Tag Archives: trust

The Power of Letting Go

Since I moved to Massachusetts I have been complaining about how difficult it is to figure out how to be “legal” about things like my business and my car registration. In particular my car registration.

The day after I first arrived, I received a phone call from my insurance company telling me about all the hoops I would need to jump through to get my car registered. And, within 20 days of my move. Since I am someone who has had a long-standing fear of getting in trouble (even though I am typically a goody-two-shoes), this created some anxiety for me.

Over the next several weeks and multiple calls to the insurance company, emails from the insurance company, calls to the leasing company, an in-person visit to the state licensing agency (only to be told “we don’t do that here”) and finally a call to the state titling agency, I was completely and totally confused, and no closer to getting my car registered and licensed.

During the call to the state titling agency, at which time they told me that I had to get the car title and bring it in person – while the leasing company told me they would only send it to the state agency – I finally gave up. I surrendered. Since this whole process seemed impossible anyway, what else could I do? I said to the representative on the phone, “Fine, then I just won’t register it.” And that was what I decided.

I made one finally call to my insurance company, and they said they would try again to get the title from the leasing company, but that it would take 30 days. Whatever. I wasn’t going to put any more energy into figuring this out, or worrying about the consequences of not registering my car in Massachusetts.

Three days later I received a letter in the mail from the leasing company telling me they had sent the title to the insurance company. Three days! Not 30 days, not never. Three days! After five weeks of fear, anxiety, frustration and anger, all it took was to say “I give up.”

I realized that my anxious energy was holding this entire process hostage. As soon as I surrendered, the process could flow and complete itself.

The reality is that all my fear and worry could not control what was happening, so why not let go and surrender to whatever unfolds?

Now, I didn’t surrender in order to try and control the process (i.e. “if I let go then this will all work out”); that would actually not be surrender at all, but manipulation. True surrender is letting go of attachment to the outcome, and that is exactly what I did. If everything worked out and my car got registered, great! If my car never got registered, great! I reached a point where it didn’t matter to me.

This is the key to inner peace, letting go of attachment to the outcome.

What are you holding on to that would be better served by letting go?

Taking a Leap of Faith – and the Accompanying Terror

I awoke early this morning and was filled with terror. My mind began running rampant, cataloging all the things I had to be fearful about. At the top of the list, as always, was not having enough money.

I recently took a leap of faith and moved across the country from Seattle to Salisbury, Massachusetts. I didn’t know what I would do for work, but had been fortunate enough for two part-time opportunities (one with my Seattle employer) to present themselves. In the 10 days since I’ve been in my new home I have been overwhelmed with trying to make sure that I am working enough to make as much money as I was making full-time. Yesterday, both jobs had less work for me to do, and I became fearful about the future prospects with each of them.

When I awoke this morning, I panicked. My mind was whirling with figuring out what I could do to get some more work / money, either with these two opportunities, or in some other way.

I cried for about 5 minutes, and cried out to God to help me. I had a few big yawns (a sign for me that energy is moving) and fell into a deep dream-filled sleep for an hour.

When I next awoke, I was conscious of a change in perspective. I have taken leaps of faith in the past: starting my private counseling practice during a recession, choosing to stop doing work that didn’t resonate with me, choosing not to work for several years to focus on my internal growth, and too many more to mention here. And, it has always worked out for me.

Not always in the way I would have said I wanted in the beginning, or in a way I could have predicted. But it has always worked out for my benefit.

So, with that foundation, I thought about how holding on to the past with my current jobs may be preventing me from moving into my future.

It is terrifying to consider letting go of the only source(s) of income that I currently have. And, the truth is, I’ve known for some time that neither of these jobs is in my future. I need to let go of the idea that this is how I will make my living in the future in order to open the door for other possibilities to show up. And I’m scared.

A few days ago I was shuffling Tarot cards to do a 3-card spread for myself. The Fool literally leapt out of the deck and fell into my lap. A coincidence? I think not. The Fool is about new beginnings and letting go of the past. He also represents bringing a child-like innocence to the unlimited possibilities of the Universe.

I keep coming back to the letting go of the past part. I am still hanging on to certain aspects of the past, not just with my jobs. I see that it is my work now to cut those cords so that I can be free to move forward.

This is not an easy task, but I know it is the right path.

