May 29, 2015

When Things Fall into Place, Let Them

It seems natural enough—letting good things happen, allowing the meant to be to “be”—but sometimes during long periods of disappointment or distress, when things have been wrong for so long, we can develop an intimacy with suffering, a familiarity with pain and victimization such that we subconsciously recoil when things actually, for once, start to go right. It seems strange, I know, that when a circumstance we have wanted to change, actually changes and we aren’t overcome with joy, but often we find ourselves anxious, panic-stricken and unable to act when our blessing finally comes. It is a sad reality, but sometimes we are so accustomed to tasting the bitter that we cannot recognize the sweet.

It reminds me of when I finally lost the 25 pounds of baby weight that lingered many years after my younger son was born. Although the extra pounds were gone, I still felt and dressed like the heavier person I once was. I couldn’t perceive the thinner self I had become, my eyes still saw the heavier me. A change had come, but I had time a hard time accepting it. My hard work had paid off, but I was still so busy trying to achieve what I had already obtained that I could not embrace my new reality. We can become so invested in the struggle, so self-identified as a victim that when the hard times are over, we don’t even realize it, or even worse, we reject it out of hand.

Why would we ever want to stay in the darkness of the caterpillar’s cocoon when wings have sprouted that can carry us into the light? Although the cocoon is dark, it is warm and predictable, and although uncomfortable, it is safe, if for no other reason, than because it is known. So can it be when good things start to happen after long periods of turmoil. Our discomfort can become so familiar, so comfortable that we reject, ignore or fail to recognize when the thing that has ailed us for so long is being replaced by all the good things we hoped for.

How, then can we move from our fear and comfort with discomfort in order to receive that which we have longed for when it finally comes?

It is actually quite simple: we let go. How can we do this? It starts by believing that different can be better instead of worse. We must be mindful that when the winds are shifting in our direction we do not cling to the shore of our painful past, but we carefully and cautiously release our hurtful yesterday and let things fall exactly where they should–into place.


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