“She leaves the rest to God”
Those are the words etched on a silver ring I’ve been wearing since the beginning of this year. A friend wore one to my birthday party in late December of 2012 and I knew instantly I must have one of my own. What a perfect affirmation for the year, I thought.
It now feels like prophecy. Funny how that works. We set a goal or affirmation, think we’ve forgotten it and go on living. But the intention has taken root. I’ve done a fair amount of surrendering in 2013. Never easy for me, but that makes it all the more satisfying. Another leap taken.
After five years of a blessedly steady freelance gig writing for FoxBusiness.com, I was admittedly a bit lost when I found out in February it was coming to an end. I didn’t spiral, but I did fret. Perhaps what was most difficult about it was not the financial hit but the realization that journalism has drastically changed from the profession I was trained for back in the 1980s.
I didn’t – couldn’t — accept that at first. I bucked and resisted. Went through an angry phase. Longed for the way it used to be, when writers were respected and paid for our work instead of offered opportunities for “exposure.” My ass, exposure. That’s what I kept saying. The cable company wants actual money; they’re not impressed by my byline on some too-cheap-to-pay-for-content website.
While all of that is still factually true, the emotional ‘charge’ is gone. It was vital that I flip from victim status to a place of power over the course of a few months. Hiring someone to help me build this website was a start. Yes, hiring. There was a time in my life where I wouldn’t have taken that kind of risk when my income had been hit hard. Now I do and I “leave the rest to God” (It should be noted that in the world of me, God is synonymous with Higher Power, Universe, Great Creator … you get the idea). As it turned out, the project was empowering and consuming for a few months and I am so proud of Unfettered 50.
By taking charge and working through my preconceived notions about how things should work, I put myself in a better mindset to see other golden opportunities to write about what jazzes me. I opened to suggestions like a blooming flower drinking in the sun. Weekly blog posts for A Day Well Lived and Live Riveted allow me to tap into what makes life satisfying. I’ve attracted new readers and feel so gratified to be paid to use a gift I’ve cultivated for the better part of 40 years.
That experience, in turn, makes me a better life coach. Every experience does, actually. But in the case of career twists and hiccups, it’s enormously helpful to have gone through them when shepherding others through theirs. My clients, whether subconsciously or otherwise, want a coach who has weathered setbacks and challenges and doesn’t gloss over them. They identify more, figure I’ll understand, empathize, guide from that place of knowing. I get it and that makes all the difference in the world to them.
My surrender has allowed the forces beyond me to do their thing. As circumstances line up to support my goals and maximize my gifts, my job is to pay attention and continue to give it my all. Micro managing comes from a place of insecurity. As the insecurities fall away in my Unfettered 50s, so too does the need for tight control. I can have a meaningful conversation without being attached to the outcome. I can release ego, let the darned chips fall wherever the heck they feel like it, and be ultimately OK with it.
That is remarkable.
I had an aunt die this year after a long, awful illness and her adult children had been in care mode for years. It showed me that we don’t know what life has in store and that we were put here to do some living while we can. I don’t have time to fret and regret. There’s too much I still want to do. By surrendering more, I’ve given myself space and permission for that.
I’m not taking the ring off any time soon. I still need the affirmation to remind me when old habits come roaring to the surface.
The Great Creator, the Force, the Higher Power – they’ve got my back.
“She leaves the rest to God” is a deep breath. It relinquishes me from responsibility for things I really had no control over to begin with. How silly to think I did, but what a relief to have seen the light.
Bring on 2014.