Become what you might be

photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

I have the phrase Let Go tattooed behind my right ear, in my handwriting. It’s a tattoo I wanted because I realized that I felt better when I didn’t carry everything around with me.

At first, letting go meant moving forward; forgiveness of others and the biggie, forgiveness of myself. Letting go of mistakes I’d made and forgiving myself enabled me to forgive others. Letting go of ridiculous standards of perfection allowed me to see the beautiful imperfection all around me.

It really was a breakthrough, and still is.
As I’ve continued letting go (yes, it’s a constant practice), it’s begun to morph.

Lao Tzu says, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”. For anyone who loves control as much as I do, this is a pretty scary concept, but stay with me.

Letting go of what I am does not mean completely upending my life. It’s meant releasing expectations – expectations of myself and of others. Accepting people where they are, and most importantly accepting myself where I am. At the most basic level, it’s meant living in reality, not in some over-thought place in my head that holds me (and everyone else) accountable to unrealistic expectations.

Living in reality is allowing me to become what I might be. Most days, I have no idea what that looks like, which can be uncomfortable, and I’m most likely to start over-thinking when I’m uncomfortable. That’s when I ground myself in reality. Right now, I am typing this blog post. Yesterday, I spent a fantastic afternoon swimming. Tomorrow will happen tomorrow.

Plans still get made and progress still happens, but I’ve let go of the expected outcome. I’m more open to what happens, and although I can think anything to death, the truth is I can’t predict the future, so I choose to use my mental energy to improve the now and open the door to what I might be.

Thanks for being on this journey with me.


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