I love challenges, things that get me motivated and my competitive streak going.
There I was, on 3rd January (about 3 days later than usual) scouring Pinterest for a challenge that I could kickstart my year with. You know one of those “30 days of gratitude challenge” or “21 days of fitness” or my favourite, “30 books to read when avoiding everything else” (…okay, I made that last one up but I think it makes for a good challenge…any takers?).
I must have spent at least 2 (…6…) hours scrolling through various challenges, sending some to friends for themselves and I found nothing appealing for me. Nothing. Eventually I stopped searching, thinking I’d take a break and get back into it. The break turned into never because…I didn’t want a challenge anymore. I didn’t want some random motivation to kickstart my year. My year did not require any kickstarting. In fact what I needed for my start to the year was a quiet, calm entrance sneaking through the backdoor.
So…no challenge? Not, never. Just, not right now. Because instead of forcing myself or some situation to happen, I’m going to, for a change, enjoy the idea of trusting this process of letting life happen.
Trust – 5 letters and yet so powerful a word. For those who know me or for those who have read enough of my blogs, you would understand that I’ve been working on letting go, surrendering and loosening up on trying to control everything for a long time, so this little 5 letter word does not come by easily but it is something I’ve been trying to achieve…which is so counter-intuitive. If I really trusted the process, I’d not be trying to achieve it; it would just occur, right?
I’ve worked on understanding my need to be in control, worked on understanding what not trying to control really means (how is it different to just being lazy or complacent) and I’ve worked on learning the difference between quitting and letting go.
As I reflected over the previous year that’s just passed, and over the previous 15 years of my life (yes, I like to be thorough about everything apparently…) I couldn’t figure out why all this self-development work, all the reflection, all the programmes, teachings, studies, talks, books (getting the point yet?) weren’t fully feeding my soul; nor calming my deep thinking or my planning for worst case scenarios during the best days of the year for me. And…it’s took me days of being too exhausted and tired to care about the next day to have a moment of clarity…
I haven’t been trusting much of what I’ve been doing.
Don’t get me wrong; I see the positive effects of learning more about myself and others and I’ve definitely benefited from everything that I’ve done thus far BUT it’s almost like I’ve been doing all this because this is the formula that’s been provided in order to love and live the life I want…making it a goal instead of the journey; putting it as the last item to tick off my checklist instead of the first.
It’s taken moments of absolute frustration and exhaustion (as I’m sure many of you have had during the year that shall not be named) to give up control. In fact, trying to always be in control and planning for the worst is what made everything frustrating, anxiety provoking, stressful and exhausting. I am not psychic and one thing 20…I mean that year that shall not be named, taught me was life happens and it doesn’t go according to plan. You either give in or adjust or in my case, do both. Yep, I adjusted to giving in.
Now, whenever I become anxious or worried about life not going according to my plan, I’m going to ask myself, “Why am I trying to be in control and what will it take for me to trust that everything will work out as it should?”