We often walk through life unconsciously fighting against what is happening and what we’re experiencing. We formulate expectations and demands for how things should be – how we should act, what we should do, how the people around us should act, and what they should do – and when the results don’t match our expectations, we get upset. How often have the results of your plans and intentions been exactly what you planned or anticipated? Have the results more often been somewhat off the target you held – sometimes a little worse, sometimes a little better, sometimes a lot worse, or even a lot better? Life works like that. Very rarely do we get exactly what we expect or anticipate.
Yet at the same time, we typically judge each moment against our expectations and desires or even against our feared outcomes and then we decide what’s “wrong” with the way things are. Our expectations, fears and demands trap us and prevent us from being able to live in peace and harmony. If you truly look within, our hearts hold no rules for how things should be. When allowed to, our hearts, beyond the fearful chatter of our minds, will clearly offer us both peace and inspiration no matter the situation at hand.
So, what if you felt OK about – even welcomed – everything happening in your life right now? What if your life experiences – no matter what they are – were “right” and not “wrong,” “good” and not “bad” – just for a change? How would you really feel?
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned invites me to make everything in my life ok – what I’m doing or not doing, what others are doing or not doing, how I’m reacting, how I’m feeling. The lesson is about not judging anything in life to be anything other than perfectly OK as it is. More specifically, freedom and peace arise when we accept what’s happening and stop wanting life to be some other way.
In other words, peace is possible when we give up having to have life be “my way” – when we give up trying to control life. A friend said to me years ago, “Do you realize you’re in a power struggle with the universe?” I looked over and gave him a not so nice look and he continued, “Who do you think is going to win?” As much as I hated to admit it, he was right. I was doing anything but welcoming everything. I was fighting against what was and I wasn’t going to win. I created my own inner suffering.
What are you fighting against in life right now?
Let go of control
There are three keys to real success in this. First, notice that you are resisting, holding on, trying to control life. Then, choose to let go. If letting go feels hard or even impossible, ask yourself, “Is my fighting and trying to control/manage myself, life or anyone else, really doing any good? Is it actually giving me “my way”? Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s not. So once you notice that for even more motivation to let go, “Ask yourself, if I relaxed and opened right now, how much more creative or inspired might I be?”
Our best ideas, our most creative solutions can only arise when the mind and the body are in an open state – when we are relaxed, not contracting, resisting, or bracing against life. Those very states cut off our natural flow of energy and inspiration.
Are you relaxed or contracted?
If you have demands, expectations or attachments on how things should happen or how people should be in life, I invite you to consider what life would be like without those… what it would be like if you welcomed everything? How much easier, more peaceful, and more happy would life be if you released your external “requirements”?
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.