Sometimes I cling to things as though my breath depends on it. Like the song
Jesus take the wheel
I will determine to let go and let God, as they say. Then I grab for a measure of control again. I just need to give it up.
There are other things I need to give up. . .
If you learn in a cyclical manner, like I do, principles and ideas come back around and around. Each time, there’s a chance to gain more clarity and understanding. Am I in the mood to ‘get’ it? Do I have the disposition to let go of something I’ve chosen to be stuck to, like Flick in the movie A Christmas Story? I love, love, love the times when things click and I SEE better. Not with my eyes. With my mind or heart. Or both.
Right now. Today. At this moment, I am feeling strong enough to fully let a few things go. Completely.
1. Give up fear
The other day I was thinking about fear versus faith. How, if I were able to genuinely capture and own faith – deep in the core of my very being – the fear truly could not co-exist. I could be rid of the worries of WHAT IF, the nerves around HOW WILL THIS TURN OUT, or the trepidation concerning current circumstances for this child or that friend. Even WHAT IS COMING DOWN THE PIKE.
It all goes away. And I completely – wholly – live in the moment.
Not to toss aside goals and dreams. Those are good things, that build a better life. I’m talking about the stuff that weighs me down and throws me off course. Or makes me sad or unproductive.
When I’m quietly wringing my hands over one child or another, it helps neither the child nor me. Fretting and fearing a test result [the medical kind…but I guess, if my circumstances were different, another kind of test could be inserted in my worry box], will not change the results of the blood draw, the CT scan, or the two hour exam just taken. You know?
I’m done. I’m letting it go. I’m breaking up with fear.
2. Give up resistance to change
Some people have no issue with this one. I didn’t realize it was a biggie for me as I was growing up. Or as a younger woman. But soon enough it became all too clear. I wanted to cling to what IS. Change meant Unknown. Whadda ya know… this one is closely tied to fear. The quote above speaks to me about becoming, and how change is necessary.
Change is always happening, like the rolling forward of a stream. Like weather changes , so does life. With the changes come highs and lows, great happy times and difficult ones. But change builds strength and grants confidence. More is learned. I understand new ways and more insight. It’s all good, when all said and done.
I know of no single person who, at the end of their life, has regretted changes in their lifetime. How we react to them? That’s another issue, entirely, and a story for another time.
In simple terms for myself, changes bring opportunities. Life becomes more user friendly when I embrace those revisions. So do I.
3. Give up labels
The world is so harsh on so many levels. As talk goes around about more tolerance, in truth, there seems less. Those who are God fearing, or Christians, are belittled by those who want nothing to do with God. [This troubles me a great deal. But again, this post isn’t about Godlessness.] Those who have no spiritual beliefs are discredited by the Church-going folk. This group fragments from that one, and this area isolates from that one. Labels are attached and judgments are made.
My loved ones have taught me a lot about looking inside the person, for the kind of heart they possess. Their choices may be very different than my own. As the mom, I used to fret and worry over outward appearance choices that didn’t match mine. Which pretty much is defined by “Do it the way I do.” Life has a way of showing me to love the kids, the neighbors, all my circle of “peeps” and let them do what they feel the need to do. Without judging, without labeling. Not judging where it’s not needed nor warranted. Lots more peace when I do it this way.
A story of a biker who was in an accident and hospitalized teaches a great lesson about not labeling. He was the dearest, kindest Scout leader and dad. Because he looked like a standard “Biker”, though, the medical team treated him with more disregard than kindness. Sad. Only when his wife brought in photos of him with the family, helping neighbors, offering service and goodness all around, did the team have a change of heart.
Works the other way, too. Some are so bent on being on edgy to an extreme that they diss or discount any who sit on the conservative side of the fence.
I remember a scripture in the Old Testament [in Samuel] that says,
Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart
Labels: Weight. Beauty [as though anyone can define beauty for another – ha]. Finances. Religion – including what kind of religious choice. Sexual preference. Education. Age. Political views. Clothes. Tattoos. Jewelry. House. Car. Too conservative. Too liberal. On and on.
I have my own thoughts, moral standards, ideas and concerns. It’s not my place to impose them on someone else in real – life terms. Nor does it make my life better to diss any person who doesn’t pass my personal muster. I do get bugged by people who encourage dissonant dialogue, though. This kind of labeling and disabling is sad:
The other day I saw a post pop up on Facebook. It was just after the death of a celebrated actor. There had been the SHOCKING! PHILLIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN FOUND DEAD IN HIS APARTMENT articles all over the news, the Internet, the Social Media. Very sad for this fine actor and his family. The truly sad, shocking post was this kind: SHOCKING! CHARLIE SHEEN FOUND ALIVE IN HIS APARTMENT, and then it flippantly mocking a tragedy by mocking a troubled celebrity who is still above ground.
There were a lot of “likes”. There were lots of comments.
Hahaha! said many.
Funny! said others.
Made me laugh! offered many readers.
The last comment of the thread said something like this:
Why would you make fun of someone who has passed away, and whose family and friends are so sad?
I wanted to hug this person. Send her flowers or something, realizing that sometimes I may too flippantly ‘like’ something for its witty words, without thinking through how it harms another. Bravo to one person who stopped the thread in it’s tracks. Made me remember- again- how easily I can seem judgmental, even by agreeing with a FB post. Labeling – like, it’s okay to mock a celebrity because we’ve labeled them a certain way? No.
Christ didn’t judge by looks when he walked the earth. He doesn’t now, I’m sure.
So, why is there so much division or derision based upon the outward appearance? Why such intolerance for those who disagree with others? Why the mean spirited posts and comments and thought processes? Why the flippant judgment, clothed in different coats?
Why fret over what someone else thinks of me – ever? Not, to be honest, that I’ve spent a whole lot of time worrying over that one. When others do so, I’ll keep working at letting it roll off my back like a duck. More time for deep breathing.
Each of these things to give up are bound to make my life even better. Ahhh.. deeper soul trenches for more goodness to grow.
And goodness matters.