And yet, carrying the burden of responsibility for everything turning out right is exhausting. We become drained, anxious and irritable when we try to hold life together by sheer force of will. I spoke with a woman this week who is a helping professional who is also caring for her mother, a woman living with cancer. She told me that although she speaks about "letting go" all the time in her work, she'd never realized to what depths and repeatedness this act was required of family caregivers.
So, what would happen if we didn't try so hard to control things in advance? Could we lighten up, just a little, and respond to circumstances as they arise instead? Kate, the beloved adolescent character of Jean Little's writings, understood about the need to let go, at least occasionally:
Today I will not live up to my potential.
Today I will not relate well to my peer group.
Today I will not contribute in class.
I will not volunteer one thing.
Today I will not strive to do better.
Today I will not achieve or adjust or grow enriched
or get involved.
I will not put up my hand even if the teacher is wrong
and I can prove it.
Today I might eat the eraser off my pencil.
I'll look at clouds.
I'll be late.
I don't think I'll wash.
I need a rest.
Perhaps we could all let go, just a little, in our own ways, today, and have a rest...?
I will be doing just that on Friday when I travel to southern California for a week. And after that comes Easter weekend so you will not be seeing a blog post here for the next two weeks. Until then - Happy Easter!