feelings, or how upset they are with themselves, many times our tendency is to help them heal, help them to be happy again but is it about their need or ours? A few years ago my daughter was practicing a new piece on the piano and was very upset that she couldn't figure out why her fingers get it all wrong, she yelled and her eyes teared up, and as always I wanted to make my daughter happy. Since I know how to play on the piano, I rushed to her and tried to comfort her, telling her that it takes time and she needs to let go, but she didn't. Then I realized that as always I am trying to make her happy, so I paused and asked her: "What do you need from me?", "Nothing," she said, "I need to cry, and then I will figure it out." I have tears in my eyes writing about this memory because it was one of those teaching moments when you learn that what you crave for others is not always their need. So maybe the magic word is: "figure it out?" maybe... I know I needed to write this blog post to get more clarity about what was my teaching moment from my three messy stories. I know I needed to understand my emotions and thoughts, I needed to find a place of forgiveness to others and myself, and even though I thought I was ready to let go, internally I still wasn't ready.
So next time, when someone is sharing their story with you and you think it is time for them to let go, ask yourself: what is uncomfortable for me that I wish for them to let go? Is it about their need or my need? I know you can figure it out.