Updated: Dec 22, 2020
As someone who, until a few years ago, was typically placid and agreeable, I imagined that I could 'go with the flow'. But, as I considered the the twinge of discomfort I felt whenever plans would change last minute, or if something got in the way of my routines, it became apparent that maybe I was change-averse. I plodded along, avoiding change where possible for years and, as a result, was unhappy. Not desperately so, just enough to provide a background noise of discontent. Like the low hum of fridge in another room.
My avoidance of change was rooted in a craving for security and stability, things which had not been present in my early life. I needed to know what was going to happen next, I needed to plan for disaster, I needed control.
It was exhausting being that needy. Completely understandable, but exhausting.
This need manifested as hyper-observance. Constantly scanning my immediate environment and imagined future for danger, trip-hazards, adverse situations - anything that could potentially cause discomfort.
If we look hard enough, we will find the evidence we need. Perceived proof can beautifully fuel our negativity bias. Again, exhausting.
I got tired of being exhausted.
Certainty may not exist but our ability to navigate uncertainty does. Doing this successfully involves presence in the current moment, immersing ourselves in gratitude for all that is well in our life right now. Things to appreciate can feel non-existent at times, but there will be something, a glint of light to catch the eye and draw our focus. A glimmer to help soothe us.
Then there is the lifting of our head to look to the horizon. You can choose where you look, what you want to have as your direction of travel. Make your destination a place that you actually want to be. Scan back to your present and ask:
What action do I need to take in this moment to keep heading in that direction?
Our past also has a part to play in all of this. We may not be able to change it but we can reframe it, we can choose how to recall it, integrate it into our human experience and use it as a fuel to power us forward. There is a misconception that you need to appear strong throughout this journey of life but, the truth is, resilience is cultivated by being close to breaking. Sometimes it feels like you have broken completely, and I invite you to consider Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken items with gold so that the history of the break is incorporated into the new beauty of the object.
Admire your new beauty.
Letting go is not the same as giving up. It also takes practice. Our instinct to feel in control of our lives comes from a place of self-preservation. It's a survival tactic but in the time that it takes to over-analyse every potential outcome and remove all elements of risk, we can be leaking our energy - a valuable resource which could instead be used to immerse ourselves in the current moment, allow a nourishing response and witness the next stage of our existence organically unfolding.
What if you were to cultivate a faith in yourself? A trust in your ability to navigate change?
Acknowledge that the full spectrum of the human experience entitles you to contrast, joy and love?
What would happen if you did just let go?
Wishing Only Love.
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