Have you ever had one of those days, weeks – years – when everything just feels like team too much and you can’t take one more thing? You’re like, uh yeah, how about 2020?
I don’t know if it’s Mercury in retrograde or what, but the last few weeks have been like that for me, and from what I’ve heard, I’m not alone.
It started with my A/C being on the fritz for a week then I sprained my ankle ten minutes into my Saturday morning run and pulled out my back out three days later. Sweating, limping and hunched over, I was a literal hot mess. FML (f!@k my life).
These are minor inconveniences, of course, but on top of Covid surges, social distancing, you know who in office, and our country’s trauma history being front and center, I’ve been on edge.
As I often do when I’m overwhelmed and feeling like life is conspiring to F with my serenity, I knee jerk reacted and went into control mode. I clamped down and tried to get a hold of life by pushing harder, worrying more and trying to force things to go my way. “No, Universe, I said do it this way!”
You can imagine how well that worked. Relate much?
I’d like to think my years of self work and being a practicing coach and counselor would mean I make better moves when the s!@t hits the fan. Sometimes I do, but not always and not this time.
Releasing our grip to get one.
Even though I still do it, I know from experience that arm wrestling the universe to get my way never turns out well. I also know when life feels hectic, unmanageable and edging toward chaotic, something other than the A/C is up.
Knowing that in my head is one thing. Letting myself feel in it my heart is another.
That’s because feeling it in my heart means just that…feeling it. Feelings. Yuck. And “it?” Well that’s part of the problem. We’re usually trying to avoid what “it” is.
When we’re in reactive – aka avoidance – mode, it’s usually about control. On the surface, we’re trying to control what’s going on around us – people, places, things, and circumstances. But what we’re really trying to control is what’s inside of us - our vulnerable feelings, sensitive hearts, tender wounds, and usually some fear. Those are what really feel out of sorts and they’re what really need our attention. Those are the “its” we need to feel.
But tuning into our heart means we’ve got to do something different. It means making a new choice and taking a new action. And that action is almost always the exact opposite of what we’ve been doing.
It’s about giving up. Giving up control, that is. It’s about not trying to force the notoriously unreliable outcomes. It’s about letting go of your timeline and how you think it – or he, she, they – should be.
The heart of the matter is about releasing your grip on what you think is going on and surrendering to what is going on.
Release and catch
Surrendering isn’t just about the release though. The psychology of letting go is about getting help.
We stop trying to do it all, make it happen, and solve every problem on our own in order to receive guidance, to be cared for, and really, to be more loved. To trust that we’re loved and looked out for and that we’re not alone.
And feeling like we’re not alone in life is big time “it” stuff.
We release to be caught. Picture trapeze artists. They have to let go in order for their partner to catch them. It’s about trust. Another big “it” word. Trusting the other person will be there when their hands detach from the bar.
It’s the same with life. We let go and then trust that the universe, our higher self, something greater than ourselves is going to be there for us when we finally ease up on our grip.
We can resist this all we want. We can fight letting go but eventually, it’ll be too much. So why wait until it’s too much? Why not make it easier on ourselves and surrender now?
Sure, you’ll probably need to feel some stuff you don’t want to and you may need to course correct or make a few changes. You might also just need to chill the F out and take a damn nap. It could be that simple.
Of course, what may be waiting for you on the other side of surrender and what might be wanting your attention – this is what I see in my work most often – is more than a nap. You might be needing to let go of how you think it’s supposed to go so that something better – bigger, brighter, and bad-asser – can happen. Your soul might be calling.
Hey, it’s me. Life. Pick up the phone. We need to chat. It’s time for a heart-to-heart.
But no pressure. LOL.
When you’re at your wits end, on the verge or even just feeling stuck, give these a surrendering moves a try…
Call 911. Just kidding, don’t do that but do call someone for help. Talk it out with someone who cares and who can hold space for you. One note on talking – it can sometimes make things worse so go for body-based help like acupuncture, craniosacral therapy or guided relaxation.
Drop the agenda. More productivity, performance, metrics, and measureables aren’t not the answer. That’s called going to the problem for a solution. I suck at this and need constant reminders of it. Your life isn’t about being productive all the time. Often, the answer you’re seeking is found in not working and not doing. Try just being and seeing how that feels. I struggle with this, but I always feel better when I stop trying to do (and be) more.
Turn it over. A helpful practice for this is the Surrender Box. Write down the challenge(s) you’re facing on a small piece of paper and place it in the box. Take a few breaths, say aloud “I’m out of ideas of how to solve this problem so I’m turning it over to the universe (higher self, angels, wise teachers) and asking for guidance.” Place it in the box and lay your burden down.
I’ll close with my wish that you let go just a little bit today, this upcoming week, and definitely this year. And especially if you’ve been swinging on the trapeze and scared to let go.
Take a few breaths, center into your heart and feel the fear that trust is asking of you. Now release your hands. Fly for a moment. And them feel them catch you. You’re safe.
On the trapeze,