“When I heard ‘Let Go and Let God' for the first time, it didn't make sense to me. Let go of what? And let God do what?
Hope for Today – Al-Anon Family Groups
When despair led me to my first AlAnon meeting, the season was late summer. By the time the leaves on the trees began changing color, I had been to enough meetings and read enough but literature to glimpse the futility of attempting to control things that were not in my control. I began to understand that by trying to fix my alcoholic, I was actually contributing to the problem. In the rooms I met other people in my position who had seen their lives improve by consciously letting go of things that were not on their side of the street. I wasn't sure I could allow the balls I had been keeping in the air so faithfully to just fall where they may, and I was scared. I also knew I was exhausted from the effort, and that spending my last ounce of strength had not accomplished my goal, which was to get my alcoholic husband to be there for me and our kids like I wished he would. The key to finally beginning to let go was getting honest with myself, and really accepting the fact that I was not actually ever IN control, it was all just an illusion. No wonder my efforts had no effect! I was trying to control people and outcomes and events over which I had no power, which were not mine to control in the first place. The only thing I could truly control was ME. This was a truly freeing revelation. As I began to change my thinking and my behaviors, i found i had so much extra time and energy for myself because I was no longer wasting energy spinning my wheels worrying about everyone else. I shifted my focus and began paying attention to the wonderful world around me, finding my SELF again by reconnecting with my love of nature. I took in the gorgeous colors of fall in the turning leaves, and as the winds blew a few leaves descended gracefully to Earth one by one. I imagined each leaf was a worry I was saying goodbye to, one I couldn't change or fix anyway, so why not just let it go? As I watched, more and more leaves were swept away by the winds, and as the gorgeous reds and yellows carpeted the grass all around me, I saw how straight and true the majestic tree stood, amid the swirling colors.
Each fall I am reminded of this amazing transformation in me, how by letting go I regained my strength and could stand tall again.
Standing, I breathe deeply in through my nose, straightening my back and shoulders as I attain my full height with the slow intake of air. I am tall, true, and strong like the oak. I am me. Slowly I release my breath through my nose, imagining my exhaled breath swirling and falling to Earth like the colored leaves, carrying away the worries I am no longer owning. I am free. With each breath i draw in i stand taller. With each breath released I am lighter. I delight in the colors swirling around me, releasing, releasing, releasing worries. Deep breath. Big smile. I am experiencing beauty in the moment, and I am part of it.
A meditation for September 27, 2013.
George Harrison: Be Here Now