Let Go Of Control And Embrace The Unknown
Where All the Growth Is
I used to be a bit obsessive about checking the weather. It was often the first thing I did when I woke up in the morning.
I would turn off the alarm on my phone and my finger just seemed to gravitate toward that little weather app button of its own accord.
“Is it cold outside right now? What’s the hourly breakdown? What will the weather be like next weekend when we are driving to visit family? I have to know!”
Then one night a couple months ago I had an epiphany.
I woke up to loud crashes of thunder that shook the whole house and lightning that lit up my bedroom as if the paparazzi were right outside the window. My weather app didn’t warn me about this little storm.
Unable to fall back asleep, I lay awake, listening and watching, awestruck by the immense force of Mother Nature. It was then that I had the realization.
How you do one thing is how you do everything.
Forces Beyond Control
My relationship to the weather perfectly summed up my relationship to everything that is unknown, to all the forces that are entirely beyond my control.
If I couldn’t control them, I wanted to know them, put them in neat little-labeled boxes, and feel prepared for them. I wanted life in black and white. Was it going to rain or not? I had a life to plan and there was no room for surprises.
In my work with women, I find that this desire to control is very common. Once we move into the realm where things are beyond our control, we feel intensely uncomfortable.
But part of me also understood in that moment, as I lay awake at three in the morning listening to that storm, that much of what makes life magical is the unknown. The gray areas. The sheer unmistakable power of the mystery.
In truth, we can never know or plan for everything anyhow. Life is going to throw us the occasional curve ball, and what creates resilience is our ability to roll with the punches.
Embrace the Unknown
I decided to lean into the unknown. Instead of trying to predict the future, I opted to stay open and respond to whatever presented itself in the moment. My first step, however small, was to stop checking the weather.
Since then, I will admit that I have been caught in a couple of crazy rainstorms unprepared, but instead of cursing the fates I laugh about it.
My connection with Mother Nature has deepened. My senses are attuning to the signals that she is sending, and I am beginning to feel the subtle changes in temperature, wind, and air pressure. In general, I feel more in body and less caught up in my thoughts.
I also find that I don’t worry about the weather as often. Before, if I saw that it was going to rain the same weekend I had planned to go on a hike, it weighed me down. Now if that happens, I deal with it in the moment.
Enjoy the Unknown
Most importantly, I feel like my relationship with life’s greater unknowns is shifting.
I am more able to be mindful and stay present without feeling anxious about the future. I am increasingly comfortable with uncertainty.
Occasionally, I might even go so far as to say I am starting to enjoy not knowing and am looking for more places where I can let go, more ways that I can breathe this energy into my life.
Surrendering to the mystery transforms each day into something spontaneous and magical, where every moment is steeped in endless possibility.
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