It’s easy to say but hard to feel with unwavering conviction. And even harder to put into practice.
(Ughhh… Trust is a tricky thing. I want to live a fulfilling life so I can be joyous, playful and free, but…)
Breathe it in and out.
(Ok – close my eyes and feel it)
Trust yourself. Trust others. Trust life.
No doubt. No worry. No fear. No regret.
(Wouldn’t that be nice?)
Stop spending valuable moments questioning yourself. Stop questioning your choices. Pay attention to the monologue of thoughts and silence the chatter. Start listening to your intuitions (not the voice that rationalizes and analyzes everything). Follow your gut and don’t look back. Look forward.
(My stomach hurts)
Trust that you’ve made the best choice given your situation. And give yourself permission to change your choice if new information or a different situation presents itself. Take away the fears of looking bad, stupid, wrong, incompetent or selfish.
And stop judging others. They are also making the best choices given their situations.
(Oops… yup, guilty)
Experience every moment like a lesson to grow and learn from. Treat each obstacle or trigger as a mirror of opportunity to challenge your way of thinking, feeling and being. Ask yourself…
- Is this true?
- What would it look like to try on being wrong?
- Is it possible that there is another perspective?
- What would it look like if I stopped fighting and allowed life to flow, to be easy?
Take control of your life. Focus on what you can do to better yourself, your situation, and the world (not only your world). Start focusing outward and stop giving your problems center stage. Let go of blaming others and the urge to make someone else do or think your way.
Start turning your negative emotions upside-down and be curious not judgmental. Ask what about that event or person triggered you. Is it a trait you dislike about yourself? Is there a pattern or story in your life that keeps re-playing itself in different ways with different people?
Picture a curmudgeon old man and ask if just maybe he looks a bit like you? Then ask yourself if you’d rather be right or happy?
(Well… I know what the answer should be, but doing it is so much harder)
Reflect those feelings inwards and let them go. Choose happiness and then be happy. Let go of blaming and empower yourself to take responsibility for your happiness, for your life. It can be simple if you want it to be. But you need to want happiness more than righteousness, fame, acknowledgment, or wealth.
Take responsibility not only for your situation but for the way you are being, thinking, feeling and acting. If there are dreams left unfulfilled a change in your attitude will help you achieve them.
If you want happiness you need to practice being more happy (in your everyday living) and let go of sadness and anger.
Let go, not bury.
Let go, not struggle to forgive and forget.
Let go, of trying to let go.
JUST LET GO.
(whoaaa… – relax)
Letting go does not mean you can’t feel negative or tough emotions. It doesn’t mean avoiding hardship. Letting go means acceptance, choosing yourself and moving on. It means choosing happiness over righteousness, image, ego, shame, blame, or insecurities.
Choosing happiness will radiate outward and not only spread joy to others but also attract joy back to you.
I choose, therefore I am
Every moment is an opportunity to choose a life you love, want and cherish. Life is a series of choices.
Each moment you have a choice in:
- how you think
- what you say
- how you act and
- what you believe
Choose and OWN YOUR CHOICE because it’s the best that you can do in this moment. If later you get more insight, guess what? You get to choose again.
No blame, shame or regret – they all live in the past.
No worries, anxiety or fears – they all live in the future.
Now is what you know. Picture yourself as a newborn baby soaking up the world and figuring it all out. It’s okay to make mistakes, fall and fail, you are still learning and growing. Be a blank slate ready to create a LIFE YOU LOVE.
Relax into your happy place. Find your happy flow state. Follow your imagination. Heal your relationships. Listen to your gut.
(OK… so here’s what I got and how it applies to my life…)
Be a baby, not a curmudgeon old man
Don’t let a bully, failure or fear-focused adult stop you from trying.
Love so hard it hurts.
Cry so hard you shout and shake.
And then let it go.
My 2 year old son, C-bear, has taught me so much already. The way he can cry so intensely for something one moment, then be perfectly content and charming the next. It is unbelievable.
For example, there was many months when during the night Calvin would wake calling for me. After a minute he would get increasingly demanding, get out of bed and start pounding on his bedroom door. No matter what we tried (talking through the door, going in to reassure him then leaving, going in till he falls asleep, ignoring), every night he’s up wailing. (We’ve even tried the ‘cry it out’ method, which worked when he was younger, but I just can’t manage to let him go on and on for hours now) However, the moment I open the door, the tears stop, the snot is wiped and he happily marches back into bed without a word needed to be said.
C-bear lets his emotions go through him by living in the present. And he lives 100% of his feelings.
He lives hard.
He feels everything to the fullest whether you like it or not. And he’s persistent. He will put up a fight and isn’t afraid to speak up. He often tests my patients and I get pangs of anger because I’M JEALOUS. Yup, that’s right, I’m jealous of my 2 year old.
