The song “Let it Go!” from the Disney movie “Frozen” has become almost a nation-wide-anthem, particularly for those of us prone to anxiety and being “frozen” with fear. The irony of course is that in letting go we find fulfillment, joy, a full life. But it is the OTHER song…that swirling duet when Elsa learns of her frozen homeland that the fears and weight of responsibility returns. Listening to the soundtrack in the car with my daughter, sitting at the ATM (which means it is likely recorded somewhere!) I sang along to the crescendo of …”I CAN’T!”
The real thing to let go of is the lie I have to do it all, that I am solely responsible. It is Anna’s words, “We can fix this thing together” that I need to sing with as much power as “Let it go!” Though “together” is the answer, we have to agree to a different kind of “letting go”: letting go of the walls built for self-protection, the instinct to stay away, to keep the gloves on and to keep the tender parts packed away.
Letting go is not a concession to being less. It is bringing the fullness of self to the table and offering it for the common good. However, the common good may not include everything I am offering at any given time. There-in lies the trick: discerning when our offerings are beneficial to the common good, or when we need to let go and back off. As a leader, it also means modeling for others to discern the same thing. Only then does the “common good” get the best from all of us.
Though I plan to keep singing “Let it Go!” before I get to the place I want to scream “I Can’t!”, I will be listening for all of the voices saying “We can do this thing together.”
Do you wanna build a snowman?