“She didn’t read a book on how to let go”
A prompt from the poem ‘She Let Go’ by Rev. Safire Rose
I’m so very good at collecting words; novels, blog posts, articles, snippets of poetry and prose I swear I’ll someday read. Books make me feel safe. The answers I seek, the stories I need to help me sleep, they are there, I tell myself, waiting for me.
Years ago when I was teaching, one of my favorite self care rituals was to spend a morning with something heavily caffeinated meandering aisles of a bookstore. It might be a Sunday morning or a rare weekday when I was spent and had called in sick; I'd wander from fiction to self help, spirituality to education. I'd stop by gardening, linger and flip through cookbooks. I'd avoid the classics, history, and politics. Smile as I passed by young adult fiction, so many of those novels already on my classroom shelves. I'd begin to gather a simplify your life, here, create a homestead, become self sufficient, there, find yourself, stop worrying, raise children who aren’t selfish, who are always happy and healthy. I'd gather and gather, and when my arms were full, find an oversized chair ready for enlightenment.
Sometimes I'd read for hours. Sometimes I purchased a book I was sure would be the glue I needed to fix whatever felt broken.
And then the pressure to fix, to do the steps in exact order, to do the opposite of what wasn't working would come. And I'd return again, months later, to gather and seek. Repeat.
I'm not saying I've stop reading or searching or seeking. There have been a good number of findings over the years. Wisdom has been discovered, but more and more I've realized I was relying too much on someone else's way of being to shape mine.
My logical mind knew no one could write a step by step process to balance my life, get rid of my anxiety in just ten days. It knew there wasn't a surefire way to make sure my children, my family, my marriage was always healthy and happy, but my logical mind was not leading those days. I have spent a lot of time, in books, on Facebook, in relationship with people and things that make me feel worse, wandering around, looking for quick fixes.
“She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She just let go.”
She didn't worry about knowing everything there was to know about writing or publishing, she just wrote. She didn't need fancy equipment or recipes, she just picked up a knife and began chopping. She didn't need to hang on to friendships that had run their course.
She just followed her gut and let their learning happen. She just sipped her coffee and smiled at the ideas, reminders, knowledge that there may be no answers, and even if there are today, the question and therefore the answer will probably change tomorrow.
She just tried to remember that she, I, can always seek my story, my words, my voice, my truth, and in the action of doing, being an active participant in my life, the creating and recreating of the life I want, it continues to come into being.
My words, it turns out, get me a lot closer to my answers, than anyone else's.
Still reading, collecting story, just remembering to include my words more of the time.