Regardless of whether you are religious, chances are you have heard of the phrase, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
It’s one of my favorites, but it is much harder to put into practice than it is to say or read! We all have a tendency to want to do things our own way, so it is difficult for us to accept the things we would like to change, but can’t.
I have had a lot of this going on in my life of late, and while confidentiality precludes me from getting into details, suffice it to say that change, or at least change you want to make, and are planning on making, can be a humbling, roller coaster experience. First, you think you are really making some headway toward a big change in your life, then things hit an impasse for whatever reason…. Then, there is progress yet again. THEN, even though you could have sworn you did everything right, even of a spiritual nature, and yet… still another roadblock.
It is very frustrating! It doesn’t pay to be a pity pot or to go back and cross-examine yourself on what you might have done differently, because there is anything you can do about it anyway. That’s where “letting go” comes in. Letting go to realize that while you can keep plugging away, the timing of when and how something is to happen (or not happen) is inevitably not up to you. Letting go to recognize that you just can’t keep driving yourself nuts because it’ll “eat you up inside.”
Letting go can help you better leave the chips where they may, to better enjoy the little things, and not to keep obsessing about whatever it is that you’ve had a hard time letting go of. For a habitual worrywart from a worrying family like the one I’m from, this is really difficult!
But that doesn’t mean I can’t keep trying to get better at letting go! I like to envision myself hanging on to rope, and handing it off to someone, as if I am physically letting go of a burden.
I also like to remember the burdens that other people are going through, and then I usually realize pretty quickly that what I’m facing is a piece of cake by comparison. It’s good to “see the big picture” as they say.
Easy, no. Something that takes time? You bet. But ultimately, “letting go” is a much better, less stressful, way to live, than “hanging on”. Would you agree?