I have a day job, and lately it has been kicking my ass.
I’m not complaining – I feel very blessed to not only be employed in this economy, but to be working for a good company with great people with whom I actually enjoy spending my days. I am extremely fortunate and I don’t take it for granted. But this last couple weeks, my plate has been piled high with tasks and projects that are making my head spin.
I had an e-mail exchange with my friend Steve today. I had made a comment about being overwhelmed with work, and he reached out to me to ask if I wanted support. Steve is a beautiful man who has touched my life deeply, and when a day came last year when I thought I was saying “goodbye” to him, I wrote the poem “two crows fly away” that is posted on the Poetry page of this blog. Happily, it was not “goodbye”, only “see you later”. I am grateful for his presence, for his sage counsel, for his loving spirit.
I told Steve that I was okay, and pointed out that I get overwhelmed when I’m getting grandiose and think that I “should” know everything and I “should” be able to handle anything at the very moment it is given to me. It was a great opportunity to remind myself that I don’t know everything, and I don’t have to handle everything at once.
“The overwhelm is just an indicator that I’m trying to take control of everything,” I wrote in reply, “and I need to do a bit of surrender – a bit of letting go.”
Steve’s response was open and, as usual, questioning the various sides of my statement – the light and the dark, you could say. “Letting go,” he wrote, “a difficult thing to do easily, or an easy thing to do with difficulty? Hmmm?”
And as usual, Steve’s comment made me think. One of the things I love about him is that he usually says stuff that makes me pause and consider things in different ways.
“I think it’s the latter” I responded. “An easy thing to do, but made difficult by me.” And it’s true – “letting go” is a fairly easy thing in itself; I’m the one who makes it difficult.
I was reminded of the story of the man carrying a giant rock on his back, a huge rock that weighs so much that it has made the man bent and crooked from years of hauling it around. The man is just worn down from years carrying the weight of this rock, and he carries it with him everywhere he goes. And one day another man, who has seen him burdened with this massive weight for a long time, approaches the struggling man and says, “Friend, you don’t need to be carrying that rock around – look what it’s doing to you! It’s destroying your body, and wasting your life – think of all the effort you have to put in to lugging it around everywhere! Why don’t you just put it down?” And the man replies, somewhat annoyed, “Because it’s MY rock!”
I’m continually amazed at how long I will hold on to something that doesn’t serve me. Inner peace is available to me any time I should seek it, but it is conditioned upon my willingness to surrender whatever I’m holding on to.