Don’t you love the words, “let go”? They bring to mind that old commercial in the 80’s of the Nestle Tea plunge, where the guy falls backward into a pool of water with eyes closed and a big grin on his face. Totally trusting, totally carefree.
And isn’t it interesting that we could all live that way if it weren’t for one little thing: fear.
And being told, “well, just let go”, isn’t as easy to do as it is to say. We have a survival brain that for years has worked on protecting us, keeping us safe, and making sure we survive. And honestly, that part isn’t going away.
So what do we do? What do we do when the fear of the future, of our survival, or safety racks our brains and keeps our bodies closed up tight like seeds in their shells, even if it’s all in our mind?
Well, it’s never helped me to smash the shell or force it open. Meaning, it doesn’t help to berate ourselves for not acting the way we wish we could or take terrifying leaps to force ourselves to become someone we’re just not, yet.
Sure, we could make huge leaps by forcing change that way, but at what expense? How much stress are you causing on your body by “forcing” yourself to go faster or farther than you’re ready for? And doesn’t it at least intellectually make sense that if the Universe wanted you to be somewhere or doing something, that it would find the most harmonious way of doing it – like it does in nature?
And in nature, what happens to a seed? It doesn’t stop growing, but it does take time. And no one is yelling at the seed to go faster. Which is to say, definitely give yourself permission to grow, but don’t fight life or its circumstances like a warrior ready to slice through the brush.
Work as the ancients do, with nature. You may be afraid. You may be depressed. You may be angry. But wherever you are, breathe and begin there.
Try these steps to move past your fear:
- Recognize your fear or your sadness or your anger. Bless it, knowing it’s trying to serve you in some way.
- Get still. If it’s fear you feel, then safety is the antidote. Go and sit in stillness while focusing on your heart and all the love you have inside of you to give to the world.
- Breathe in compassion and peace for yourself and for all those feeling fear. Acknowledge that this path isn’t easy. It takes courage.
- If it’s the future that causing you fear, and there’s nothing you can do about it right now, then get busy doing things that are actually part of your world today – the gym, the grocery shopping, cleaning the house, returning emails, scheduling appointments. Whatever is really happening in your life, don’t fight it or lament it. Don’t take it personally. Go along with it and enjoy what you can. Notice it’s okay to be lighter and the world doesn’t fall apart without your vigilance.
- If moving forward is what’s causing you fear, then repeat this mantra, “I can’t do everything, but I can do this.” And ask your heart (knowing here you join God), what is one thing I can do? Then do what you can. Do what’s manageable.
“Your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of love will naturally be different from your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of fear.”
A Course of Love
Forgive yourself, trust the process, and know you cannot fail when you choose to love – including loving yourself.