Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness. – James Thurber
If there’s any resounding theme or lesson that the past month has beaten into me, it’s surrender. Surrendering to the fact that we are not in control of anyone other than ourselves, and that includes in any situation, relationship or experience. For some, this can be much more difficult to practice, or accept, than it sounds. Perhaps you might “label” yourself (much as I do/did) and you’re a “type A”, a “perfectionist”, a “co-dependent” or a “control freak” – but whatever the reason, letting go seems much harder. Letting someone, or something, exist on their own terms and accepting the decisions that are made can be heart wrenching and a real mental battle; however, we must surrender to the choices that we cannot make, and lay down our shields, to embrace what IS there and whatever the offering or lesson may be.
I love the quote above, because it’s a great reminder that we can’t let the hurts of the past take hold and define us for the rest of our lives, just as we cannot live in fear of what’s to come or we will inevitably miss some great things, people or experiences. We have to look around (and inward) for awareness – to see where our own actions contributed to the rise (or fall) of the circumstance. Some might call it introspection, other’s “shadow work” or just reflection, but only when we take ownership of those “dark” pieces of ourselves, can we truly overcome them, harness them and grow to become the next, better version.