I’ve been in a lot of therapy over the past two years – first to quit drinking, and then for why I was drinking. A common theme is letting go. One day it occurred to me how to explain this. I was looking around the room at a SMART Recovery group cross-talk session. A self-described “wine-o” Granny was comforting a teary teenage crack dealer who had just been released from juvi. He was telling his story. I can’t tell it here but, OMG.
Anyway, as I looked around the room at all the strong people at different stages of recovery, it occurred to me that life is like being launched into space. We are born and sent forth with great fanfare and hopes of high orbit. Then shit happens. A lot of people just don’t achieve escape velocity. Many fall back to earth. Splash down. Crash and burn.
At first I felt a lot of arrogance in these meetings, until I heard the stories. And then, sharing mine, and gaining the support and comfort of those amazing people (yes, the granny comforted me too), I realized that I had nothing to be arrogant about. That was my start.
I am a successful guy by many measures. I’ve always prided myself on doing cool things, building stuff, producing more, achieving. Being good. If we had landed on this launched-to-life anecdote a few years ago, I would have quickly said that I had achieved orbit. Mission accomplished. But the difference with me is that I’ve realized I brought the whole launchpad with me into space. All the first stages, all that cargo. Separation didn’t happen, and it takes a lot more energy to stay aloft. This is the year to jettison the old burned out stuff and let it fall back into the ocean. I’m letting go.
>> See what I mean: Watch the booster stage separation of the Apollo 11 rocket.