Wish me luck, and I will keep you posted!

I Know Why

I now know why I was called back to this blog, albeit in a very roundabout way.

One of the people who began following my blog last week blogs about A Course of Love. I had never heard of A Course of Love, and I believe I was meant to find it at this time in my life.

A Course of Love (ACOL) is a channeled book that is (supposedly) a follow-on to A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I don’t really care if it really was channeled, if Jesus is or isn’t the author, if it is intended as a supplement to ACIM or not.

These are all the controversies surrounding it, that have no meaning to me. All I care about is does it resonate for me. I have already gotten my money’s worth from the $7.99 Kindle version in reading just a few pages.

At the end of 2011 I was introduced to ACIM, and joined a study group for a few months. But like most things during this transition period I’ve been in over the past several years, it served me briefly, and then I was ready to move on. Frankly, ACIM never really felt right for me. I’m not saying it doesn’t have value; I know for many people it is literally a God-send.

But I’ve learned over time that not everything is a fit for me. Additionally, I may not be ready for something I’m introduced to, or I may already have surpassed that lesson. So I’ve gotten really good at being able to say, yes, this thing has value, and it’s not for me right now. Along with that, I’ve gotten really good at recognizing when something is for me, and diving in.

So, back to why I was supposed to find ACOL right now.

As I blogged about last week, I am in a period of huge change right now. Many of us are, as is the earth itself. And, it can feel quite uncomfortable. I have been in a bit of a tizzy for the past couple of weeks, feeling ungrounded and unfocused. Along with that has come this intermittent feeling of fear and anxiety. And, I haven’t seemed able to make a decision to save my life, when for most of my life I have been quite decisive.

Yesterday I realized, that it would help me to have some validation around the choices I am currently making – the source of all that anxiety. I truly believe I’m on my right path, but, as I said it is pretty scary. It would be nice to have someone else say, “Yes, Laura, keep going.”

I decided to do a session with a psychic and medium I have known for several years. I told her where I was at. She immediately told me that yes, I was headed in the right direction, and that part of the process was to develop that trust that meant I didn’t have to see beyond the next step (something I believe in and blogged about last week, but still is scary!).

I have planned a trip to New England in July, because I believe I’m being called to move there. I have had so much trouble deciding how long I should stay in each location, which has meant I haven’t booked anywhere to stay beyond the first night. I feel very uncomfortable about this. My practitioner told me this was part of my process, to trust that I will know where to go and will find the exact perfect place to stay without planning in advance.

Whoa! I’m someone who likes to know what to expect, at least when it comes to the bottom level of Maslow’s hierarchy: safety, food, shelter. Still, on some level I already knew this truth. That’s why I haven’t been able to nail anything down.

So, what does all this have to do with ACOL? Earlier in the day I received an email with a post from the blogger who writes about ACOL. When I had time to read it, the quote from ACOL was: “This resting place is indeed hallowed ground and an earned respite, a demarcation even between the old way and the new way of living. But it is not the end that is sought. No matter how peaceful this place of rest may at first seem, it will soon become stagnant and unsatisfying. Left in such a place without further instruction, you would soon return to your old ideas of heaven and see peace as a state of being for those too weary to fully live. Done with the adventures of living, you would deem yourself no longer interested in the hunt for buried treasure and see it not.”

In the past month I have become dissatisfied and bored with work, and with my life in general. I feel like I just don’t know what to do with myself. Nothing appeals to me. This quote was right-on in telling me, “Okay, your rest is over, time to get moving again.” That is exactly what this move I am planning will do, get me further down the path.

After reading that passage last night, I decided to buy the Kindle version of ACOL, and downloaded it. This morning I had a few spare minutes while in a class I was taking and began to read the Foreword, which told the story of how Mari Perron received the information. In it she talked about how there was this dichotomy between the Oneness she felt when she was engaged with Jesus receiving the material, and when she wasn’t. She would try to recreate that feeling, but couldn’t. She finally realized she was trying to recreate it with her mind, which is not where Oneness resides (my words).

Further on in the Foreword Mari says, “You are about to receive this Course. As you open your heart to it, don’t rely on your mind to recognize what you receive. When you close the book and go about your day, don’t do as I did and bring it to your mind. Hold it in your heart. Stay in love’s presence. Don’t step back into separation…Don’t think too much. Let your heart lead the way.”

