How many times have I spent hours planning something and then it all falls apart? It may be lessons for school and then one of my kids gets sick, finances and then something unexpected comes up, a trip and then a spanner is thrown in the works …
I’m sure you can think of many examples of this phenomenon from your own life.
We try so hard to feel IN CONTROL… and then… something unexpected changes everything.
Let me paint a picture for you.
A few weeks ago, I had a timeline of projects to accomplish over a period of time. This included and was not limited to writing a university assignment, writing an exam for my students, marking exams, writing reports, hosting an event in my home and having guests over for lunch on the weekend. I ticked items off my list as I progressed in my timeline and despite feeling tired, everything seemed to be under control. I was near the finish line as I wrote a shopping list for the busy weekend and went to the supermarket to stock up my house with all the required groceries. I even began the cooking process.
Then… my husband got unwell. Nothing serious thank G-d but at the time he was in a lot of pain. Managing the forte at home, looking after my husband and working in between was a juggle, but we survived. We had to cancel our event, guests and all of our best laid plans of mice and men went awry. All the planning, organising and co-ordinating that week just went out the window. As an example, fresh produce was sitting in the fridge that we would no longer be needing.
At the time I said to my husband “I did a lot today but not what I needed to do.” He profoundly responded “no, it was exactly what you needed to do.”
This got me thinking.
In my child’s kinder they talk about ‘expected’ versus ‘unexpected’ behaviours. What about ‘expected’ versus ‘unexpected’ happenings?
As humans we have a natural drive to want to feel in control. But in actuality we are not. And when life goes down a different path, this is our new journey. Not to say that this is by any means easy, but this is where we need to be, what we need to be doing.
This is definitely not always easy in practice, especially when pain or trauma is involved.
A huge part of self- care or whatever you want to call it, is learning to let go.
I like to repeat to myself the mantra “Let go. Let go. Breathe and just let go.”
Say it till you remember it. Say it till it means something to you. Say it until it is a part of you.
In line with being honest, it’s not to say I don’t struggle with this, with wanting to be in control. I do know though, 'letting go' is liberating.
I am a believer in G-d and for me letting go involves the knowledge that there is a higher being who is capable of anything and continuously looks after me and every detail of creation.
For each person this process of letting go may be different. It could be by; practicing mediation, using mindfulness techniques, distracting yourself or simply going for a walk in the fresh air.
You’ll find when you let go you feel more at peace. When you let go you create room for new opportunities. And most importantly, when you let go you allow yourself to be looked after!