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Don’t Miss Your Life

August 24, 2013

No Longer Two But One photo by Fabien Bravin

No Longer Two But One
photo by Fabien Bravin

We all have times in our life when we feel stuck. Stuck in a job, a town, a state, a house or even a climate that doesn’t seem to resonate with our spirit; a set of circumstances that seem to beyond our control that work against our creative energy. We may be stuck in a relationship, a lifestyle, or mired in habits and addictions we can’t seem to break. As we age, we may find that the future has become a less appealing place in which to dwell, so we begin to dwell in the past. We become obsessed with trying to unravel all of the hurts and disappointments we have experienced and to make sense of them. We try to  “understand” ourselves, believing it will free us from our unhappiness.

Living in any place of “stuck-ness” can foster an underlying, and often unrelenting sense of frustration, anger, despair, or hopelessness. We can’t seem to see our way out; we can’t find our way through; we can’t even see what’s right in front of us.

Breaking out of a pattern of “stuck-ness” requires letting go; letting go of the goal, the dream, the elusive solution to your problem; ultimately letting go of the belief that obtaining whatever it is you are obsessed with, is the only avenue to happiness and peace of mind.  In reality, these things are a means of escaping, avoiding, or eluding what is right in front of you. You cannot become unstuck by focusing on something outside of yourself, because the stuck-ness lives within you.

Begin to break free by choosing to set your obsession on an imaginary shelf. Stop yourself from thinking about it; take a vacation from it. Select a period of time, a day, a week, a month, to give up working on this problem. Then take a deep, long breath and breathe in the fresh air of freedom and enjoy the space you now have in your body, mind and spirit.

Once an hour, or once a day think about, or write down, one thing you are grateful for. Make it a practice, a routine. If the obsession starts to rear its ugly head, replace it with a thought of something you appreciate in the here and now. Turn your attention to what is right in front of you. Listen. What do you hear? Breathe in. What do you smell? Relax your eyes and let your gaze fall where it will. What do you see? Focus on the smallest area you can and describe it to yourself. Experience it.

Letting go does not mean giving up. It does not mean abandoning your dreams. Letting go offers a way to gain perspective and to participate in a bigger reality. It opens up space in your psyche and your soul for new and different solutions, for thoughts, ideas and opportunities that were locked away from view. When we fight and struggle with reality we work against ourselves. We become so invested in the outcome we miss the more important things in life. Don’t miss your life.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2013 1:46 pm

    “Letting go does not mean giving up.” Such a simple concept, yet one that is so difficult for many to believe. We fight and fight and fight, but the real enemy is me, myself, and I. Thank you for articulating the importance of letting go as a way to find peace.

  2. August 25, 2013 6:20 am

    Dorothy,

    this is so full of truth and you have expressed it beautifully. Over the past year I have let go and opened myself up to new and greater possibilities and I am now experiencing an amazing paradigm shift in my life. We are often so focused on what we think is best that we miss what is. Today is best because it’s all we have. It’s also where, if we are awake and listening (and practicing gratitude), we learn to accept the past, let go, and move with grace and greater wisdom into the future. Thank you for this encouraging post. I hope many people read and begin that daily practice of gratitude.

    Laura Whitfield
    Founder, Defying Small

    • September 1, 2013 3:53 pm

      A “paradigm shift” is something I experienced as well, and continue to experience in small ways, as I navigate the second half of life. It’s been a delightfully reach experience and one I think I’ve lived a lifetime to be a part of; and I see it happening everywhere, in so many people and in so many different ways. It gives me great hope. Thanks for your comments, Laura..

  3. August 29, 2013 10:51 am

    The hardest thing that I’ve had to learn is the ability to just breathe and focus on what’s going on right now. It’s amazing what can be learned by turning the attention toward the tiniest details – it’s like a whole new world is opened up for the taking, just by thinking on the smallest level. Thank you for articulating the thoughts, I couldn’t have said it better myself. — Amelia @ Senior Match

    • September 1, 2013 3:56 pm

      It’s the hardest and the easiest thing to do! Simple, yet profound. It goes against everything we’ve been taught in this culture and yet we need nothing to practice it; and in the end it is a practice that we can continue every day. Thanks for your comments, Amelia!

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