Hot Mess Handbook: Let go

by LK Elliott

How do we let go of something we are holding in our hand? It’s as simple as giving the instruction to our body and slowly releasing the tight grip, correct? One of the most interesting lessons I’ve learned in life is learning to let go of things that do not serve me. One behaviour in particular is feeling the need to control people and events in my life.
We, as a species, like to control things because we feel it will help us gain pleasure and avoid pain. In all honesty, our need for controlling things that are inevitably uncontrollable can cause us more harm than good. Life is unpredictable so it is imperative that we learn to loosen our grips and become more comfortable with life as it flows to us. This allows us to enjoy moments that we normally would be stressing about and allows us to build confidence in ourselves that we can conquer the unknown as it arrives.
How do we create this change in our psyche? By adopting a level of faith in everything that you do. Have faith in life and that everything will come to you at the perfect time, when you are ready for it. Have faith in the circumstances you face, because if they weren’t supposed to happen, they wouldn’t. And lastly, have faith in yourself that you can manage anything that comes your way because you are strong, smart, and able to do whatever it takes to survive this moment.
The reason we meet resistance when trying to let go of control is the fear of the unknown. It’s very important to realize that fear is the opposite of faith and if you have one you cannot have the other. We must recognize our fears and begin to change our views on them, by replacing fear with faith. Just as you do when you let go of something in your hand, you must make the conscious decision that it is time to loosen your grip and let go of the fear that is forcing you to control things. How can one enjoy life when they are too busy trying to control it?
Recognizing this as truth is the first step and then it is simply a matter of slow and consistent action to change your ways. Make the decision to let things go as they occur. Let go of your expectations for people in your life. Let go when you feel irritated that something didn’t happen the way you had hoped. Try and find acceptance in the moment, regardless of how it feels. Acceptance is a sign that you have faith in your life and confidence in yourself. It will take time to change years of controlling behaviour, so don’t expect to flip a switch and never want to control anything ever again. Forgive yourself quickly if you fall back into old ways, and simply choose to let go of control in that moment. Practice makes perfect. Enjoy the process, and your new life as an ex-control freak.

If you would like to know more about how to beat stress and feel your best, check out Confessions of an Ex Hot Mess:
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