Recently, I’ve come to a deep place of surrender about something that I have been unable to change.
Oh, I REALLY wanted this thing to be different. But getting to “different” requires things/people/situations outside of my control to change, and I have absolutely no say AT ALL in whether/if/when this will ever happen.
On my side of the equation, I’ve tried everything.
I’ve discussed the “problem” with my mentors. I’ve prayed on it, written about it, talked about it, let it go, grabbed it back, prayed on it . . . .
Still, the “problem” remains.
And so, mercifully, I surrender.
I accept – to my innermost self – that I am utterly stumped.
I give up.
As my friend, Jim Money, says,
When the horse is dead, it is prudent to dismount.
Why do we hold on to things?
At a recent Comeback Workshop, some of my clients were discussing the long-term problems in their lives. The conversation turned to our propensity to hold on to people, situations, and things long past their “fresh until” date.
One of my clients asked, “Why do we do this?”
Why do we hold on to things that are hurting us, that no longer fulfill us, that keep us stuck in sadness/mediocrity/hopelessness?
1. We’re afraid,
2. We don’t believe in ourselves, and so, um – that makes us afraid.
3. We’re waiting to see if things/people/situations will change, because –
4. We’re afraid.
When it comes to making decisions, I try to live by the tenets of the Serenity Prayer. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Usually, when I’m stumped, it’s because I’ve misdiagnosed my situation and put my “problem” in the wrong Serenity Prayer bucket.
I’m swirling around frantically trying to change something (read “someone”) when really what I’m supposed to do is accept them for who they really are.
More often, though, I think I’m supposed to be accepting something, when really I’m supposed to be changing it.
Clearly, at times like these, I lack the “wisdom to know the difference.”
If something in your life continues to dog you, it’s probably because you’re accepting something that you should be changing. If you’re doing this, it’s probably because you’re afraid of what might/could/will happen as a result of making the change you need to make.
And if you are stuck because you are afraid, it’s because you doubt that you will be able to handle whatever consequences come from your decision to move on/forward/past the thing that is holding you back.
You don’t have to stay stuck, though. You could:
1. Play “worst case” scenario. Think about the worst thing that could happen and then jot down how you would handle that.
2. Ask for support. Share your fears and self-doubt with a friend and ask for support in making the change you need to make. Be as specific as you can.
3. Seek a mentor. You could hire a coach or strategist. You could commit to getting the skills you need to make the changes you desire.
4. Get some perspective. Keep your problems “right-sized” by looking around you at what others are handling.
Remember, love, you’re as sick as your secrets. That means that when you choose to suffer in silence, you essentially lock yourself in a dark room with your problems. No one can get in, and none of the painful stuff can get out.
1. Get real. Which of the current “problems” in your life were around a year ago? Five years ago? 10? What action can you take TODAY to begin to free yourself from its tenacious grip? Let us know what you’re doing TODAY to move your life forward.
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photo: flickr, fomu. horse quote: my friend, Jim Money