Saturday, February 26, 2011

Opening My Hand

I just wrote about how I need to learn to open my clenched fist, and let go of things I can't control, particularly complicated relationships. It seemed like I was far away from being able to do that when I wrote that post, but something miraculous happened yesterday, and it all felt a little easier. There was nothing monumental, no trumpets or fanfare, just a quiet feeling inside, and a peace came that I've been longing for and have found to be unreachable.

The ebbs and flows of our lives are endlessly fascinating to me. It's either hard or it's easy, or somewhere in between, but there are so many variables to our daily existence that you can't predict how you are going to feel from any moment to moment. I'm slowly learning to go with the flow of what is happening, for there is always something to learn. When it's good, I can enjoy being happy and peaceful, and when it's hard, I can look at what I have to change in order to get back to the state I would prefer to live in.

There are always areas under our control, but it's equally true that many things happen to us that we can't control, except for our response to them. To everything there is a season, and reasons for why circumstances bend and turn either with us or against us. I worked so hard to manufacture peace and joy when I wasn't genuinely experiencing them, and when I finally relaxed into the hurt and the pain, I found I was able to unclench my hand and surrender, and that was where the peace was all along.

Surrender is an important part of the human experience. We all find a gap between what we want and what happens to us, because we can control our own reactions but not the other person's. I'm discovering that it's okay to feel the negative spectrum emotions like anger and grief. If I feel them, I can eventually let them go. I'm not afraid of them any more, and moving past that fear has been extremely liberating.

Letting go feels much better than hanging on. For anything, like resentments and grievances and irritations and even the best and happiest things. We don't own anything in this life, only our experiences and memories, and they can turn from good to bad and back to good again in an instant. We don't take anything with us when we die except for who we are, and I want to be as fully developed in myself as I can, cultivating the best of my personality qualities and trying to let go of what I don't like about myself. I want to leave behind encouragement and laughter, not bitterness and complaining.

I'm all ready to send my blog book for 2010 to the printer, and while it's printing, I'll be adding a shopping cart button to my website so that books can ordered. The printed version will be soft cover with 320 pages for $45 and the pdf version will be available for $10. I'm also giving one printed book away to my readers, so if you read regularly but haven't created a Google account to follow, please do before March 15th so you'll be included in the draw. I'm excited about this first printed book, and I'm so grateful for all of your support for me as a writer by reading daily and participating actively in my dream to write.

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