ASK ABDI: HOW TO RELEASE WHAT SEEMS TO NO LONGER SERVE ME?
QUESTION: I have been struggling with deciding whether to let go of a life-long passion: desert racing. I have had numerous injuries in the past several years, but that is not the whole story. I don’t know in my heart if I am racing for the right reasons. Is it a part of my identity or is it something that brings me joy? I have been getting signals that it might be time to hang it up, but I am having a hard time letting it go.
Between my wrist acting up (it seems to be a nerve), my knees hurting, and then many things going wrong with my bike in preparation, I really wondered again if it was time to call it a final day.
I have done a lot of back and forth with this matter and certainly when I am not at my best, I want nothing to do with it. And today, once again I wondered, because I am starting to feel from deep down that I shouldn’t be doing this. As you know, as a racer there is much that goes into getting ready and there are many people counting on me. I don’t want to let them down, but all my going back and forth is driving everyone nuts.
I am very stressed from this self-questioning. There is a lot at stake and people’s futures depend on my immediate decision. Worst is, I am even more afraid that I will change my mind again… I really do not want to bother the crew and all. If I am over with it now, should I let them race, even without me, with another rider? What a mess I have put myself into. I don’t know what’s next, it feels like such punishment.
May I ask you for your opinion please?
ANSWER: You have to understand the big lesson here is not about whether you race or not. It is about learning that not knowing is the answer. It is not a mess, it is life unfolding. The illusion of control that we all have is what is being offered on the altar of life. You know that whether you take this trip or not, there is a big shift inside of you that is demanding change. You are open to make the changes. It is dramatic and much has happened quite fast. It is normal to be confused at such times. We have a moment of total letting go and freedom, then a moment of deep regret, then a moment of elation for running back to what was joyous many times. And then again feeling on a deeper level that this does not serve us any longer. Any deep relationship that is outmoded will go through this cycle. You are in the process, that is the answer.
Your inner life is at stake, all else pales in comparison. It does not matter if you change your mind 10 more times, this is a lifetime correction: you are setting your course for the rest of your life. It is okay if people are disappointed, think you are nuts, confused, etc. The loosening of control is what is at stake. You are releasing your false self and allowing your true self to shine through. Many times, the things that feed the personality at one point can numb the soul at another.
In life, especially in this juncture of planetary growth, it is crucial to examine behaviors that were correct for a certain phase of our life but not for the present. Letting go of such things is never easy. We can either let them go with grace or get it ripped out of our life with an ass whopping. The choice is always ours.
Emotions are your compass now. What are you feeling in this moment? When you have left this body and are reviewing your life, you want to look back at this moment and say that for the first time you chose yourself over people, their comfort, their needs, their judgments.
This does not mean there will not be grief or doubt in this movement. That is part and parcel of the process. You do not need to nor are you able to open the next door. It will be revealed to you as you quiet down your mind. Start with what is in front of you.
We are not punished in such matters, the whole point is to enjoy and taste life. That’s the gift here.