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Trusting thy will, not mine

December 23, 2014

It’s safe to say we all seek happiness.  Unfortunately many of us (consciously or unconsciously) put up our own barriers to getting there.

One key or turning point I have learned for making changes and approaching happiness is in the letting go of whatever it is you may be holding on to.  How often does a mental obsession, anger, resentment or simple non-acceptance of situations, places or things keep us in a negative holding pattern?  If none of these strike a chord in your life you are indeed blessed.  For me, and many like me, we can and do often think our way into unhappiness, with the trick and practice being to do exactly the opposite.  It is difficult for some to recognize the feeling of happiness is not always the default.  It is better, if that is the case, to understand there are ways to combat the sabotage of good living and thought.  And, as with anything, the practice can create habits that can lead to better track records and results.

But what exactly IS letting go?  It just isn’t as easy as stopping whatever it is you are holding on to and moving along with life as if it didn’t exist.  Those who are able to stop a negative pattern like a light switch are the gurus in this world.  Those who can find themselves plagued with an active ISM will understand how difficult letting go can often be.  It’s not that black and white.

At least not for me.

In program it has been suggested over the years that the simplest of prayers is all about letting go of my will, understanding my powerlessness over whatever has its hold on me, understanding there is a power greater than myself and allowing / trusting that power to be in charge.  This, for those unfamiliar, is a representation of the first three steps in alcoholics anonymous: I can’t, he can, I think I’ll let him.

To keep it simple (because those of us with the ISM know how to complicate nearly anything,)  I was instructed to pray for “thy will not mine be done.”

In theory this makes complete sense to me.  I don’t have a problem understanding that I am only going to make matters worse when running the complete show in my own will.  I have years of proof to show for that.  I understand powerlessness in many facets of my world and have a complete understanding and acceptance for knowing that there IS a power greater than myself (call it God, or whatever you choose.)  This power can be a struggle for many within or outside of the program.  The need for control of any number of situations is more normal than it is not, and tantamount to moving away from the very happiness you are likely to be seeking.

But I, like others, have often struggled with a complete and smooth transition in “letting go.”  It is difficult to understand how one just shuts off their head, their desires, their needs or their fears in order to trust something outside of themselves has a better answer, one which cannot be fully seen or experienced in the cloud of self we are capable of creating.  It is likely that whatever we are seeking or holding on to is deeply based in a denial for what it truly represents.  If I were to have achieved or obtained any number of the things I held on to before letting go of my will in the past, I can’t imagine what my life would look like today.  My thinking is sometimes suspect and rooted in selfish or fearful requirements.  Without an open mind or the seeking of any sort of help, I am destined to suffer more than need be.  The examples in my life where I have been able to stop and completely surrender my thinking and “needs” have always proven to provide me with quicker and more satisfying results.  They may not look like what I thought they would be, they may not represent what I expect of myself or my life (at least to start,) but they are always a better, wiser and more satisfying “fit” in the end. They are also something I would likely never have thought of or been able to achieve in my own control.

What IS thy will?  What if thy will is not something I “want”?  How would I know if thy will is going to make me happy?

I don’t have these answers.  If I did I might try to manipulate them into my own design.  My track record would suggest that “Thy will” is always a better option for me.  The ISM continues to produce enough fear or skepticism to stop me from firmly saying the prayer without hesitation or honesty.  If I cannot trust that thy will is what is best I am going to be holding on to MY will even when the words are said.  If I hang on to my will I am still trying to control the outcome and the answers will become cyclical definitions of insanity.  I cannot resolve or live in solution if I am not fully in faith of the path.  If thy will is truly the answer for me I must trust and let go of whatever I am holding on to with no questions asked and no stipulations or deals made.

Again, it all boils down to the first three steps, particularly the third.  I am almost always completely aware of my powerlessness over situations.  I understand my unmanageability in attempting to control them.  I have had no issue for many years with coming to believe there is a power greater than myself that will restore me to sanity (or happiness.)  But any one of us who is truly fighting with the surrender of their will completely, is also struggling with Step 3… where it is all about willingness and a DECISION to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a power greater than ourselves (God, as we understood him.)  All of this applies to pretty much anything I think, do or say.

In my life I am seeking change.  I am tired and I want to modify aspects and turn the page to a new chapter.  It is not as easy as it sounds and truth be told I am fighting too hard with myself in the midst of this issue.  This is my classic example of holding on to something because somehow I am envisioning it in certain ways.  I am trying to control an outcome when the obvious answer is in my powerlessness and unmanageability.  In doing so I sacrifice a good many moments of happiness that I don’t have the luxury of getting back.  The answer is always in letting go, and remembering to trust in thy will not mine being done.

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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