LETTING GO–AGAIN

Not me!

By Lisa Huddleston

This morning I took the risk of pushing my 56-year-old body up into a backbend. It took a lift from my yoga instructor and a lot of courage from within to accomplish, but there I was, upside down looking back at the wall. I had been afraid to try, afraid of the brittleness I’ve been experiencing, the stiffness of my self. But the stretch felt good as I let go of my practical doubts and pushed up.

On my drive home, I listened to NPR’s “On Point” host a discussion of the television series, “13 Reasons Why.” I will not get into the debate over whether or not the series is positive or negative in this post, but I do want to record a small epiphany that occurred as I listened to a high school student share why she was drawn to the idea of suicide. And this may be obvious to everyone but me, but she said that she had contemplated killing herself in order to gain control over her situation. It was all about control!

Aha! Control, my old familiar nemesis, rears its ugly head once again. As I said, although it may have been hiding in plain sight, I have missed it before this morning. And, big duh, suicide really is the ultimate step of mastery over one’s situation—at least for that moment.

So much (God?) has been pointing out to me my desperate desire to have self-determination in a world that feels so out of control. We humans search for purpose and meaning and happiness and beauty and wealth and power–whatever will control the fact that we are from dust and to dust we will return. Pippin’s four weeks of dying naturally were a microcosm that let me vicariously (and actually as one who could have chosen to end his life) experience letting go. And yesterday I attended the funeral services of a wonderfully warm and brave family member (Jerry Denton) who chose to forego extreme medical intervention and let nature take its course in his dying—or rather living all the way until he died. I remain so moved by his courage and example of trust. I know it must have been unbelievably hard to let go of the reins of control, feeble though they are.

And this morning this aha. Control is a mirage anyway. Fear is a faker. Letting go and pushing into the moment is the courageous choice and the only honest way to live all the way stretched up and into the space of the day. Why is it so hard to do?

 

WEAVING A LIFE

By Lisa Huddleston

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Over and under

And pulling it through

Weaving the wool

To make fabric new

 

Red wool and blue wool

And purple and gray

The over and under

Help me through the day

 

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Like yoga sometimes

It’s more undo than do

So over and under

I’m pulling me through

 

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Teasing out knots that

Ravel my brain

Picking apart to

Lessen the strain

 

Over and under

And pulling back though

Undoing the old knots

But still making new

FLIP FLOPPED OUT

I'm trying.

I’m trying.

By Lisa Huddleston

I don’t know why it is that when something negative happens to me I want to write about it. Maybe it’s because I want someone to understand how I feel, to know that I really do try to be a good person and that I want other people to like me. Of course, that is an impossible dream. There are always going to be some people who don’t like something I do or something I am, and I’m just going to have to live with it. We all have to accept criticism from time to time.

So what started this conversation today? I went to the gym to attend my weekly yoga class, and since yoga is practiced with bare feet, I wore easy-to-remove flip flops. Since I arrived early, I slipped into the workout room and onto the AMT machine to burn some extra calories before class, and about ten minutes into my “fat burner” program, I saw the lady who works at the desk making a bee-line for me. Oh oh! I could tell something was wrong, but I couldn’t imagine what. She approached me with an apologetic smile and told me that someone in the gym had reported me for wearing flip flops in the workout room. Really? Wow! I was stunned, but I didn’t argue (thank goodness), got off the machine, and left the room. But I felt so hurt and shamed and angry that I was fighting back tears. I mean how was I hurting anybody? My feet were not touching anything. It was an easy, swinging, low-impact exercise so it wasn’t concern for my well-being. Sadly, all I can think of is that someone just decided to be the policeman or woman for everyone in room. My thought is that they should have been paying more attention to their own workout and less to my feet, but whatever. Rules are rules–although I didn’t even know there was one regarding footwear. (Yes, I still so badly want to defend myself!)

Instead of just sitting there waiting, I decided to go to the chair yoga class that precedes power yoga. It was very good and designed to center me in peace and relaxation; but, as you can tell, I never got there today. I am still hurt, I still want to confront my accuser, and as one friend put it, give them a “Downward Dog!” Alas, I have to let it go. And letting it go for me means finding something good to learn from it. So here goes:

1. I will strive not to put rules over people remembering the embarrassment I felt today and hoping not to inflict similar pain on others. (This lesson is good for so many situations!!)

2. I will try to mind my own business more and other people’s less.

3. I will remember that the person who asked me to leave was just doing her job and continue to greet her with a smile and a heartfelt “Good morning!”

4. I will humbly wear gym shoes the next time I go into the workout room and submit to the rules no matter how stupid I think they are.

5. I will allow myself to feel the injustice for just a little longer, and then I will let it go. Yes, I will. Very soon.

Breathe in; breathe out. Shake it off, blow away the anxiety, and remember this is still the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!