When I crawled into Al-Anon decades ago, they offered me a mantra, “Let go and let god.” It saved my mind, soul, and life. I learned to turn over just about everything…well to start to turn over just about everything. I was (and can still be) damn good at letting go and then grasping for control again. And again.
But bit by bit, “Let go and let god” helped me to give up my need to fix my alcoholic (or at least to marry my alcoholic). I realized that while I could marry him, I didn’t have to marry him. (I also had some very dear friends – to whom I will be forever grateful – who sat me down and talked with me, and who sent me airmail letters from around the globe, saying over and over again, “Are you really sure????” but that’s another story for another day.)
I learned to let go, and to let go again. And to let go again. There’s old wiring in my brain that somehow believes that it is my job to hold on and make things happen the way I know they should happen. There’s old wiring in my brain that compels me to try and try and try again to convince someone or force an issue or take full responsibility (over-responsibility) for things and people that are not mine to be responsible for. There’s old wiring in my brain that keeps my thoughts in an endless loop of perseveration, working to figure out what went wrong, what I did wrong, how I can fix anything and everything.
It’s time for me to, once again, let that shit go.
Okay, so this sound piece of advice came from a mug. But it’s damn good advice. It’s damn good advice to read – and therefore remember – each morning when you sit down for your cup of coffee. Let that shit go. That thing that happened yesterday that you keep thinking about – about how you could have and should have handled it better? Let that shit go. The stuff that happened decades ago, that still haunts you at times? Let that shit go (and if you can’t let that shit go, get some professional help to help you let that shit go). The people who are doing things that you know they shouldn’t do or at least you wish they wouldn’t do? Honestly, you have to let that shit go too.
If you’re like me, and you take on too much worry and responsibility, let that shit go. It’s only getting in the way of having a good day and of doing the things that you can actually do something about. If you’re worried about the future or upset about the past, it’s another chance to let that shit go. It’s only keeping you from the present, which can be quite cool if we can pay attention to it. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t care about anything, I’m just suggesting that there is so much that we care a bit too much about, and it keeps us from focusing on the things we can change and the difference we can make. And the joy we can have and the connections with others that can delight us. Let’s try it.
Let that shit go.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!