The Power of Letting Go
I recently read an article by a man who had finished a challenge – for the past 100 days, he had let go of having goals. He wrote about the power of just being, without striving toward anything. And paradoxically, he said that he was more productive than he had been when he lived with lists and goals and strategies – and much happier. He planned to extend his goal-free lifestyle indefinitely.
As a confirmed list-making Virgo, I’m not necessarily advocating such an extreme experiment (unless it sounds just right for you). I’ve actually been working on my goals for 2012. But over the years, I’ve learned that trying to be in absolute control of all facets of your life is just a recipe for disappointment and frustration. It’s imperative that we learn to go with the flow.
Perhaps, like me, you’re a recovering control-freak. Or maybe you’ve never been quite so organized as that, but you feel guilty about it, or wish your life could be as pulled-together as that of some of your acquaintances. It’s an illusion, though. Being human is a messy process. Even in those picture-perfect homes, with smiling families wearing designer clothes (ironed, no less), there’s some kind of untidiness somewhere. It might be lurking in their dynamic emotions, surfacing as addictive behavior, or even just showing up as vaguely disturbing dreamscapes.
The thing is, it’s not a problem. Out of the chaos of life grows creativity and resourcefulness. There is always more for us to learn. If we try to hang on too tightly to order and stay in the comfort zone, sooner or later life will be knocking at the door, insisting we come out to play. If we ignore it, it’ll come right in after us.
I’ve found the best way to surf through life, for me, is to make a plan, with a schedule and lists, but to not get too attached to it. I don’t get upset when the situation changes – or at least, not very often. I’ve learned to be flexible, to let go of control. Your way of navigating through life will be unique. Stay open to what arises, and you’ll discover new joys, learning experiences, and perhaps a stronger connection to the energy tides of the Universe itself.