The Balance of When to Let Go

by elizabethbrantley

I was an English Major. This was an excellent choice of study, except I had not mastered one thing yet that would have made my life tremendously easier – when to let go. I suffered from the problem of never feeling a paper was complete. Essays could always be tweaked. I believed that I could never fully be ready to hand something in. While I can see this belief stemmed from self doubt, I set up systems too that didn’t support completion. I procrastinated and waited till right before the paper was due because I had made the task so ominous that I had no desire to finish or start early. If there is no chance of completion, then we often delay starting.
Since then I have learned not only how to chunk processes into bite size and doable steps- even writing papers, but I have embraced the fact that when I come to the end of my abilities that is when the Divine takes over. As it turns out any and all tasks are not only up to me. I have a partner in God. Yet just like any other group project, I have to bring my best and offer it to have the other team members play to their best. I can see very clearly as I have grown more organized and more aware of God’s presence that my job is to do my absolute best- to follow through on every idea I have that seems good, to exhaust my resources, my intelligence, my planning and come to the end of my abilities. Then it is my job to let it go. While we can all expect more from ourselves there is a fine line of being too demanding and therefore never allowing ourselves the satisfaction or joy of accomplishment. It is ego that tells us it is all on our shoulders and causes us to forget we are intimately and forever paired with the Divine. Give yourself a fighting chance of producing your best work and know that there will be many more opportunities to try again. None of us are expected to be perfect, at the beginning or the end, but we will get better at doing our job and then letting go, allowing the work to go through the refining fires of God’s grace.

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