Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Advice on Letting Go

Driving home today I realized how many times at work I heard myself say "It doesn't matter because next week I won't be here." Uncertainty about whether a project will be completed on time, discomfort over having unanswered questions, and frustration over a co-worker treating me poorly will all be moot points.

Three weeks ago it would not have been easy for me to say this--no matter what the reason! The only thing that changed in the meantime was getting the new job. When I finally got it, all the frustration and the pain became insignificant.

I thought about this and realized that in so many of my OCD worries I could use some help letting go. At my worst I'd lie awake, so late it's neither night nor morning, and repeat the phrase "I will not be tethered to this." In my delirium I even visualized myself chained to a large block of cement, willing the chain to break so that I could be freed from the worry that wracked my brain.

In my situation at work, I have a reason to let go of the worries--my new job. That's why it was so easy to do. Like a huge pair of scissors (or in the case of the worry that caused me to lose sleep, an industrial-sized pair of tin snips) focus on the new job severed my connection to the worry and frustration of the old one. Whatever happened in the past didn't matter. Whatever happens after I leave won't matter. The new job is so salient in my mind, and it affects everything about my current job, that it makes for a sharp, powerful weapon.

My challenge for you is this: Can you identify your scissors? What can you focus on so it's easier to let go?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your new job! The scissors are an interesting metaphor. I lost my job last month, and the irony is that for many years I seriously struggled with my job, and my ocd was worse at work, and I wished I didn't have to be there. Now I don't have to be, and the ocd really wants to lay claim on all my time, but I am focusing on my art--I have so much more time to make art, and I love making art, and that is what I am reminding myself of when the ocd anxiety flares up.