Two of the hardest things for most of us is receiving from those around us and letting go of the things we love. This fall has certainly been a time of just that for me. In June my son informed me he wanted to go to Junior Boarding school. He just turned 13 years old in July. August was filled with planning and attending school visits, selecting the schools to apply to and deciding on one. It also involved determining what needed to be taken, left behind, dentists, orthodontists, doctors and the actual logistics of getting him across a border and moved into a new place.
I returned home with the intention to actually now take care of me. I started running regularly, I stopped drinking wine every day and I made sure I did not fill my schedule. I also became very angry and unhappy. It took a little reflection and wise words from someone to help me actually understand that I am grieving. I am letting go of my child. He is a young man now. Not the child I take to school and come home with at the end of the day. He is a young man who no longer needs me in the ways he used to. I am letting go of that part of my life. Once I saw it, I understood my motivation to be 'super productive,' and my short temper. I handle grief by putting up a wall of things to do and hope it holds back the uncomfortable feelings.
Little did I know that within days, I would be making the decision to let go of my other baby, the work I have been doing for twelve years. While the decision feels so right, I can feel the anxiety creeping in as I start to tell people. As I come to realize the coming days work of preparing for this change, I feel myself shutting down again.
I recall this quote brought to my attention by Brene Brown, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
I feel like that man in the arena. How do I stay in the arena and dare greatly in the face of these feelings that make me feel so vulnerable?
Last night, I went to 108 Yoga, (the Yoga centre where I teach), and I sat in the presence of such powerful and beautiful souls; the other teachers. I let myself be seen, and to feel the love that they offer.
We don't stand in the arena alone. Ever. But that is true only if we allow ourselves to be seen.