In my life I have been guilty of thinking too much. Way too much.

This really resonated with my current experience. My mind has been trying to sort everything out and make order of the chaos, but it can’t. Because this isn’t about my mind and choosing something thoughtfully and rationally. It is about following my heart, and my mind doesn’t know how to do that – that isn’t my mind’s job.

So I will trust my heart. I will trust Spirit. I will trust that everything that happens is for my benefit.

Even when I’m feeling scared.

Feeling Grumpy and Out of Sorts

I woke up feeling grumpy and out of sorts the other day. I know that writing helps me process what’s going on when I feel this way, but I didn’t have the right tools, or so my ego (small self) told me. I needed a new journal, a bigger size than any of the many blank journals I currently have.

Yeah, right.

But, that’s where I was. Listening to that ego chatter telling me that I couldn’t do what I knew was in my best interest.

So instead, I decided to do a 3 card spread with my Tarot cards. This is a practice I did faithfully every day for a full year a couple of years ago, until it felt like it no longer served me. Recently I’ve gotten back into using the cards to help me access guidance from Spirit (my higher self).

Of course the cards I drew were perfect.

Tarot Spread 2016-05-02

So perfect that I felt the emotion well up in me and began to cry. I felt so supported and so validated, and knowing that I was on my right path helped, even though right now it doesn’t feel exactly right to me.

I realized a couple of things, all lessons that continue to show up for me over the past few years.

  • Trust and Faith: I want to let go of doubt and trust that Spirit has my back. Whatever is happening is in my best interest, even (sometimes especially) when I feel out of sorts. The cards I drew were so absolutely perfect, that there is no doubt that Spirit is guiding me. Trust and faith.
  • Surrender: When I feel grumpy and out of sorts, I’m usually in a growth spurt. I know this well, have identified this in myself over the past several years. It makes perfect sense that as I shift into a new way of being that it feels uncomfortable. That’s normal and I can accept that as my reality in this moment, just as I accept – and trust – that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be and how I’m supposed to be feeling. I don’t need to change a thing.
  • Let Go of Attachment to Outcome: I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and I don’t need to know. Of course I have preferences about how my path will unfold, but experience has taught me that I (the small I – ego) don’t have any idea of what is possible. So I can put out there what I would like, and then let go of making it happen. Let go of managing the situation. I don’t need to know how to make it happen. I don’t even need to know what the end result will look like. I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other on my path.

 

When I Don’t Trust Others, I Really Don’t Trust Spirit

Last year I realized that I have been over-protective of my son in a way that is not healthy for either of us. I have taken on his difficult emotions so that he did not have to feel them. In doing this, I’ve kept him from learning and growing in certain ways.

In learning to have a more separate existence from him, I’ve realized that I don’t trust him to keep himself safe. That I have a very deep fear – terror really – that if I don’t protect him he will not survive. Intellectually I know that we each need to be responsible for ourselves, and that he has his own path and lessons to learn in this lifetime.

But as a mother, it can be really difficult to find that fine line between protecting a vulnerable child who doesn’t yet have the skills or wherewithal to take care of himself, and over-protecting to the point where the child doesn’t have the opportunity to learn those skills.

My son is almost an adult now. The line is much clearer than it was when he was younger. And yet…

Some things have happened in the past several months that have really brought to light how much over the line I have been in my son’s life, and the need to find a better balance. I totally get this. Again, intellectually. And yet the terror remains.

If I truly believe that we each come here with a purpose, and our own life lessons to learn (which I do), then I need to be able to trust that whatever happens is for my benefit, and for my son’s benefit. When I don’t trust him to take care of himself, I really don’t trust Spirit. I don’t trust that all things happen for the benefit of all.

I do have faith. I do believe that the Universe is benevolent.

I realize that being able to fully trust and surrender to the benevolence of Spirit is a remnant of my control issues. Throughout my life until somewhat recently I have felt that I’m the only one I can rely on. That it is my responsibility to keep myself and those I love safe.

We’re all works in progress, and I would guess that letting go of control (or rather the illusion of control) is one of my life lessons. How freeing it must be to be able to rely on others, and on Spirit. To not have to be in charge of everything.

And at the same time it feels pretty darn scary.

So, one step at a time, one situation at a time.

