Some days, my life is one long series of resistance.
I want to eat couscous with my lunch, but the voice inside my head warns me it's a carb and I really shouldn't eat carbs.
I want a glass of wine before dinner, because all the males of the family are drinking beer and watching the Orange Bowl and its fun to hang out with them. But the ego-driven voice tells me that I shouldn't because it's a week night.
I really want to take time to work on my own writing project, but I warn myself I have manuscripts to read and paid writing to finish.
Every one of these desires is met with resistance, a chorus of shoulds and shouldn'ts. And my desires and my resistance go head-to-head, back and forth, until I'm having a Linda Blair in the Exorcist moment, my head whipping around on my neck in a frightening fashion.
And then I realize what is happening. That I'm resisting what is. And the old adage, what resists, persists, is true. So as long as I resist the damn couscous, I'm going to want to eat it. As long as I resist the wine, the call to drink it is going to get stronger. And when I resist the urge to work on my own writing, the sadness inside me will grow bigger and bigger until it swallows me up.
What I really need to do is just let it all go. Relax into it and quit with the resistance already.
But, my ego whispers, what about that concept of personal responsibility you're so big on this year? Huh? Huh? Isn't it the responsible thing to do to not eat the couscous or drink the wine? In a way, yes. But there's a crucial difference. And that is the act of letting go.
Have you ever had the experience of wrestling with a problem, focusing on it obsessively, without result or change? And then suddenly you've had the glorious feeling of just letting it go? When it happens it is magical, because you truly enter the space where whatever happens is alright. No matter what, its alright.
Because letting go means that you are not attached to the outcome. And here's where the personal responsibility part comes in: you do your best, you work your hardest, you glory in the process, but you aren't attached to what happens. You trust that whatever happens will be for the best. And if what you want to have happen doesn't happen, you know that something else that might be better will.
And so, when I let go and relax, I can serve myself up some couscous and realize that a very small portion will satisfy my craving for it. I can pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy it without feeling the need for another. And I can take time to write and know there's time enough to get everything done.
What is, is. Resisting it is futile, because you're arguing with reality. So relax and let go. And all will be well. And by the way, this is what letting go and relaxing looks like:
What do you resist? What are your experiences with letting go?
Photo of wine by telefon897, from Everystockphoto. Image of pugs and cats from my Iphone.