Friday, January 14, 2011

Ritual for Letting Go of Expectations

I'm not one for making pronouncements about doing rituals, but this one helped me greatly and I'm sharing it because perhaps it will help you too; in particular if you feel held back by the thoughts and feelings of others that bind you into something you are not....

Some background on why I sorely needed the ritual: I've recently moved back "home". By being at home, I mean that I'm camping out at my Mom's so I can sort of the next steps I need to take for my career. Over the summer I realized a new path to take. I decided I wanted to be a content creator for Web TV. In job searching, and just general research about the job, I realized that I needed to develop skills I have in the past relied on other's to have in my creative circle.

Tomorrow, I start a video production class. Registering for the class completely energized me. That was two weeks ago. Then my energy fell. Why? Because I got pulled down into the past....

I've been working on changing my perception of myself and just not see myself as "writer" or any label that might pull me away from fully expressing who I am here. Part of the change has been letting go of the past - in particular memories of who I was that don't suit me today. I've tossed out pictures, clothes, and any other items I feel I don't need that will serve my purpose for today.

Fortunately at my Mom's she doesn't have a lot of pictures around that will pull me back. Then I went to visit my Dad and here's where things went a bit awry. We always enjoy stimulating conversation and I appreciate my father's questioning nature; but part of that questioning nature always questions what I'm doing. He's a litigator who doesn't know how to turn the off switch. He asked me if I considered being a teacher. My response was this, "creating content is teaching and it will reach a lot more people..." He heard it but I don't know if he really acknowledged it. Later in our visit he asked me, "Why don't you have children...." "Because I don't need to," was my response. His comments threw me into the loop - that loop of thought that says, "how can my parent not understand me.... why don't they get what I'm doing.... Why do they have other expectations of me....Why can't they be happy about the choice I made." So on and so on. My frustation with my father's comments stem from the fact that, I believe, he's made assumptions as to why I've made certain choices in my life. And though I've tried to explain my real motivations, he seems to me attached to those ideas... And attached to thoughts and feelings of who I am.

I'm not sure either of my parents see me very clearly and truly understand me but I don't want to waste any more time and energy to explain myself. That takes energy away from me going forward.

I took a walk today in one of my favorite places in Laguna Beach. I was on one of the canyon trails where the view spans out over the canyon and down to the whole of the ocean. The wind blew on the hillside and these thoughts came into my head:

"I am not the vision my father has held of me. I am not the person he thinks or wishes me to be. I am not the vision my mother has held of me. I am not the person she thinks or wishes me to be."

As I spoke these words in my head, I asked the universe to put flight into these words and take them away. I felt so much lighter after that. I felt energy restored. And then I easily walked up a rather steep hill.

Saying those words released the restraint I've held of disappointing my parents. It's been lurking around for so long, a parasite of such long-standing, I didn't realize the grip it held. I'm not rejecting them; just putting to rest conceptions about me that don't suit my purpose and replacing it with love instead.


Andrea said...

You know, it's not just parental expectation that cripples us. It can be anyone we love who feels we should be doing what they envision for us and not what we envision. The key is to be OK with the possibility of letting them down. Sometimes it's not OK to let ourselves down.

Jen Pearlman said...

I love your feedback Andrea and you're right. It's up to us, as individuals, to guide ourselves rather than rely on the "approval" of others." Picking up from what you said, it's our own approval that truly matters.