Yes, I submit to my editor every time I hit “send” on a story, yet in my own life I have been unwilling to give over control.
The very nature of the definition is cause for chills to someone not wired, as Webster says, to yield or surrender to the will or authority of another. Especially not for someone who is personally and publicly defined as competitive, strong-willed, independent, driven, and resourceful.
Stubborn might have a place in there too, but I’m not going to be the one to say that. For the most part, though, they are all good words defining someone who gets the job done. So, isn’t submission really another word for weak?
Well, I used to think so, but as the months have passed I have come to learn that things aren’t always as they seem. Some self-discovery has dawned gently in warm, fuzzy “aha” moments. Other realizations have snuck up like raiders in the night swinging two-by-fours.
What I know about myself is this: In the past, I steamrolled forward to get results, a byproduct of my profession and my personality. Decades of my life have been spent in virtual exhaustion – achieving, handling, controlling, and pushing ever forward.
It reminds me of that old joke, “I just flew in from Denver, and boy, are my arms tired!”
Recently, I began to let go of the control, realizing through a series of personal changes that the only thing I can control is me. I have found, over time, that no amount of pushing and handling can make all things go my way or bring about desired ends, so why waste the energy?
The fact is – to me at least – a lot of life is out of human control. You can reach for God, or the universe, or something else that makes sense to you, to adjust and accept this odd state of being.
I am finding the act of letting go to be strangely comforting. You mean, I don’t have to make things perfect? I don’t have to fix every relationship and solve every problem? Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner?
I am sitting back more and trusting that what is meant to come to me will, in its own time. It feels nebulous, frustrating, scary, exciting and sad, all at once.
This doesn’t mean that I’m not trying, or charting my own path. But it is freeing me up to actually enjoy my life in the day-to-day, and live it like I mean it.