Distraction: Let Go or be Dragged



I am very distracted today.


I cannot seem to focus on my writing that I came here to work on – all I want to do is sit here and people watch in this coffeehouse that has become my home every Saturday.

From the cute little college alterna-chicks in their funky outfits to the group of men bicyclists that just walked in, dressed in their tight-in-all-the-right-places biker shorts. It’s a cacophony of visual and aural delights.


Yes indeed, today is all about distraction from my writing projects.


These people have no idea I am sitting here observing and writing about them and the buzz of conversations in the air.

Speaking of conversations, there is one going on right now at a table next to me – a girl and a guy are talking about what they are going to do after graduation.


Allow me to let you in on it…


She says, “Sure I will have a degree from a prestigious college, but what does it really all mean? Is this truly my passion? When I am in my 40’s, will I truly be happy?”

He laughs, “You’re at it again and over thinking! What do we really all know? You can’t think to your 40’s when you haven’t even turned 22 yet!”

She looks at him, “Yeah, I suppose. But if I’m already doubting my course now, doesn’t that mean something? I have a head full of knowledge and a piece of paper soon to prove it, but what’s it worth if I am not really happy?”

He takes her hand, “Just be. You can always change course if you’re not happy.”


Just be.


I wanted to chime into the conversation and tell them thank you.


Just. Be.


let go or be draggedThis brought to mind the Zen proverb, “Let go or be dragged.”

We are in a constant state of change; when the time comes to let go of something that is no longer purposeful in life, why do we struggle with letting go? Whether it is a person, situation, habit or even words spoke at one point, we are creatures of habit to hold on tight.


Change is hard and feelings are powerful.


Feelings fuel us and have the power to shape and form our lives. If we are burdened with and hold onto feelings that no longer serve us, they will hold us back, so why not purge them from our lives?

I struggled for many years with letting go and being true to myself with my feelings. The hardest part was beginning to walk the path of letting go; it involved saying “no” – a lot.

Learning to say “no” in order to let go of people, feelings and past recordings of things said to or about me in addition to all the wrongs in my life was hard at first, but I’ve learned to embrace it. I first had to get over the guilt associated with saying “no” – it was a very daunting task.

The first person I said “no” to was myself and my thought patterns – that was easy compared to saying “no” to Mom-ster. Saying “no” to her meant also cutting her out of my life.


Let go or be dragged.


If I wouldn’t have said “no” to her, all of the things she had said to me and about me over the years would have dragged me down. I didn’t want to be dragged anymore – I wanted to blaze my own path and live with happiness. Her words are all but a memory now.

So here I sit, being distracted from what I came here to do, yet I am now focused on my happiness.

I am but a few weeks away from turning forty-two and all I can think of now are the words a twenty-something stranger spoke at the next table, “Just be. You can always change your course if you’re not happy.”


There is no path to happiness: Happiness is the path. ~Buddha