giving up what I love

Dear Sugar Shells,

Happy July!  I hope you’re having a wildly wonderful time with popsicles, swimsuits, vacations, watermelon, and all the extraordinary lightness of summer.  Merely looking at the beach umbrellas on my July calendar page makes me feel strangely cheerful.

Looking at the June calendar page all last month, however, must have sparked head-in-sand syndrome because I totally missed celebrating my own two-year anniversary of self-employment.  (Pause while I add that to my calendar…)

I certainly love celebrations and I dearly love my coaching practice, so I’ve come to the conclusion that my brain is rather a bizarre place.  Which has led me to reflect on the things I love and how I treat them.

It doesn’t take me long to recognize that, over the last few years, I’ve given up a lot of things that I love.  Even people.  

Here’s the short list:

  • starting with the obvious, I left an ostensibly successful education career that I did in fact love;

  • vegetarianism;

  • just last week I left a networking group filled with colleagues and friends who I truly enjoy;

  • mandatory major family events, like baptisms and funerals; and,

  • evening chocolate.

So, WHY on earth would I abandon these things?  What in the name of all things holy is wrong with me in this particular department???  

Brainflash:  I’m learning to let go of things I love for things I love MORE.  

I held dear my role in training teachers and helping grow excellent schools, but I love life coaching, self-employment, and complete freedom MORE.

I absolutely treasure animals and the earth, but I love how healthy, energized, and nourished I feel on a diet that includes animal protein MORE.

I’m strongly attached to many of the people in my networking group, but I love spaciousness in my schedule MORE.  (Plus I can stay in touch.  Win win!)

I cherish my family - as well as milestone events - but I love choosing how to spend my time WAY MORE than simple compliance. 

Oh My Buddha, you know how much I adore chocolate, but I actually love uninterrupted sleep MORE.  (And chocolate does beautifully after lunch.)

So.  Contrary to appearances I am not a sadist.  (I don’t have the discipline.) And, of course, as I discussed last week, these kinds of choices can plague me for weeks, months, years...with much Avoidance and Agonizing.  These decisions aren’t easy for me, the process sure can look a bit ugly, and I’ve come to believe that there’s an art to disappointing other people and losing with kindness.  

But these various losses are worth the costs because of all that I gain.

Having a life filled with people, activities, and things that I LOVE LOVE LOVE - as in, truly madly deeply - makes me feel as happy in my little home office as I do sitting on the beach in the sunshine with a popsicle in my paw.   

Devotedly,

Julie

P.S. Thank you so much for your lovely responses to last week’s letter!!!  You sure know how to make someone’s day. :)