Life unfolds as it should…December 19, 2008
Does it really? Frankly, I am not sure that it always does, but recent experience has taught me that it often does and I am surprised how life delivers to me what I could not force it to give me by all my planning and striving.
This understanding has relieved me of a ton of anxiety. Instead of generating anxiety by directing life the way I feel and think it should unfold, I have found that if I merely participate in life on life’s terms, things get done amazingly well.
This does not mean a life of inaction. On the contrary, I work damn hard. I simply focus only on my parts in life and then relax, get busy, and do them. I leave the rest alone to powers other than myself.
This was nearly impossible for me to grasp at first. I was raised to believe I could and should do anything and everything. All by my own willpower, determination, efforts, planning, and striving. Yet all those got me were anxiety, depression, and a drug and alcohol problem. Not to mention divorce and a financial bind.
When I finally recognized that the result of my own thinking and actions were the list of disaster noted above, I was finally ready to try something new. Like surrendering most of life’s circumstances and doing only those things that I was immediately responsible for.
It took a real step of faith and a letting go of the familiar and comfortable. Yet it worked and continues to work. I am getting more done with less stress and effort. I live by what I call the “Two List System”. It is an outworking of the Serenity Prayer. On one list is Chaz’ list. The other is God’s (or any other power other than myrself). My list is usally very short, but it is always do-able. Anything I am anxious about, I leave on God’s list. Then I ask God for the courage to work my short list of things. Then I get busy and act on it and just get it done.
I do not let thoughts of what I am not currently attending to distract me from the task at hand. When I finish my short list of things, I pray to fill the list again. I usually sense one or two things on the list at at time, then get busy and do them. Again not worrying about what is on God’s list. God is big enough to handle his own list and slide things over to my list when he knows I am ready.
Almost sounds like a spooky-spiritual fairy tale, doesn’t it? It certainly did to me until I started living this way and seeing results. This two-list way of living has got me a new and fabulous marriage, a new and fabulous career, re-uniting with my children and other family members, and control of my finances. Those are all pretty real things. And to top it all off, there is very little anxiety or depression and it gets better year by year.
So this is what I have experienced as allowing life to unfold, rather than me forcing life to be what I think it should be. It is an awesome way to live.