stories for letting go and letting come (40)

30 acknowledging

For the last forty days, we’ve been exploring whys and ways for letting go so we can let come and receive what our futures can be.  Although the exploration hasn’t been linear or systematic, instead following thoughts wherever they have taken me, this does feel like a conclusion for me.

One of the switches we can make which effectively blocks this, is closing ourselves to what we need to receive from others, and asking of others what we need to do for ourselves.

The lives others live in a bigger world, the stories they have to tell, their words of encouragement, the new ideas they bring, the challenges they provide us with, are the things which open more to us.  One community named this more magis.*  Magis means to give everything and then to find we have even more to give.  In the more, there are many possibilities to explore.

When we take personal responsibility for doing certain things ourselves, we find there is a metamorphosis happening in us.  We are being transformed through the doing, we become.  This will never happen if we want someone else to do the hard work, even if the other is our god.

What we are growing is character.

We discover that our talent can only take us so far, whilst character takes who we are and what we have and move it into a powerful creativity beyond the malaise Ben Zander names second fiddle-itis.   This is something Zander sees falling on those who can’t be first violin, an cannot see how second fiddle can lead to incredible work.  We’ve all have been given an A up front and it’s our characters which understand the implication son this and make it possible for us to realise our A.**

If I may, I’ll conclude forty days of reflecting with a personal story.  I find myself thinking about sixteen years I spent in a “first violin” role that was mostly about administration – something I’m not very good at and have let go of.  The years were more about forming character, and letting go of the role has made it possible to let come my “second violin” role of life-whisperering.  Every day, I know I have to do the things I cannot give away to others, including being humble, grateful, and faithfully giving away who I am and what I have.

All of this leads me to say, I think what you are doing is amazing, but what you can be and do in the future is even more astonishing.  If there is any way I can be second violin supporting your first violin work, let me know.

(*See Chris Lowney’s account of the early Jesuits in Heroic Leadership.)
(**See Rosamund and Benjamin Zander’s The Art of Possibility.)

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