Sometimes I really hate that word! (Bet you weren’t expecting that! haha). I actually love the word relax, and what is means. I think most people do. Relax means to make or become less anxious, to make less strict. For me personally, I feel as though that is pretty much one of my main reasons for existence. Having been on the extreme (and I mean EXTREME) side of strictness and anxiety, relaxation is like the ultimate panacea that leads to a life overflowing with love, freedom, provision, and inspiration.
What frustrates me about the word though, is the way people use the word relax when you are feeling your most un-relaxed. “Just relax,” they say. Meanwhile you’re thinking, “Tell me something I don’t know. That’s what I am trying to do!” And then as you’re thinking that, you also know that it is the ‘trying’ to relax that takes you even further from it! Uuugh! You want so much to let go but you’re so afraid and frustrated by your lack of relaxation that you only hold tighter and become more anxious. Then you berate yourself which only makes things tighter again. (Even as I wrote that last sentence I was holding my breath! Eek!) So it’s not really the word ‘relax’ that irritates, it’s the fact you actually desire it so much but feel a little at a loss on how to get there.
I read something earlier today about relaxing and letting go that instantly brought a sense of relief. It allowed me to see things from a different perspective and ease up a little on myself. The book is by William Ury and is called ‘Getting to Yes With Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents)’. In this particular section he was talking about mountain climbing and uses it as a metaphor for the way in which letting go and loosening is often what is needed to move forward. He also emphasised the importance of anchoring yourself to something strong, secure, and stable before you do so. This last part really struck a chord. Of course!
In one particular situation, he anchored himself to a tree that wasn’t quite stable. As he went to loosen his rope, the whole tree came out roots and all, and he had to cling to the side of the cliff. He then re-anchored himself to something he KNEW wasn’t going to move – a huge boulder – and proceeded safely and securely with his descent.
So many times in life we try to ‘let go’ before we are ready, before we have secured ourselves. We know in theory we need to ‘let go’ so we force ourselves to loosen our grip. Sometimes we use others as a comparison, telling ourselves we ‘should’ be able to do what they are doing. Then we feel hurt and betrayed when we see them making it safely to the ground while we plunge to more heartache.
I guess what I want to say is everything is ok. Only you know when you are ready, when you have secured yourself and know it is ok to ‘let go’. If you are afraid and still holding a little too tightly, there is a reason, so be kind to you. If you looked up and saw the tree you were attached to uprooting wouldn’t it make sense to cling to the edge until you found something more stable? You will find the perfect boulder, the perfect rock, and when it is time, you will make your way boldly, safely, and with the hugest smile on your face.
You will be what you always knew you were.. Relaxed.