The circumstances with my son are there not only for his benefit, but for mine. To give me the opportunity to choose to trust him, and to trust Spirit.

Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries Requires Contemplation and Trust

Yesterday I had an opportunity to decide where to set my boundaries and how to react to a situation where they were crossed. This situation involved my ex-husband. He and I have not had an easy relationship since our divorce many years ago, but have to maintain some sort of contact because we have a teenage son together.

My son has been living with his dad this school year, and is with me every other weekend. On my weekends I pick him up at his dad’s house on Friday afternoon. Yesterday I was ready to leave the house about half an hour early, so I texted my son to see if he wanted me to pick him up early and got no response. I was irritated, but decided that no response was equivalent to an answer of “no, don’t pick me up early.”

When I arrived at my ex-husband’s house at the appointed time, I texted my son to let him know I was there. When he didn’t acknowledge my text or come out of the house I called him and got a message that his phone was disconnected, so I went to the door and rang the doorbell.

As it turns out, my son had done something that my ex-husband had told him not to, and as punishment his dad had taken his phone away.  I was really irritated with my ex-husband for not telling me about this. My primary way of communicating with my son when he is at his dad’s is by text, like it is for most teenagers.

In addition, my son told me that my ex-husband and his current wife had gone away for the weekend. So if something had come up around me picking up my son that afternoon I couldn’t even get hold of my son by calling his dad.

Here’s where the contemplation comes in: should I say something to his dad or not? My immediate reaction was to send his dad an email (and cc my attorney) raking him over the coals for taking away my mode of access to my son and not providing another one. Legally he is required to allow me access to talk with my son.  The righteous me wanted to jump right on that train and ride it to the final destination of rubbing my ex-husband’s nose in this legal error.

We are currently in the midst of revising the parenting plan for the change of custody that occurred eight months ago. As everything seems to be with my ex-husband, something that should have been simple and easy has not been. It was very tempting to use this situation as leverage in the legal issues we are dealing with.

Additionally, this situation triggered a fear that I have always had when dealing with my ex-husband: that he will deny me access to my son. We have been divorced for 11 years now, since my son was 4. For the first several years we had joint custody with an every other week schedule. During the weeks when our son was with the other parent we called every night to talk with him. When my son was seven or eight my ex suddenly stopped answering the phone when I would call in the evening, denying me the ability to talk to my son.

This feeling of helplessness and powerlessness was overwhelming for me. Although it was 7 or 8 years ago when this was happening, that fear of being denied my child has never left me. So as I was contemplating whether or not to say anything to my ex-husband – or what to say if I did say something – this fear also played into the equation.

If I didn’t say anything, was I setting a precedent that would lead to greater infractions? Realistically, what was the worst that might happen? As it is, I rarely talk to my son during the time he’s at his dad’s anyway. Had there ever been a situation when I was supposed to pick my son up and couldn’t get there and needed to notify someone? Not that I could think of.

My ex-husband has been manipulative, secretive and underhanded in our dealings during and since our divorce. He is not trustworthy. And at the same time I don’t want to live my life constantly looking for the presence of a threat from him. Where is the balance between doing what is right for myself and my son (setting a boundary for the right reasons) and me acting from a place of unreasonable fear and/or revenge (setting a boundary for the wrong reasons)? This is a lot to think about.

I find this particular situation to be an example of broader issues that I have with setting and enforcing boundaries. Whenever a boundary is crossed, or there is the threat of it being crossed, I overreact. I become very rigid about the boundary, and angry at the person who has crossed it. I had a work situation earlier this week where this became very clear to me.

I realize that this automatic overreaction is based in fear, just as my immediate reaction to my ex-husband’s boundary violation. Having lived much of my life feeling that my boundaries were not honored, I have become hyper-vigilant about enforcing them. I would like to move into a softer space where I can maintain a boundary that I have set, but also consider the circumstances and be more flexible.

Being more flexible and less reactive requires trust. Trust that I will not allow myself to be overtaken by others. Trust that I can keep myself safe. Trust that when it is time to set a rigid boundary I will know that.

I am grateful for these two opportunities that presented themselves for my learning over the past two days. Having them come one right after the other highlighted that this is an area of growth for me.

Setting boundaries is good. Enforcing boundaries with compassion is good. Contemplation and trust is the key.