“They that hope in God will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”
Tired of trying to do it all yourself?
When I look back on my life I see that I am most happy when I have surrendered to a Power greater than myself, when I have stopped trying to control my life or someone else’s. I quickly get insane when I try to control or when I cling to another. When I let go and allow a Power greater than myself to take care of that person I’m worried about, or those things within my own life about which I’m concerned, then life takes on a much more peaceful feel.
So how can I let go? How can I surrender? Ask this Power to direct my thinking. Talk out my actions and motivations with trusted people. Then simply just put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing. That usually does it for me.
It is when I am doing these things that my energy begins to increase and I find myself a much happier person, running and not growing weary!
Yesterday I was speaking with a friend about the grace of awakening to a new way of living and responding to situations that people and Life throws at us. We spoke of our fascination with learning, in very practical ways, how to be happy, especially when things aren‘t going our way. We spoke of the joy of learning to let go of expectations and to not base one’s happiness on how another responds to us. In this conversation she kept saying, “I have so much to learn. I have such a long way to go to realize these things.” I encouraged her not to look at how much she has yet to learn or realize, but to celebrate what she has learned right now. If we keep the attention on how far we’ve yet to go, we’ll never get anywhere. But if we keep the focus on this moment and what we have learned, this moment will take us to the next, and the next. The important thing is that we continually do something to grow and learn.
Al-Anon has a litany called “Just For Today,” in which it highlights various simple things that I will do JUST TODAY. It keeps the focus on the present moment instead of the big picture. One of the things it says is: “Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration” (Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1972). Now, notice it doesn’t say I will read VOLUMES. It says I will read SOMETHING.
What one of us doesn’t want to be happy and to live somewhat peaceably in this life? What one of us wouldn’t want to learn secrets of living happily and peacefully even when life seemingly becomes very difficult? What a treasure that would be! Well, the good news is we can! We just have to stick with some daily learning. I heard it said years ago that if you throw enough mud against the wall, eventually some of it will stick. This is certainly an apt description of my learning process! If I read a little, meditate a little, am present a little and love a little, . . . eventually some of it will stick!
Throw a little mud against the wall today.