I have committed myself to a life of digging ditches.
In the past, I would set goals and go about fluttering, to see them through. On many occasions, in a very repeatable pattern, since change was often invisible, I would ultimately stop everything I started, get down on myself, dig an even deeper hole, and retreat ever more inward into my own loneliness.
Looking back, I never learned to let go.
I was a runner. I ran. I hid. I retreated. I felt sorry for myself. I would gather people around me that would tell me what I wanted to hear. That life was tough, that it wasn’t my fault, that I should just take it easy, and relax. I would open my hands in resignation and curse the world for being so uncaring and unloving.
I was unhappy.
I have learned since, that the key to it all is simply letting go.
Part of making plans, setting goals, and digging ditches, involves letting life happen. It involves uncertainty, being uncomfortable, and stumbling energetically in the dark.
The problem of my many failures has never been my goals. The problem has never been my dreams. The vision I hold in my mind. The exciting possibility of what I can yet achieve. That vision is always so colourful, so unbelievably vivid, and so life giving.
I see it. Hear it. Feel it. It is so real, I can touch it.
But nothing happens without letting go.
Nothing happens if we don’t leap, do the work, and let go.
Leaping forward is dangerous because it embraces the possibility of failure. It is frightening precisely because it presents no guarantee of success, and we might end up looking pretty foolish.
But it can also change our lives.
Validate who we are. Bring into the world a beautiful reality that never existed. It can make life worth living. It can inspire others to embrace their struggle as well, and help them leap when they are ready.
No matter what we do, or how hard we work, we need to let go.
You need to let go of what you think is going to happen and abandon your expectations. Let go of your estimates and calculations of how quickly you believe change must come. Leave the timeline to God, the universe, or the art of living.
Just let go.
Dig your ditch.
Work hard every day and stay vigilant and observant of what is happening all around you.
Sometimes what we want is hides a greater opportunity. We see a beautiful shape, but behind it, is an even more beautiful shape. It is hidden in the shadow of what we see just ahead of us. But beyond it lies something even greater. Something we never imagined.
I wake up at 4:02 am each morning, without complaint, and I am very grateful to be alive. I don’t really know what the day will bring, but I gently await the possibilities.
None of this is easy.
Living. Surviving. Struggling. Fighting. Overcoming. Battling. Enduring. Persisting.
It is not easy to dig ditches.
There is a reason why most people are on a perpetual smoke break.
But letting go is important. It is one less thing to worry about, and it might just be the secret formula that will keep you moving, prevent your retreat, and stop you from hiding from the world.
Just let go.
Leap into your work.
Let life be what it is. Let her do what she wants and needs to do.
Don’t forget to smile.