Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Art of Letting Go


There is indeed an art to letting go. And it is perhaps one of the most important arts one can master.

It's taken me quite a while to learn this truth, much less the art of it. I come from a long line of optimists that insist that success and persistence are synonymous, that positivity and objectivity are friends, and that determination is never blind. That letting go implies giving up, and that the painful harbingers of loss and failure are best responded to with "I can make this work. I can hold on. There's no such thing as a mistake... if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"

These have been the mantras for so much of my life.

And often these mantras work. But sometimes they don't.

Sometimes, "if you want something - if you love something - you have to let it go..."

This is true in every area of our lives. I've clung as tightly to certain career moves as I have to relationships, even when all signs pointed toward an impending flop. I've resisted sound advice, fearing that I would somehow negate the validity of my original dreams by daring to imagine newer (how dare I say better?) ones. Standing still and proud, I would arch my chin into the very wind that was softly and gently trying to sweep me off to somewhere new...

I've now come to realize that the best of dreamers – the real idealists – have their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. How else can they move in the direction of the wondrous and exciting things they see up there?

Indeed, if a year traveling with a circus taught me anything, it's that you can't grab onto the next trapeze handle if you're still clinging to the one in your hand. You'll just keep swinging in midair until the momentum stops, the crowd leaves, and the show moves on...

So here's to letting go. Here's to having faith that the best of optimism and dreams are realized by embracing the tempering wisdoms of objectivity and necessary change. Here's to the journey. May we all release our fists of familiarity and fear, so that we can leap into a glorious future with bravery, humility, integrity, and grace.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You traveled with a circus?? I could riff on that, but I won't. :)

Another good piece, Jennifer. I plan to forward the link to a friend or two.

Best, jmb

February 25, 2010 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Leo Sanchez said...

Mirada en el cielo, manos en el trabajo y pies en la tierra. Buen nuevo comienzo y un Beso.

February 25, 2010 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Hamady said...

Cirque du Soleil in 2007... what a glorious ride! Y Leo... gracias por tus palabras & amistad.

February 25, 2010 at 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Townley said...

You are my inspiration! Thank you for sharing - missing you x

February 25, 2010 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Lars said...

I've learned that, like a monkey, sometimes you can hold on with your feet, too. Yes grounded, but just monkeying around... Thanks!

February 26, 2010 at 8:28 AM  

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