I am feeling quite agitated lately. Dissatisfied, disgruntled, edgy, and expectant. I am having trouble concentrating. My go-to distraction tools are no longer doing their job. I am longing for something to fill up a space in me that has become a large gaping void. And nothing I do is working, the feeling lingers and my frustration is mounting. Can you relate?
I started looking at the reasons I was needing a distraction for a way to find the satisfaction I was missing. Well, here’s the beginning of my list (I stopped when I realized the list was creating anxiety):
- Ongoing pandemic without a clear endpoint
- Uncertain and declining economy
- Civil unrest over police brutality
- Conspiracy theories
- Upcoming election and daily Presidential drama
- and on and on
Okay, so the reasons I am on edge are great and I am not going to find the comfort I seek by distracting myself.
Most of us want, and some would say need, to know what they can expect in our day-to-day life. In truth. we don’t actually have certainty in our day-to-day life but we think we do by making plans and schedules. We create routines for the comfort it brings us, especially when we experience the unexpected.
And when plans and schedules fall apart and everything is constantly up in the air, most of us will try to control our emotions, our bodies, our surroundings, and the people in our lives. We learned to do this because at some point in our lives it worked; it kept us safe or at least sane. We built new routines to distract us from noticing that our old routines are gone.
When the disruption lasts long enough, we eventually reach the place we now reside. The place where our grip to maintain a hold of the chaos is slipping and we are waking up from the distractions and noticing that those temporary things can’t give us what we are truly searching for, certainty and comfort.
Managing life through controlling our emotions, actions, environment and even trying to control other peoples’ actions or emotions is taxing on the body and soul. It is truly exhausting. And I think we are all tired for trying to hold on.
Take a moment and draw a deep slow breath in…and out. Close your eyes and imagine a leaf riding a wind current. Watch it drift along, floating up…down, floating peacefully through the air without resistance to its next destination. Take another deep breath and imagine you are the leaf, light as a feather floating aimlessly for a few minutes.
That feeling is what can happen when we surrender to what is. Surrender is what is calling to us. Surrender of our expectations, our routines, our certainty, and our grip. Surrender is about letting what is be. It is stopping our struggle to push against the river and instead let the current take us. Surrender is about trust and saying yes to a new beginning.
Letting go of our control patterns can be difficult so take some time and reflect on one or two areas of your life that you can begin to allow yourself to surrender to the wind, surrender to what is instead of trying to recreate what was. Maybe it is meal planning, family chore routines, or your weekend activities. Surrender to the flow of life, let go of your predetermined objective or outcome and see where the wind takes you.
Surrendering mindfully can increase your health; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Surrender allows you to be more fully in the present moment, so you can respond to life instead of react to it. At first, surrender can feel like defeat, it isn’t. That is our ego talking, trying to protect us. Breathe through that resistant thought and see what is waiting to begin when we let the past end.
Before we can truly begin we will probably need to process some pretty big emotions; fear, grief, and anger to name the big ones. Let those feelings come up and trust that they won’t take you under and drown you. They simply need to be acknowledged and released from your chest or gut. Making room energetically for what is coming in. Embrace the beginning of what is next.