For the rest of 2018, I’m going to try something different.
Oh sure it’s fine to have goals that you plan and see through, but that’s not for me.
For 2018 I’ve been thinking of a theme. A theme to guide my thinking. A theme which will set me up to cope better with the world around me.
My theme is: Surrender.
Not in a lay-down-and-cop-it type of way, or a turn-the-cheek, walk past way either.
When I say surrender I mean thinking less about the things I can’t control. It means differentiating between what I can change and what I can’t and surrendering it’s hold.
In doing so I’m essentially taking the rope from my neck. I’m dowsing the flames.
It’s all about what I have influence over and what I don’t.
Recording artist and Men at Work front-man, Colin Hay, recalls his battle with alcohol in coping with the demise of the Men at Work fame. “I would wake up each day and battle the demons in my head. Will I or won’t I touch the bottle today?. I was slaying the dragon everyday and it became exhausting. It wasn’t until I laid down my own sword and surrendered to the dragon
that I finally started to heal”.
That’s what I’ll be doing in 2018….laying down my sword.
You see, I have no control over Karma, a delayed flight, or how tall I am.
And I certainly cannot, no matter how hard I try, make someone like me.
There is no sense in wasting my time hurling myself at these immovable objects, trying to win the unwinnable war.
Instead, I’m going to concentrate my energies on what I have got: a choice.
This means deciding how I will interpret or respond to any given situation. I have ultimate control over whether the situation is good or bad, fair or unfair.
I have the last say in ‘letting it go’ and accepting the outcome.
Researchers have discovered that the one common link between centenarians is their ability to roll with the punches and release any attachment to outcome. Whether it’s moving on from losing a tennis match, or moving forward after the death of a loved one, the ability to go with the flow is an important strategy for living a long, happy, productive life.
The fact is, with every challenge out of my control comes a counter-balancing opportunity to control the way I react to it.
The uncontrollable actually becomes controllable. This is the gift.
This is the only thing I have at the core of my circle of control. The ability to see the situation for what it is.
Now, I’m not for one second suggesting that this is easy to do. How can one, for instance, ever see the death of a child or loved one as any thing but gut-wrenching?
How can this situation ever be ‘good’?
In my experience, the ‘goodness’ eventually seeps out. It may take months or years or perhaps a lifetime, but your ability to see the situation differently will manifest over time.
There are lots of things which, in the past, have tied me up in knots: keeping a spotless home, having big muscles, pushing my point of view, and being the BEST Dad.
For the rest of 2018 and hopefully beyond, I’ll still strive to do these things, but I’ll be accepting the fact that the ultimate outcome doesn’t matter or is indeed far from my controllable grasp.
To these things, I surrender.