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Letting Go Of Someone

“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.” — Kahlil Gibran.

If someone had said this to me last week my response would have been: “What are you talking about?!? If you love someone you have to hold on with both hands! You don’t let that kind of thing go!” To my amazement, this week I find I’m in Kahlil’s camp.

Let me back up. When I get a crush on someone it’s usually intense and dramatic and well. Obsessive. It’s obsessive. I admit it. I’m a drama queen and I have a tendency to pursue things until they are dead. Sometimes this serves me well (perseverance leads to a job!) and sometimes it doesn’t (whoa, you’re coming on too strong). It’s something I’m working on.

Anyway, I have a crush on someone. I was taking the route of “I like you! We need to hang out right this instant!” It felt very. Sticky. Very. Clingy. In other words I was attached. I couldn’t get him out of my head.

And then we hung out and he couldn’t seem to talk to me. It got me thinking about relationships and people and possibilities.

I started thinking about how as much as I like this guy it may turn out to be nothing. I started to be open to all possibilities, including the one where we don’t end up together. I understand and accept it (probably) won’t work out. I’m surrendered to my fate and to whatever direction this relationship will go, including nowhere. Why am I bringing this up?

Since I dropped my attachment, my desire to force a relationship, I feel less frustrated. The energy surrounding this guy feels less clingy, less sticky. I feel freer and more open. I can’t tell you whether we’ll end up dating or not because that chapter is still being written, but I can tell you I feel a whole lot better.

I’m noticing how I feel easier, better, and more open now that I’ve let him go. I’m allowing whatever is in my best interest to manifest because I am no longer attached to any outcome. I don’t know if this post will help anyone else but I guess I just wanted to say I know another life is possible. One where we let people come into our lives as they may, whether that be for a year or two, and we allow them to leave when they wish. I envision a world where we aren’t attached to the people in our lives but are merely grateful for the time they grace us with their presence. I envision a world where even if we like someone we don’t try to force a relationship but rather we let the relationship be whatever it needs to be. I envision a world where we are open to whoever is in our best interest even if that person isn’t the one standing next to us.

I know that not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

What I’ve been struggling with lately is accepting that whatever happens to me — whether I like it or not — is in my best interest. It’s hard to believe when bad things happen, like breaking your leg, not getting your dream job, or getting rejected by someone you really like, that it’s actually in your best interest.

Last night I got an e-mail that convinced me otherwise.

Most of you are probably aware of the humanitarian disaster in Gonaives, Haiti resulting from Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike. I have a friend down there doing relief work. He’s been living in Haiti for a few years now. In his mass e-mail my friend writes, The need is so overwhelming, the suffering of the people is so heart-breaking and the needs are so immediate, that this situation has introduced a vital flow of dynamism and the potentiality for very rapid decisions and going through loops in shorter time.”

He goes on to say ACDI, a nonprofit, is about to give the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team/AMURT Ladies (the nonprofit my friend works for) a large food contract that will benefit tens of thousands of people. UNICEF also wants to give AMURT/EL the green light to implement projects in Gonaives. In addition, the Ministry of Interior is asking AMURT/EL to put together a stress-management program, using yoga as a base. The UN Civil Affairs Office is invited AMURT/EL to give yoga and meditation classes. My friend says the emphasis on things like environmental protection, integrated management, women’s programs and more, has grown.

The reason I bring this up is not to tout yoga and meditation but to point out how much change this horrible disaster is bringing. How there is so much capacity to do good work. How people are coming together in the streets to help one another. How in the face of such a tragedy people are joining hands and demonstrating all that is good about being human. I bring up this tragedy in Haiti as an illustration of how even when something horrible happens, good can come from it. Who knows how much Haiti will change now? Much-needed funds are flooding that country bringing all sorts of change.

My point is that even when horrible, crappy things happen it’s all ultimately for the best. It highlights the need for change, throws people together who otherwise wouldn’t have mingled and creates dynamism. Am I glad several hurricanes hit Haiti and people were injured and hurt? Of course not. Can I see how good can come from this? Yes. I see hope and possibility and strength and kindness. I see that another world is not possible, it’s probable.

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Money, Money, Money

The topic I’ve been hearing a lot about lately is money. Whether it’s a beggar on the street down on his knees holding up a Styrofoam cup pleading for pennies, or friends complaining about how broke they are, money seems to keep coming up. In our capitalistic society it’s easy to fall into the money trap, of becoming obsessed with it, fretting about it, letting it consume our thoughts. I for one hate this obsession with money, especially when I’m worried about not having it. There have been many examples in my life of being concerned about where I’ll get money from and then a job pops up, or I get asked to babysit or something but I think this story from my friend Anne does a nice job of illustrating how there is no need to worry. We will be provided for:

One of the things I’ve been stressing out about lately is rugby – not the sport itself, but rather the attendant costs and the necessities of having health insurance that seem innocuous until you’re unemployed. Specifically, I was worried about paying for next weekend’s tournament – Pumpkinfest, which takes place in Philly and comes complete with gas and hotel costs.

Then last night, I went and worked a Redskins game as a Stingers fundraiser. I spent three quarters walking up and down the stands, hauling a bucket so full of beer that my arms were shaking from the weight, hawking my wares until my voice was raspy.

At the end of the night, I returned to the back room I’d been working out of all night, dumped the bottle caps out of my bucket, stripped off my sweaty, official yellow polo shirt, and took my cash apron to the woman who was running the show from her perch at a metal kitchen cart.

As I counted my wads of cash into piles on the table, she tapped numbers into a calculator, making notes of how much I owed and what percentage of my sales went as revenue to the team. When she finished she turned the calculator to show me the number at the top of the screen.

I squinted at it. “That’s it? That’s all I have to give back?”

“Yep,” she replied, already double-counting my cash. “The rest is your tips and you get to keep all of that. You did a good job tonight.” She paused to look up and smile at me, then gestured to a metal bucket next to her. “If you’d like, you can put some in for the kitchen crew.”

Blinking, I pulled out all of my small bills to drop in, then looked at what I had left.

It was enough to cover my whole weekend in Philly – hotel, gas, even enough for some food and maybe a beer or two.

I folded the cash into my pocket in a daze. Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was lightness from having one less worry weighing me down, but I felt slightly giddy. Walking out of the stadium to catch the shuttle to the employee parking lot, I remembered Rebekah’s posts about trusting the universe, and Jenna’s reassurance Saturday night, as she passed me another beer, that “We’re all ruggers, and ruggers take care of each other other.”

It’s true – it’s true, it’s true, it’s true. All you have to do is trust, and the universe – or at least the rugby universe – will make sure you’re taken care of.

I’ve been trying to keep this in mind as well as something my good friend Heather told me. She said to think more creatively when it comes to making money. Instead of focusing on job, job, job, notice other ways you can bring money into your life. When I stopped being so linear in my thinking I allowed other money possibilities to come into my life, like housesitting, babysitting and more freelance work. Just something to keep in mind. When I think about Anne’s story and the stories of others, I firmly believe that not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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