I think the biggest obstacle to finding contentment is our attachment to outcomes. We are upset about the behavior of others, circumstances that spun out of control, “unfair” things that happened and have caused unplanned change or loss. This is all about the struggle to come to acceptance of what is versus what we had wished for, planned, and counted on to happen or not happen. We were so busy running the universe, yet we may have forgotten how life can show up and get in the way and throw monkey wrenches into our carefully detailed hopes and plans. Working toward forgiveness – which I think is a byproduct of acceptance – is the only way to find peace.
You Know You’re Letting Go When…
The person or situation no longer occupies your mind a good part of the day. especially when you have quiet time or trying to fall asleep. When we are obsessing like this, it signifies a lack of boundaries, where we think we can change reality in our head. We focus on what happened, what it means, and have conversations in our head with people, practicing what we would say if we could…When we have allowed ourselves to actually grieve, aka feel things, the anxiety goes down a bit. Because here’s the thing. We cannot resolve any of it in our head, and our body knows that.
Your Focus is more on Self and Not Others. Lately you are working from a place where you take more ownership of what you think, feel and need. There is self-compassion and kindness you show yourself. What is dissipating is the hyper focus on Them or The Situation, and you actually are feeling more productive in your day-to-day as you come back to reality and find balance.
You Have Perspective. You can now see the situation with more dimension and are learning to accept the missing pieces that help soothe you, such as the silver linings of the situation, lessons you are noticing now, and the broader context of the whole thing, including where you were emotionally when it all happened. Not pretending life happens in a vacuum is a powerful grieving tool and helps us put the pieces in place so we can eventually move on.
You Aren’t Full of Emotions. You can begin to recall what happened with less fear, shame, disappointment and/or guilt. There is still a tinge, but you can be more thoughtful as the memories pop up. You now can allow some plain old sadness to filter in, because when you zoom out, it’s all just sad. Sad things didn’t work out, sad people got hurt and there was loss, and sad that life will never go back to where it was. When we get to sad we are getting closer to acceptance.
Attachment to outcomes just means we are still holding on to what we wished was, and letting go allows us to slowly begin to accept what IS. It’s a process, and if we are willing to sit in difficult feelings, the less time it will take.