I’m jealous that he lives in the moment, isn’t afraid to speak his mind and shows his emotions without restraint. He isn’t afraid of looking bad or have the need to fit in. He doesn’t act to be rewarded because he doesn’t worry about being loved. He intuitively knows he’s got unconditional love and security from us. He has full trust. And the times when his trust and security are perceived as threatened is when he is most unhappy. (Like when he wakes up scared and alone from a bad dream)
C-bear absorbs life so intensely and doesn’t think twice about consequences, that is until he is taught to. And of course understanding consequences for your actions and other people’s feelings is important when you are living in a community, but it doesn’t have to rule your dreams, desires and intuition. You can trust in yourself 100% then decide to follow or not. Take a lesson from a 2 year-old and live more freely… live in the moment. Free of worry. Uninhibited. Your true self expressed always.
At some point we all had this carefree perspective to life.
- Then we unconsciously start sensing and mirroring the fears and anxiety of our parents and guardians.
- Then we started to imitate our peers and understand action-consequences.
- Then we were taught arbitrary social norms based mostly on fear (ie. fear of being bad, being different, looking stupid, etc).
- Then we felt shame, guilt, and anger for how we act (and often who we are).
- Then we hide and control our true emotions and thoughts for fear of looking bad and not fitting in.
- Then we stop even knowing what our true selves feel, want and need.
I hope to never douse my son’s intense flame by passing on my fears, insecurities, limitations or judgements. I hope he can learn the rules of life but play with curiosity and intuition. I hope he expresses his love and affection openly, even if he lives in closed off world.
I hope I can model these traits for him because really, it’s about me and what I want for myself.
It’s really all about ME
What you want for your child, parent, friend, pet, loved one is actually what you wish to have for yourself. And often what you don’t wish to see in your loved one triggers you because of a denied expression of that trait when you were growing up yourself.
Often we parent from a place of fear.
As a child, I learned that if I played ‘nicely’ I got rewarded with friendship and positive accolades. But when I freely expressed my intense emotions and energy, it was deemed as ‘bad’, ‘not lady-like’, ‘hurtful to others’ or was ‘too much’ for others to deal with. When my sad and negative feelings made my parents feel uncomfortable, I started to internalize them and hold back from talking about them. I started journaling to get them out of my head and body (hoping that they would secretly read them), but then there came a time when I stopped listening to my true self and only heard my fears.
So instead of allowing my child to play freely and intensely, I monitor how he engages with others and stop any actions that seems ‘violent’, ‘bad’, ‘angry’ or ‘too aggressive’. But really, he is 2. He is a puppy just playing and learning his boundaries, and his fellow friends are also learning. He is testing their boundaries as much as he is testing his own (and mine).
When I see my son push a child or snatch his toy away from another kid I’m (almost never) worried that the other child is hurt. And to some extent I encourage other kids to play freely with my son, even if they are more aggressive. I enjoy seeing how resilient my son is. I like seeing him stick up for himself and stand up to the bigger boys and girls to gain their respect. And 90% of the time he holds his own without tears, a complaint or physical retaliation. And 90% of the time he ends of playing really well and having a great time. (There have been several occasions where the bigger and older children are caught off guard by his intensity and end up loving C-bear so much that they are upset when we have to leave.)
When I step back and stop interfering with his every interaction it’s amazing how quickly a situation can be resolved among themselves.
When I intervene, it is often for my own face. It’s because I don’t want to look like a bad parent or have a bad child. Not only do my words and actions make my son feel like he is being bad, but my energy is one of anxiety. I nervously watch him and he senses that. And then he is more likely to act out because he doesn’t feel safe.
If I can remove judgments I have on my son, remove my own insecurities about my image, and let go on the idea that being good depends on your actions I can become a happier, less anxious and a more present parent. I can appreciate and be in love with the wonderful curiosity and energy of my son. And I can have confidence that other children will learn and build resilience themselves. They don’t need my intervention.
Not only that, but I CAN ALSO PLAY with the same zeal! I can remove the judgments on myself, my self-image and the labels I attach to my thoughts, words and actions.
If I challenge my own motivations and beliefs I will be in a much better place to let go of false idealizations. I can let go of beliefs that don’t serve my life goals, which will then free my son to explore himself. I won’t pass along my fears and insecurities.
It’s a choice for my happiness and the uninhibited growth for my son.
It’s trusting my true self and having trust in my son.
Trust is the intention. Letting go is the action.
Question your motivations, identify your fears, and let go of those that don’t serve your mission.
Start listening to your true self that is born from love.
Choose to be joyful. Choose to be free.