Why don’t I follow my own advice? I try, but sometimes I just don’t have it in me and I lose it. That’s what happened yesterday. It was a 5-door slam day for me. And here’s the thing: Yes, I was upset and frustrated with something that happened with my guys (although not really worth 5 doors) – but it really was about some s*** that was my own s*** (not theirs). And honestly, it was s*** I had no control over. “Hello, my name is Jessica and I’m a (bit) of a control freak.”
Come on Jess, haven’t you written about letting go a million times?
Of course it’s true that things go much more smoothly when we (I) stop trying to control situations and allow them to happen. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy and I’m clearly still working on this skill.
I once read this great analogy: When we’re trying to control something, it’s as if we’re in a boat trying to row upstream. But when we choose to let go and surrender, the boat will turn, the oars will gently drop and we’ll float downstream to something even better.
And, this author reminded me that sometimes I use perfectly good energy trying to plan, predict, and prevent things that I cannot possibly plan, predict, or prevent. In fact, I sometimes spend time trying to manage things that are not my own — things (like the universe!) that I have NO control over.
Here’s the interesting thing: Micromanaging (a nicer word than control) is exhausting. I mean, when we try to control something, we can get obsessive about it, ruminating about it. In fact, it actually invades our thoughts and affects the other things we’re doing (or supposed to be doing). Hey Jessica, listen up: trying to control something often leads to feeling less in control.
So what should I have done before slamming that first door? Surrender. Stop fighting with myself. Stop resisting the natural process of my guys learning something. Accept that with every situation, there may be some pain but there will be gain.
Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” I believe in a friendly universe. And I believe that if I’m receptive and allow things to happen (letting go of fear), that I won’t need to slam doors, I won’t use words I’ll regret later and I won’t be so stressed out – that the universe will be friendly.
I can choose to let things bother me or I can remind myself to let go of the oars and let the stream take me someplace even better. I’m still a work in progress but I have a feeling that dropping our oars will make for a more peaceful life experience (and for our partners and kids too! 🙂 ).
Have an amazing day!