“If it is to be, it’s up to me” was my motto for a long time. However experience helped me to discover that simply letting go and letting life unfold is a key ingredient to a good life. Instead of trying to force every step I take into a self-fixed direction quite frequently the best course to take is to give up control. Some would label it intellectual blindness. Others could call it spiritual naiveté. There are those who might say I am childishly not being responsible. To them my response is, “you just don’t know yet what I know”.
For me it comes to this: When I don’t know what else to do, the ‘secret’ learned has been to simply let go; give it up; release controlling; and let things turn out as they naturally do. Allowing the forces that exist in the universe and the power of something beyond me lend help when I am at wit’s end is one of the greatest pieces of wisdom garnered so far.
When I was learning to be a private pilot one of the more challenging parts was going through spin training. No matter how much my trusted instructor told me the aircraft would recover from a spin on its own if I would let go of the controls, it was impossible to do at first. Nothing he said could get me away from my instinctive feeling that the only way out of a frightening spin was doing it myself. Little by little I began believe my teacher when he talked ‘inherent stability”. He said ‘it’ was built into modern small airplanes and caused them to recover from a spin on their own as long as you were high enough when spinning begins. It took MANY tries before he got me to let go my need to control. When I did, recovery worked just like he said. I let go of the controls and within less than two spins the aircraft always recovered. Things turned out far better WITHOUT my control!
It’s that place in our lives where what we’ve been hanging onto . . . clinging to for dear life . . . is stripped away. It’s that place in us where we let go of what we know, what we think we know, and what we want and surrender to the unknown. It is the place of saying and meaning, ‘I don’t know.’
It means standing there with our hands empty for a while, sometimes watching everything we wanted disappear; our self-image, our definition of who we thought we should be, the clones we’ve created of ourselves, the people we thought we had to have, the things we thought were so important to collect and surround ourselves with, the job we were certain was ours, the place we thought we’d live in all our lives. . .
Surrender control to the supreme wisdom… the Divine in your soul. Step into the void with courage. Learn to say, I don’t know. That’s not blind faith. It’s pure faith that will allow… your spirit to lead you wherever your soul wants and needs to go. (from Melody Beattie’s ”Finding Your Way Home”)
When I know of nothing else do to and have tried all I know to try, letting go of control and the outcome always seems to allow things to turn out OK. At the very least resolution comes. Such occurrences are good lessons for my big ego that always tries to run everything. It does not know it all like my ego tries to always convince me. I am grateful to know that with regularity things turn out best when I muster the strength to leave them alone.
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.