30 Jun 2014

WHY I GAVE UP

Written by Laura Wittig / Image by Monique Pantel

I’ve always wondered why there has been such a negative connotation attached to “giving up.” Since our youth, we've been told to “never give up,” and that “nobody likes a quitter.” Giving up meant that you were weak. Giving up made you a failure. It has only been as of fairly recent when I have discovered how wonderful giving up can actually be. 

As human beings, we tend to hold onto everything. We hold on to the “to do lists” we are constantly making in our heads. We hold on to the negative feelings towards someone we had a disagreement with days, months or even years ago. We hold onto the notion that we have to present ourselves in a certain way to society. We cling tightly to our egos… the list goes on.

We don’t often stop to think that this backlog of information, stress and negativity can only be described in one word: Exhausting.

The buzz phrase swirling around is currently “just let it go.” Now- correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this carefree and seemingly easy notion of “letting it go,” go against everything that society has raised us to fight for? It has been engrained in us for many years that we mustn’t give up- in fact we are often worse for it if we give up, BUT now we are supposed to just let it go- and everything will all be a-ok?! 

I believe the ability to give up is an art form that more people should make a conscious effort to practice, because the reality is- sometimes we can't do it all.  From my own experience, it just didn’t make sense to me that I was repeatedly told to work hard, fight for what I wanted, never give up- and now- that so many of my dreams and ambitions have begun to come to fruition  (and now that there aren’t enough hours in the day and I sometimes become stressed out,) I’m supposed to  all of a sudden, just "let it go!?”

I do not believe that it is as easy as being able to flip a switch and suddenly just let it all go. Giving it up and letting it go are indeed skills to be practiced and learned over time. 

For me- my yoga practice was the first place that I began to master the art of giving up. I gave up my ego- when I eventually learned that not everything had to look and feel perfect. I gave up forcing myself to exercise just for the sake of exercising, sometimes when my body was begging me not to. I gave up prioritizing my life solely based on a physical list I had constructed, and I starting doing things because I actually wanted to. Being able to finally sync my mind with my body through my yoga practice was the foundation of these skills for me.

I hope to be able to continue to develop these skills and to keep reinforcing that it’s okay to give up. 

You’ve earned it. Sometimes you absolutely need it.  

8 comments:

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