I don’t know about you, but I’m a fighter. I hang onto problems like an iron jawed bulldog, and thrash them to death. I try to control the outcome of any given situation, try to change the unchangeable, try to find quick solutions to every little problem.
And it takes a great deal of energy, and is almost always pointless. There is so little in life that we can actually control, so many unexpected twists and turns, so many factors in every situation that are beyond our influence or understanding. All that we really achieve by fighting, by trying to be in control, is to create in ourselves a terrible tension, a coiled up spring of anxiety and uncertainty. We get angry at people who we perceive to be spoiling our plans, or defying our vision of how life should be. We get panic stricken at every twist and turn of life, and exhausted from the attempt to make sense of everything, and from the constant troubleshooting.
It’s like having a physical pain. Have you ever experienced being in pain, and someone saying to you, “try to relax into it, the pain won’t be so bad then.” it sounds ridiculous, but it actually works. Once you release the tension in your muscles, as hard as that is, the pain feels more manageable. I think that life would be a lot easier for many of us, if we could achieve the same thing mentally, that letting go, that easing of tension.
Like when you start knitting, or spinning, and you have that lightbulb moment when you realise (or it’s pointed out to you) that it would be so much easier, and more enjoyable, and you’d get better results, if you loosen your grip, relax a little bit, and allow the yarn or fibre to flow naturally through your hands.
Letting go means accepting that life will have it’s ups and downs, not trying to resist or control that, but just allowing it to be, being patient in the bad bits, and grateful in the good bits, and trying to learn from both.
It means allowing other people to be who they are, not trying to push and pull them into the shape you want them to be, but accepting them for being the individuals they are.
It means taking each day as it comes, not straining to anticipate what problems the future may bring, but living life one day at a time, confident in the knowledge that tomorrow will take care of itself.
And letting go means being open, to people, to experiences, to pain as well as happiness, to whatever life brings. Not fighting to avoid difficulties or painful emotions, nor running away from things.
Just breathing, and living, and going along with the flow of life. That’s something worth fighting for.