Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Faith is a word that we don't like to talk about a lot. Faith seems uncertain but is never unclear. Faith appears questionable, but it never has to question. Faith is when we surrender our deepest fears and selves to the Universe. Faith is when we abdicate our control to the Higher Good. Faith is when we let go of needing to micromanage and take charge of every situation and have gratitude while allowing the Universe to deliver on Love.
Stay in your lane. Your lane is that of a remarkable human being, but you are not God. You are not whatever Higher Power you believe in (or don’t). You are you and a damn awesome you, but you are not the Universe. So do your part, and let God do Her part.
It's so much easier that way. It's so much easier to stay in your lane because you never run the risk of crashing into your ego or scraping along the wall of grandiosity hitting into false pretenses and beliefs.
You will never be able to do a better job than God so don't even try. Once you see yourself falling asleep at the wheel and drifting into another lane, wake yourself up and remind yourself Who You Are. You are a remarkable human being. You are not God.
Whenever you resist surrendering, you sign up for suffering. Whenever you accept surrendering, you sign up for joy. Whenever you allow surrendering, you sign up for calming faith, belief, and serenity. Nothing can get you more quickly to the sweet spot of flow then letting go. This surrender, this letting go, needs to be your go-to, not your have-to when all else fails. Because guess what? All else always fails (in some way or another) when we do not let go. Here is a list of things that I am letting go of:
Always having to be right
Continually having to share my opinion
Joyful anticipation turning into anxious dread
Being hard on myself for every little thing
Regularly looking over my shoulder and thinking, “If someone was watching me, what would they want to see?”
Beating myself up for not being perfect
Getting angry with myself when I can't just “push through.”
Losing myself in worry
Trusting myself again and again instead of God
Doubting the Divine
Manifesting bitterness instead of loving-kindness
Living the answer instead of savoring the question
I need to put these things down. I need to examine them. I need to be aware of what I continuously cling to and hold on to again and again. My old self and subconscious think that if I don’t share my opinion every time, people will deem I don’t have good ideas. If I don’t overextend myself, I will be seen as lazy. If I don’t have some genuine “healthy anxiety,” I will lose my drive. If I am not hard on myself, I will start slacking off. If I don’t watch my back, someone will stab me in the back. If I am not perfect (or at least striving for perfection), I will be judged. If I don’t push through especially when it’s tough, I will never be gritty enough to do what I need to do. If I don’t worry about it, I must not be fully invested. If I don’t have some doubts, I will be perceived as too confident or too cocky. If I don’t have a healthy dose of bitterness and critique, others will get the best out of me. If I don’t have a specific set of plans that will give me particular results/answers, I will never go anywhere!
Do you see how dependent this is? Do you know how dependent this is on not being enough, not doing enough, not reacting enough? Remember: The more you let go, the more you'll have. The more you let go, the more you will see, feel, and no. The more you let go, you will notice the perfection of just being present and who you are.
I am not a perfectionist. But I want to do things right. And I want to do things right the first time! I used to joke with our class ( and by "joke," I mean I say it earnestly!) that we were a “first-time class.” A first-time class does it right the first time. A first-time class listens the first time. A first-time class listens the first time. A first-time class does what they are supposed to do the first time. What a great sentiment! Except you do realize that I used to teach 5 and 6-year-olds!
Tell me a child was ever done it right the first time! Show me an adult with ever done it right the first time! But for some reason, I still find myself driving for this unrealistic ideal.
It's like I felt that someone is hiding in the bushes waiting to either surprise me with a crown for being the best teacher in the world or waiting to take that crown away. It doesn't work that way, people! I found myself relaxing a lot more on that reckless rule of doing it right the first time. While I did become much more compassionate and wise with my students, I have tended to lack that same compassion and wisdom for myself. While I believe in doing things well, I've seen again and again that beating myself up not only hurts but also prevents myself from doing things well the next time. There's a part of me that is so afraid that if I entirely give over control to God or a Higher Power, I will immediately be out of control, controlled, or control-less.
A few years ago, my intern had an idea of making name necklaces with the kids. They would write the letters of their names on individual sticker-like strips and then take the strips and wrap them around a piece of yarn. Simple and beautiful. Or so we thought! You would think that I would know better by now! You would think that I would know that either it's not going to work how I think it's going to work or it's going to take a lot more patience and letting go. Oh, but I was determined to see that project finished in under 15 minutes. (All teachers know that although a timer is super useful, it is not a magic wand!) Within the first three minutes, my brain was already starting to scream “They don't get this! We should have never done this! “I tried to send my internal look that said, “This one's on you! I don't like projects. I don't do projects. This is not for me!” I was about ready to scrap the whole project when I just took a deep breath and started giggling to myself.
Was I about to lose my shit over a name necklace? Was I about to give over control to a name necklace? Was I going to lower myself and my dignity over a name necklace? Hell no! We paused, we circled up, and we retaught the process. We didn't change the What or the Why, but we did clarify the How. And I know that the kids and my intern felt the energy shift in the room when I didn't give up, but I did give over. Those necklaces turned out just great! The kids loved them! It was a great idea. Once I gave over control and stopped getting so much of a fuck about name necklaces, I could be present, slow my brain down, figure out a simple solution, and have fun.
There is no quicker way to have fun than to give over control.