Let Go of What You Do, and Discover Who You Are 

I started yesterday in a panic, y’all. Why? Life-threatening emergency? Did someone close to me die? Nope. My good girlfriend Michelle over at Surviving a Creative Life texted. My blog was down. Did I know? What?!! Down? No! I texted back, barely able to type, my hands overcome by crippling panic.

Crap, I yelled! I forgot to pay my web hosting company. Ugh! All their reminders were buried in mountainous email heaps I could no longer tame. As I anxiously dug through my purse, searching for the credit card, I felt naked, like someone robbed me.  At this point, near tears, I texted a few other close friends, still wounded and praying all my work would remain in tact.

I read the words of that last email – “some data might not be restored.” The phrase, a thinly-veiled threat, sauntered in and out of my mind, until finally, I quieted those thoughts.  All the years of work, I muttered to myself, nursing sudden despondence.

Let Go, Evolve

Interestingly enough, my bestie Shan (The Free Gurl Club), and I were just talking about the lesson of non-attachment (she tragically lost a favorite pair of sunglasses this week), and the capriciousness of relying on the Internet as the sole platform for your work. We discussed the book ideas sitting in our minds, and how essential it is to go beyond online.

As I waited the few hours for website restoration, I began to consider something revolutionary in Western culture. I am NOT a profession –  writer, blogger and whatever other “career box” is assigned to me based on education and work history. In a society which worships work and productivity, many of us never discover who we are outside the confines of other’s perceptions.

…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.

Pema Chödrön

Self worth is not measured by blog traffic, catchy graphics or social media followers. If the Internet disintegrated tomorrow, I would remain, an evolving and loving human being who wants to inspire others. It is my heart which matters, my soul, my walk with Christ which endures. I hear you, God. I think I have the lesson now.

Emelda De Coteau
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4 Replies to “Let Go of What You Do, and Discover Who You Are ”

  1. Funny thing is that I wrote this beautiful reply to you, left the window I was writing on and when I returned, everything I had written was all deleted. #lessonsindetachment But, if your readers only knew that “tragic” was an understatement about the afternoon I lost my favorite shades. I literally thought my inspiration to live had died. And, as I called the malls trying to find the exact pair of glasses, one kind sales woman must’ve sensed the meaning of those perfect shades to me. And she found them and put them on hold. But also Mel, she must’ve sensed the transformation I am undergoing in becoming more like God. I am focusing on giving love at all times, regardless of any situation. And miracles are happening. The banker reversed my overdraft fee this morning, your blog was completely restored, and though there has only been 2 hours of sun in the past 2 months, my favorite shades are in my purse!!#praisebreak #shoutingshoes #goheadandpraisethelord
    Xoxoxo ttys

  2. I’ve always been bothered by people whose identities are so entwined with their job titles that they forget they are much, much more.

    It is important to try not to get attached to things, but to something as personal as your writing…well, that’s more difficult.

    When my house was robbed a little over a month ago, I was most panicked over my two cats. One got out when the robbers left a door wide open. I didn’t even think about the items they took until after my Mugsy was home safe. It’s important to have perspective forced upon you sometimes (although I really could’ve done without the theft y’all).

    After my family members, the first thing I thought of was my writing. They’d stolen my computer and I had a moment of pure gratitude that they hadn’t stolen my backup drive and I’d backed the data up the day before. I lost some precious writing notes on another device they stole (and that hurt), but my all my writing was safe–every word.

    I practiced a lot of gratitude in the weeks after the robbery (and still do as I’m dealing with red tape and learning to do without some things in the aftermath) to remind myself how much worse that experience could have been and how lucky I was that what mattered most was safe. I’ve let go of the notes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t morn their loss. And that’s okay.

    Glad I checked your blog yesterday and could alert you before you lost any data. Also, maybe use the app IF to automatically back up each blog post to your Evernote. Then if anything like this happens in the future, you’ll know your writing is safe. It’s good to have a backup plan 🙂

  3. I am so glad that I read this today! It actually brought me to tears…the clarity… I am not my boutiques, my talents, my acting prowess, my vintage book collection… I am a child of the Most High God. My identity is in Him. We all needed to be reminded of that…

    The most important things in life are the intangible…Love.

  4. OMG this was just too good. I love the way you tell your stories! Thank you for the reminder that I too need to renew my hosting membership. “Grabs journal, writes down reminder” …. Thanks girlie

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