“It all starts with the decision to let it go. Really. It’s that simple.”
What is it about being human that makes us think we actually control anything at all, much less every aspect of our lives? Don’t we realize we’d all be much happier if we just let it go? All of it. Just completely abandon all hope of ever being in total control of anything that happens outside of ourselves.
Recently I was listening to a client talking about an event she witnessed in a restaurant. She was telling me about a child who was being allowed to wander around in the restaurant. He was in the vicinity of his parents’ table, but they didn’t seem to be overly concerned about his wandering and only seemed to be paying cursory attention to his actions. Even after a chance meeting with the child’s mother in the restroom confirmed the child had developmental disabilities and the parents were actually doing exactly what doctors and therapists had advised they do in public, my client was not really satisfied. While she indicated this child wasn’t really bothering anyone and wasn’t doing any harm, it was clear to me she was terribly bothered by this event. I asked her what about this wandering child was really bothering her. After what seemed like a very long pause she finally answered, “they weren’t controlling him, he was out of their control.” After another pause, her answer became “I need to know everything’s under control.” Aha.
For many months, this particular client has been unable to figure out why she always feels so terribly stressed. Even when everything seems to be going very well, she was feeling stressed. Add to this general feeling of being stressed-out the fact she’s the single-parent of teenagers … well, it isn’t a pretty picture. For the past couple of months, she’s been working on setting goals to meditate, attend a yoga class and spend more time outdoors with less than the desired success. When I’ve asked what gets in the way of her taking care of her, she has responded “something came up I had to take care of” not once or twice but each and every time. Her story about the child in the restaurant and my questions about why it bothered her brought to her attention something she’d not been willing to admit before – she felt like she needed to control those people and things outside of herself.
While this is only one particular person’s story, it really is something each of us needs to consider. How much time and effort do YOU spend worrying about what others are doing or not doing? How often do you find yourself stressing over something you really have no control over at all? Truthfully we don’t really have full control over anyone but ourselves. Not even our own kids when they’re small (let’s face it no one even thinks they have control over teenagers, do they?). See we, each and every one of us, have free will. We make our own choices. Even when we are worried about a loved one, even when it’s difficult to watch someone we love make mistakes, we really can’t control what happens. I’m not suggesting we don’t worry about loved ones because we all do. However, there’s a difference between a strong concern for their well-being and worrying ourselves sick over someone else’s decisions. Maybe the best thing we can do is say, “I hope that works out well for you” and let it go. Of course, you can pray, send energy or whatever else you do when you wish you could change an outcome. Just realize, once you’ve done these things you’ve given the event over to a higher power … trust the outcome whatever it is, is exactly as it should be. Again, let it go.
So you’ve decided you’re going to let things go … how do you do that? My daughter has a phrase she repeats over and over when she’s trying to let something go, “serenity now.” That’s what works for her. I usually give myself a “time-out” and meditate or go for a walk while asking the higher powers to assist me in letting whatever it is, go. I know people who go for a run or put on a silly movie or listen to music to help them let go. Really, you have to find what works for you. It all starts with the decision to let it go. Really. It’s that simple. Decide to let it go. Then do whatever you need to do in order to help you actually let go. Whatever you do, don’t bury something that bothers you thinking you’re letting it go … that’s absolutely the worst thing you can do. I have a client who actually goes outside and does her very best impersonation of a Tarzan yell when she needs to release the stress associated with not letting go of what’s bothering her. She swears by this approach. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d try this but it works for her.
The whole point is first off to recognize when you’re stressing yourself out by trying to control things you seriously have no business trying to control. Then make the decision to let it go. Then REALLY let it go – whatever that looks like for you.
The time is NOW to heal what is within ~ mind, body and spirit.
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