It has been a season of letting go for me and it hasn’t been easy.   Part of my answer pattern is usually to rise to the challenge and work harder in the face of adversity.  It’s a pattern I’m quite familiar with, it’s the part of me that wants to be the best, win every argument, and crush every workout.  Sometimes this drive leads to eye rolls and sighs from others; I’m not sure I was a favorite group project participant and I’m also pretty sure my family cringes when I get out the board games or start our annual gingerbread competition.  I hate losing and acknowledging defeat. 

But alas, no human being I know can be “the best.”  In particular when it comes to our relationships and our children, we reach our capacity.  If we keep striving and aiming for victory in relationships, we become exhausted because of course victory is not really the point at all.  When we are in true relationship with ourselves, we set limits and boundaries on our efforts for others.  We have to show up for ourselves first or there is no reserve left for our loved ones.  But damn does it feel bad to disappoint someone else.  It can be easy to get caught up in a cycle of guilt and self-blame in the face of reaching our own limitations and “keep on keeping on” for others’ sake.  But the danger in not listening to our own limits is burn-out and dissociating and numbing out from our own experiences until we become an exhausted shell.  I’ve had plenty of times in my life where I’ve chosen this “keeping on” route and at no time has that ended well. 

And so this time and in this season, I chose something different and recognized my limitations.  It still feels pretty terrible to be honest, but I’m choosing to be with the feeling and acknowledge the guilt when it comes.  While I didn’t get my gold star this time, I am finding solace in the lessons learned and the power of the word “no.”

Peace to each of you,