Times of transition are hard. They are frightening, they’re annoying, and most of all, they make me really pissed off.
Right now is one of those times. Marriage, potentially moving, potential career change, potential selling of a house, etc, etc. Woah.
Having a lack of control makes me want to scream into my pillow and then take a really aggressive walk with my dog, listening to Folk Rock Pandora and talking to myself. Most often, in these situations, I try and grasp at straws to control: maybe it is my job, my relationship, my body, or my running.
More often than not, though, the feelings of wrath turn away from external things to control and pivot inwards, tackling my self-worth and confidence to the ground.
When in times of transition, it is really hard to believe in myself.
I get moody, controlling, compare myself to others, demean myself, and lose focus of the important things. Maybe it is because, bashing myself is easier than letting go. Maybe it is because I take pride in my ability to “keep everything together” so when I can’t do that, I get hard on myself. Either way, it’s an ugly place to be and I need to learn to let go.
Kristin Armstrong talks about “letting go” in a way that I think I need to apply to my life right now.
“‘There is a vast difference between giving up and letting go. I’m asking you to look at your life, look into your heart and see where you have confusion or discord between the two. As you examine more closely, you will see that one maintains your integrity and the other does not. Be mindful about this difference today’… Giving up says I quit. Letting go says I release outcomes. The integrity piece has something to do with the ownership”
Beating myself up, comparing myself, and trying to control everything isn’t integrity. It’s giving up on myself, my values, and my faith. These days, I need to let go of outcomes, whether it be in races, in my work, in my relationships, how I am perceived, my finances, my looks, and my lovability.
I am not giving up, letting the tide of idleness rush over my entire life. I am not making excuses for the things I DO have the power to control (my attitude, my effort, my heart, my inner dialogue). I am not changing who I am.
Instead, I am stepping into my integrity. I am letting go of the outcomes and taking hold of my heart again.
When the pace gets hard in life, in running, in anything, let’s transition to the next mile, saddled into our hearts. And let’s remember that in any transition, we may not get to choose the outcome, but we get to choose how we respond. And how we respond, ultimately, becomes who we are.