For 3 years now I have been on a journey of learning to let go. And the universe has “graciously” given me plenty of opportunities to practice: losing love, friends, my Praline…
Now for anyone who thinks, “wow – that’s a long time,” I venture to guess you’ve never had to do the same.
I’m not really sure you ever get good at letting go. It’s a process, especially letting go of someone you love. But I’ve recently shifted my focus from letting go to “allowing” (thank you, Ann Phares) – and it’s gotten a bit easier.
Allowing was a foreign concept to a recovering control freak like me. I’ve spent the majority of my life focusing all of my energy on taking what has come into my life and attempting to bend it to my will:
My boss yells at me? I’ll educate him about why that’s not productive. My dad is a selfish tyrant? I’ll lecture him on the virtues of sharing. A friend disrespects me? I’ll write a long dissertation on how they’ve wronged me.
The idea of allowing people and events to come into my life as they are and choosing whether or not to engage with them on my comfort level is a new one for me. I’m still reading the user’s manual.
Some days I get it better than others.
Like one morning last week, when I felt completely frustrated with the world and myself and wanted nothing more than for everything to be completely different than it is. I actually slammed the freezer 5 times in rage after hitting my head on the edge of the door. (I scared the piss out of Peanut.) Not so allowing. I was just so angry and tired.
But then I stood there for a few minutes in silence – Peanut staring at me, looking confused from across the room. I tried to allow whatever it was that I was feeling. Ok – I felt shitty. And angry. And tired and frustrated. Nothing was going my way. I am grateful for so much in my life, but still ache for so much more.
Honestly, just saying the words “I activate the energy of allowing” brings me great calm. I no longer have to DO anything. It is what it is. And what’s meant to be will be.
This doesn’t mean I’ve given up all attempts at making decisions or improving a situation. Not at all. In truth, I think it gives me more clarity to know what I have control over – and what I don’t.
The stuff I can have an impact on – how I act, what I say and share, and who I engage with – that’s all still up to me. But how others respond (or don’t), and what the outcome ultimately is from then on: I have to allow. It’s where they are.
I guess I always had that choice, but I’m finally learning to let the process happen. Which feels a whole lot better. And saves my energy for the good stuff that MUST be coming. I’m more than ready…