Saturday, February 19, 2011

Letting Go

I'm realizing that most of what I need to let go of, 
I never had in the first place. 

 I've lived as if I have control over what happens in my life 
(I do have some control here, but far less than I've believed).
 I've repeatedly tried to control and change the behavior and attitudes of others (always a rewarding endeavor!) 
Even attempts to change myself have largely been unsuccessful.  

I love going to AA meetings; any kind of twelve step meetings. 
(I considered myself an alcoholic and addict for a time, 
but that's another story)
A group I spent some time with had an interesting "favorite" slogan:

"Mind your own business"

Every time I forget this one, I find myself in trouble.
I start thinking I can control things that aren't mine to control.
Most things in life aren't my business.

What someone else thinks about me, 
what anyone else thinks, in general . . . 
What someone else does or doesn't do . . .
Situations that come up in my life, or the lives of those I care about . . . 
Almost everything is either God's business or someone else's business.

So, the whole "Let go, and let God" thing really means you might as well let go of it in your head, because you never had it in the first place.
We make ourselves crazy; get irritated, angry, frustrated, resentful, fearful, etc. when things aren't as we think they should be.

What a waste of time and energy.

A simple example of how I applied this once.
I got up during the night for a drink of water and thought I heard a sound somewhere else in the house.
The next thing you know, my imagination is going crazy as I picture someone sneaking up behind me.  Usually when I do this, I keep telling myself there's nothing to it, but the emotion of fear stays with me 'til I'm safely back in bed. 
This time I thought, "Well, if there's some reason I'm supposed to be attacked by an intruder, then it's going to happen.
If I'm not supposed to be, it won't"
And just like that, I was totally at peace.
(seemed like a miracle at the time!)

It's about not arguing with reality.
It's about trusting that the way things are, 
is the way they're supposed to be.
If something is supposed to happen, it will. 
If it's not, it won't. 

And you're not the decider or the controller.

A good indicator that you've stepped out of your business is when you use words like "should" or "supposed to".
We do it to others.  We do it to ourselves.
Don't should on yourself or anyone else.

I choose to trust that I am in the hand of God.
I choose to trust that whatever happens in my life, 
things will be okay.

I choose to trust that everyone has their own connection with God, 
so it's not my job to control or judge anyone else's behavior.
It's especially not my job (or within my ability) 
to read another's mind, heart or intentions!

I am free
I am free to learn more about who I am;
who I can and want to be
Free to not fear what the future might hold
Free to let others do the same
Free to let others do the same!!!!

I don't have to fit myself into some ready made box, since I am being carried and led by the One who really knows what's going on.
I don't need to try to fit anyone else into a ready made box, either.
No shoulds.

I've been given lots of shoulds.
By people around me . . . books . . . TV . . . myself
There aren't shoulds
There's only what is

So, I'm talking about two different types of letting go.
One is the letting go of expectations of self and others.
The other is letting go of expectations and fears about all the things that can happen to and around you, now and in the future.  

I'm not talking about right or wrong.  
Different discussion.
 You can't should someone into doing the right thing (usually)
You can't should yourself into being a better person (usually)
That is the work of God and his spirit within
Me listening, agreeing and following him is my business. 
Worrying about my health and what might happen to me.
Not my business.
Taking care of my body as I'm able.
My business.
Doing the right thing when I see it.
Loving whenever and wherever possible.
Showing compassion and extending grace.
Me and God working together
Our business.

Everything else.  
I'd best let it go!

It takes a real load off to remind myself, "That's not my job."

fractal from