Stop Trying to Control It
A lesson in surrender
Over the last week and a half, I’ve driven nearly 40 hours between a trip to my hometown in New York to Hilton Head for their destination wedding/honeymoon followed by a visit to my mother in Florida. I’m one of the rare species that doesn’t totally hate driving long distances. I find reflection best served in passing hours with your hands tied to a steering wheel. I’m also extremely observant while driving, appreciating the oddest things, like the fact my job is not paving roads in a simmering 95 degrees (thank you, highway maintenance crews!!)
Raise your hand if you're a people watcher. Raises both hands. Yesterday while driving I watched this man with his arm out the window gripping the door and windshield. I mean, his entire arm was tensed up. This dude looked so uncomfortable.
My first thought was that maybe his windshield was going to pop off, but it didn’t. Maybe he was a superhero looking for crime to fight, he would clearly have to stay alert and ready. But that didn't seem quite right.
I stayed level with this man while he for well over 5 minutes, gripped his door and windshield, because I’m a creeper and accidental staring is a specialty. This is what 40 hours in a car looks like, guys.
The minute this man saw I was basically the friendly neighbor, Wilson, from the 90’s show, Home Improvement peeping over my passenger seat, he immediately detached his grip from his door and instantly looked more relaxed. A little creeped out, but mostly relaxed.
Now, I still have theories…I’m sure we all do. Probably both about me, and captain gripster. I had this moment where I was thinking of what in my life I’ve been gripping tightly without even noticing. And I want to ask you the same thing: Are you holding onto the windshield making sure it’s not going to fly off, when in reality it’s not going anywhere? Often, we grip things we are afraid to lose.We try to control them by focusing our mental energy on them. We worry, we ruminate, and we drain ourselves of useful energy that could’ve been put towards creating a life that feels good.
The reality is what’s meant for us doesn’t need to be gripped. SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!
And if our windshield did in fact fly off, maybe it was because we needed a new one. Maybe the old one was cracked and a fresh view is what the Universe intended.
Part of the struggle we face is fighting the natural order of events. There’s a difference between lovingly attending to what you already have and keeping a death grip on people or situations you want out of fear of losing them. I know it’s hard to trust the Universe will show up for you. I know it’s a challenge to undo a mindset that you are used to.
But the first thing to ask yourself is, what if I just release this from my grip? What if I let my shoulders relax? What if I unclench my jaw? What if I unwrinkled my forehead and remove my tongue from the top of my mouth?
What if I just refocus my energy in a new spot that feels good or exciting?
Someone once explained to me the problem with gripping like this: When God puts a gift in your hand to love it, appreciate it, but to keep a flat palm. This person encouraged to not close your hand up and pull it too far in. God/The Universe knows the timing of your life better than you. He sees the whole shebang, the future, the plan, the outcomes and knows exactly the right time to remove something from your life because you deserve or maybe even need a new one, whether that is a job, person, or thing.
By keeping your hand open and your heart grateful you put yourself in the best position to actually receive the miracles you’ve been asking for.
However, you must let flow happen. You must trust in transition even when it’s challenging or doesn’t look pretty. Find a way to seek small pieces of gratitude even when your life feels like loss.
There's megawatts of power in redirecting your heart to find hope for what’s next.
Now the hard part, patiently and lovingly take care of yourself in the “hallway” between your last blessing and your next one, knowing with full heart that if you let go, the Universe has your back. Even when it feels dim or dark, the Universe does indeed have your back.
Stay hopeful, keep your palm flat, surrender all you’ve had your hands wrapped around. Take good care of you and your heart and then you’ll see the magic come back in.
About the Author
Nichole Eaton is a Soul Therapist and Author of the book, Rock Your Soul: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Mastering Your Mind.
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