I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something a (smart, sweet, young) friend said to me the other day. She said she’s been working on “not telling herself too complete a story” about how something might work out. How wise. So difficult.
Often I think, through careful consideration, planning and execution, I can control the way something turns out. I’ve learned lately, and again, how tragically wrong that is. Some things we can control, others, not at all.
Good, careful people lose jobs, marriages, much-wanted babies, life savings. It happens. And we can do NOTHING to stop it.
And, for me, when big things go wrong, my first instinct is fear. The gut wrenching, fetal position kind of fear. Pissed off fear. Fear that says “You know what then? Screw it. I just won’t do that again. Or try that new thing. Or make an effort with that new relationship.”
Because in those moments of “it didn’t work out despite all my careful planning and wanting and hoping and worrying” grief, it’s all too much to think of putting yourself out there again.
There’s so much control in not trying. In holding still. In sticking to what we know now. It’s sweet and safe. And paralyzing.
So, the option then, if I choose not to go live alone in a mountaintop cabin, is to continue to go for the big things in life. To choose the bigger life. And, in doing so, be open to what happens. To accept what the Universe, or God, or Fate, wants to bring me.
And, in the midst of that journey, to not tell myself the complete story in advance. Let the story inform me, not the other way around.
When bad things happen, I have to (have to have to have to) believe there’s a reason. And more, that there’s a lesson for me to learn.
And, I think right now, my lesson is simply …”surrender”.