Saturday, July 9, 2011

On Quitting vs Letting Go

 W/we've been watching a TV series together called "Men Of A Certain Age".  The episode this week was frustrating to watch as our characters made some poor choices which kept them in destructive or negative patterns in their lives.  And W/we were a bit irritated with the writers for not allowing some good and positive outcomes in the lives of the characters.

One of the characters decided to give up on a life-long dream to be a golfer, and he told his friend it was ok, he didn't need it.  And I think what he was really doing was giving up rather than try, because he felt it was worse to try and fail than to not try at all.

Well tell that to Don Quixote!  Or the ancient proverb (probably Chinese or Japanese) which tells us that success means getting up every time we fall.  Try telling that to my Dad who always told me that nothing beats a failure but a try.  (As a little girl I didn't understand that one very well, but I figured it out in time.)

Our golfer guy, Joe, just gave up rather than face the struggle.  Rather than upset his kids, family, and friends.  Rather than let himself down.  He quit instead.  Irony there, since the ultimate let down is never trying.  Yes, sometimes we do need to let go of dreams or goals or plans that no longer meet our needs or suit our lives.  But that isn't the same thing as quitting to avoid heartache and pain and fear and worry and...oh you get the point.

I hope in time that the writers will help this character develop some, well, character.  I hope that we will see growth, and that he will learn some universal truths.  It's not that I want him to be perfect, and never have problems.  That wouldn't be very interesting nor realistic, and drama does need to be believable.  It's just that I'd like him to not consistently make such poor choices.

And I have no more ability nor control over how the storyline develops with this character than I do with how other people's lives develop. And so often I may have learned and understood and internalized a universal truth, but I can do nothing to impart that wisdom to another.  Sadly, so very often, those truths have to be learned the hard way, and on one's own schedule.  And it remains frustrating to me, the fixer, that I can't give everyone the wisdom they need (according to my mind anyway) when they need it.  I have to shut up and let them find the wisdom for themselves.  And that is hard.  And when the wisdom is found, and forward progress is made, and positive outcomes begin to manifest, I am so relieved, and happy.  Whether it's in the life of a friend, loved one, family member, employee, or acquaintance, it's a beautiful thing when realization dawns and the momentum shifts, and the ultimate provisions of the universe abound.

Letting go of my desire to control and make everything be ok is huge, and a key here.  Letting go.  Let go. Don't worry, don't fret, breathe.  Be prepared for the worst when I can take steps to avoid the worst.  But for situations and people over which I have no control, stop being prepared for the worst, and just let it go.  Being prepared won't make the bad any easier to bear, it really won't. Stop wasting time fretting and worrying and being scared.  Let go.

Try, fail, try again. Let go of fear and worries, breathe.



  1. Ummmm... Like me for instance?

    Thanks for caring:-)

    Hugs, swan

  2. Just to be clear, that last paragraph was actually written as a reminder to myself to stop trying to fix and control other people. It's my mental reminder to just breathe and let it be. You can most likely relate to that too - one of my biggest challenges in that dept is with my son.


    But I do care about you too - all of you - so very much.