There is a day that many of us wait for longingly; anxiously. It seems to have all the answers, a predictable outcome, and is safely wrapped in the illusion of control. This day follows a timeline that is best for you and the expectations match exactly what you want most. It seems great on paper and in our minds as we work through all outcomes within ourselves. It is with much anticipation that many of us hope for the day that is “someday.”
Limiting outcomes to the magic of someday may keep you waiting far longer than you anticipated. You may be hoping for someday and holding on to control if these phrases feel familiar; “If this occurs, that will occur.” “When this happens, that will happen.” “If this person does this, I can finally do this.” Anxiety, depression, helplessness, hopelessness are all familiar with these phrases. They thrive on trying to control what is not within our ability.
These stipulations hold limiting beliefs. If waiting for someday or something is part of the solution, you probably haven’t surrendered yet to letting go. There is not a timeline for letting go; however, when there is no longer resistance, opportunities present themselves in a way that may not have seemed possible beforehand.
Letting go is a brave process since it asks you to face fears and develop a sense of faith. You have control in life; It just might not be the way in which you expected.
Let go of what?
Let go of trying to control things you cannot control. A controlled situation may feel more comfortable of course, but there is also no room for possibility. Take being stuck in traffic, for example. There are parts that are completely in your control. You get to dictate your speed, space you give people around you, and attitude toward other drivers. Things you can’t control are the traffic itself and how other people drive through the traffic. It may seem wonderful if people did exactly what you wanted them to do and how you wanted them to do it. However, this comes at a cost. Sacrificing your own well-being to make this happen is a waste of time spent focusing on what you cannot control.
What can I do instead?
Instead, you can become mindful in the moment through pause. Noticing what you have control of right now, in this moment in time. Learning how to weigh perspectives can be a first step to letting go. Letting control of the outcomes go, opens you up to opportunities that you may not even know are possible. This can be the difference between saving time and wasting time ruminating.
Living a life of what is happening now can bring unexpected joy and pleasure. Joy is one of the most vulnerable emotions, so experiencing it means letting go of the safety of control. The act of discernment can help you see what is in your control and what goes beyond it. The beauty is in the process of humbly asking for help to surrender the outcome.
Humility can allow you to develop a sense of freedom through the process of letting go, revealing more options than you could have come up with by yourself. In releasing control, you are admitting that you do not know everything and eliminating the pressure that goes along with it. There are times when it is okay to ask yourself whether you would rather be right or be happy. In this case, happy isn’t someday; happy is every day that you allow yourself to surrender. The familiarity of the same chaos of trying to control outcomes can give the illusion of control but surrendering the control can give the reality of faith in your ability to be flexible and make decisions that work better.
The more you feel like controlling a situation the less control you probably have in that moment. Instead of fighting these times, lean into them. It is hard and scary because the outcome becomes an option, but you give yourself the possibility of a new experience as well as peace within yourself. Holding on to trying to control leads to increased anxiety, depression, stress, frustration, overwhelm, helplessness, and hopelessness.
Observing what you are doing instead of holding on and judging yourself will allow you to continue to make changes. It is daunting to realize that what is making you feel powerless can actually be the thing that provides enough space to empower yourself. Instead of controlling others and their outcomes, the focus becomes on yourself. You begin to free up time to get to know yourself better. Responses to others and from others is a good gauge of whether control is starting to affect you.
Normally, reactions aren’t positive if people feel manipulated or micromanaged. By releasing the need to make situations how you like them, you allow for friendships and partnerships to happen organically including the one with yourself. Genuine interest in yourself and others can develop. We are social beings and connection matters to us. Authenticity in relationships is a positive consequence of letting go. Shifts will only happen when you are ready. There are no broken pieces, just those that haven’t come together yet.
So, then what?
Control is a quick fix; It is not a permanent solution. It gives the illusion of power and is fleeting. Surrender opens a space for personal peace, joy, and authentic relationships that can consistently be tapped into whether the situation is easy or difficult. Drifting between these two options is normal and is where the healing occurs. Take a moment consider the possibility of letting go and see what happens. Over time, it becomes easier and you will see more benefits including less anxiety, less depression, more hopefulness, more focus on “I can”.
If you struggle with anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, relationship conflict, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, learning to let go might be helpful for you. We provide support and guidance on learning to let go and the process involved. For some it may be easy to grasp and others, more difficult. We are here to help.