I’ve long been fascinated with the spiritual practice of “letting go”. The practice of releasing long held beliefs or judgments, or the creature comforts that take hold over the years and control one’s life.
Like morning coffee. Or the belief that guys in big trucks with Confederate flag stickers should be avoided at all costs.
Even considering letting go of these things, which I love or hold to be true, brings up all sorts of turmoil. It only takes a few seconds before a nice, juicy rationalization presents itself about why these particular things don’t really need to go.
This is the good stuff. This is when I know I’m onto something.
The past decade of my life has been all about letting go. Saying good-bye to a well-paying, hard-earned career. A bad marriage. Television. Coffee. Make-up. Hair dye. The practice is not intended as a self-torture or depravation but instead as a slow whittling away of the excess, the unnecessary, the draining parts of life and becoming a little more authentic.
I write this as a preface to the fact that today marks my 34th day without hot water.
Before you think I’m getting holier-than-thou or that I’m some sort of sadist out to prove my toughness, this is not of my choosing.
Earlier this spring, the new deep well started pulling up sand. In March the shower was full of silt. Then the toilets. By early April the tankless hot water heater clogged. It’s been a little more than a month since I’ve had the creature comforts of a hot shower and a dishwasher.
The first week I was growling like a nasty tomcat. By week two I’d resigned myself to showers at the Y and boiling water in a tea kettle to wash dishes. Now, I’m deep into the practice I’ve long claimed to cherish.
Yes, I’ve made calls to the well company. No, they haven’t been responsive. I suppose I should be screaming bloody murder but my life moves at a pace that even “fires” quickly get resolved with work-arounds.
And so, I’m confronted with accepting this, for the time being, as another practice in letting go. What I’ve learned is that I’m glad to know that one less thing in life has control over me. That I can manage, with a little creativity and a lot of patience, to find my way through yet another bump in the road. And that I’m extremely grateful to have this creature comfort in the first place.
Truthfully, I’m ready for the practice to be done. I’m ready for the well digger to come back and take responsibility for the situation. I’m ready for a hot shower, a soaking bath and fingers that aren’t numbed by washing chicken eggs.
I’m ready to let go of this “letting go” and be ‘soft’ once again.