It was a Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and six days earlier I’d had my sixth miscarriage.
I was driving to work. Late. Barely ready to go back to the office after a week off. I was still numb. A bit on edge. Mostly raw just below the surface of my happy-colored lipstick.
That year I felt like the world and I were always just one hair away from losing it.
But that day made me grieve for more than me, H, and what we’d lost. It allowed me to cry (again) for days and weeks and not feel like I should, by now, be pulling it together. So many of us were so very sad.
Something terrible had happened that never should have.
We’d spent tens of thousands of dollars. I had so much blood drawn that I will forever have junky criss-cross scars on my arms.
I flew to Chicago and back in one day, three times, to get special injections. (Getting into a car accident the first time on the way to the airport, distracted and nervous in the 5:00 a.m. dark, changing lanes without seeing and swerving my car into the side of a truck of roofers on their way to work.)
I had surgeries.
I found “the problem” several times but it turned out to be a hoax.
It was my blood, my body, my mind.
I never got pregnant again.
It was two years before I could even look at a baby. He and I were alone in a club we never wanted to join and now we were lifetime members.
Two years later I finally cleaned out the garage and donated the boxes of baby things to Goodwill.
I kicked myself for years. All that money spent (we could have traveled!), all that time devoted to appointments, timing things for that one chance. A dream job passed up because it meant frequent travel.
Why didn’t I hand it over to the powers that be and let things unfold without my intervention?
Why didn’t I give up the trying and striving and accept earlier that this wasn’t working. That I may not be a mother after all.
Why? Because I thought if I tried every last thing it would work. It had to work. “Working” became the only thing that mattered.
And it was the first time I’d ever put everything into something and not gotten back what I wanted. Not even a revised version.
When should you “give up” on that dream you’ve been chasing? The one you want more than anything? The book, the business, the relationship, the painting?
The time to give up?
Ideally, before you even start. It’s taken me years after all of that crap, when even more crap ensued to finally ~get~ that
you must give up the striving, the pushing, the bargaining, the-one-last-shot-and-it-has-to-work
in order for it to work.
The world’s changed. You and I have a strong need to make things different in our work and personal lives.
Many of us are trying new things without a clear path. And we want it to “work” very badly.
Does that mean giving up on going after things like growing a business and writing a book?
No. Not by a long shot. It means as we go about making these big projects come to life we put in the time, do the work, take the successes, make the mistakes, but leave the push, push, sometimes, desperate push out of the equation.
Give it to someone else.
Higher Power? God? Your cat? Whatever you have faith in, leave all that left brain striving up to it.
It feels SO much better to focus on the work and let go of the push.
So if you give up at the start, or now, then if the new venture, project, rock opera isn’t meant to be, it will naturally come to an end. The flow of energy and work will softly close.
It may be sad. Endings can be sad or bittersweet. But it won’t be the wretching, long past due, I lost everything on this affair that it may have been otherwise.
By giving up, you let go of the need to make it work no-matter-what, and let things unfold naturally.
What are you ready to give up on so you can move forward?