"Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go." - Herman Hesse
Every few months, I get in a mood to purge. I rearrange things. I get rid of things. I feel a lot lighter when I’m done.
I don’t just do that with physical objects. I do it mentally and emotionally, too. I get rid of thought patterns that don’t serve me. When I am feeling an emotion that doesn’t help me like fear or anger. I feel it, then let it go.
Not only does this make you lighter in spirit, it makes room for something better.
Letting go of stories that don't serve us
When I first got my teaching degree, I interviewed for an English teacher position at the high school I graduated from. I was prepared and professionally dressed, all the things you’re supposed to before an interview. I was confident. Until, I saw someone I graduated with.
He was interviewing for the same position. We reminisced until it was time for his interview. He went in first. Immediately, I told myself he was better than me and would probably get the job.
I didn’t know anything about his education or his qualifications. That’s the story I told myself because it was the story I always told myself. Someone else always knew better or knew more than I did.
Needless to say, the interview didn’t go that well. The vibe in the room wasn’t great, either. The principal was a condescending prick who I saw looking out the window as I was answering one of his questions. He seemed bored out of his mind. That didn’t help.
I left that interview knowing I didn’t get it. It wasn’t meant for me, and I probably wouldn’t have gotten along with the condescending prick anyway. But I didn’t give myself a chance, so how could I expect the people in that room to give me one?
Never again, I told myself. Never again do I convince myself someone else is better than me.
I let that story go.
A better story
My new story became: I am no less than anyone. I am just as good as anyone else.
Which is how I landed in a job that I stayed in for 14 years in a school district I that I slid into through a back door.
I heard about the job through a former colleague. I knew it was a great district, and I just interviewed without any preconceived thoughts or judgments.
I got the job, and it was one of the most unique interview experiences I ever had. I was basically told in the first interview I had the job. That almost never happens in teaching interviews.
That was the beginning of the most transformative work experience I ever had. I perfected my craft. I challenged myself. Others challenged me. These challenges taught me the delicate balance of standing in your truth and not devoting too much energy to things that don’t matter in the big picture.
In the beginning, I must say I didn’t meet the challenges in the most productive way. Without meaning to, I had my guard up and was always on the lookout for mistakes. That led to being overly concerned with others perceiving if I had made a mistake and if I would be judged for it.
I had to let that guard down. I let go of the minor irritations that came from having my guard up. Of course, little bumps came that were upsetting, but I felt what I needed to feel but, let it go.
In letting my guard down, I made room for an openness that led me to opportunities for new friendships with colleagues and overall better work relationships. That openness expanded to other areas of my life and brought opportunities that I never imagined. It made my constant evolution possible.
This process never ends. You let go of what needs to be let go of to allow for the next best thing. And you keep letting go and keep allowing for the best.
Until next time... look behind and beyond the veil...