Relative to ourselves we never move. Regardless of the motion–the steady pulse of breathing, the locking rhythm of the robot, a fish flop or an epileptic seizure–you simply are where you are. I’m torn between feeling frustrated or comforted by that fact.
From a recovery standpoint it’s an interesting concept to apply. It offers comfort, in the sense that you can only be where you are, therefore where you are must be where you’re meant to be in that moment. I don’t mean this to be an excuse to be destructive, of course, rather to accept yourself and others and the limitations you can’t control.
Ah, but control.. What a tough thing that is to let go of. And acceptance, blech! What does that even mean? This is where the frustration sets in for me.
If recovery is about becoming more healthy, shouldn’t we be taking action to “get healthy”? Of course, but it’s tricky action. Some of it’s concrete–eat healthy, get enough sleep, journal, reach out, exercise–but a lot of it’s more abstract: cultivate trust, learn to forgive, let go of control, understand your emotional needs, ask for your needs to be met, find out what your boundaries are, accept yourself. Those are a bit more conceptual, and loaded.
It’s easy to say I need to let go of my anger toward my parents or I need to stop trying to control people and events and trust people to make their own decisions, it’s way harder to truly grasp what letting go is [apparently even after you’ve read a hundred books on the topic].
The worst part is no one can just tell you the “ten steps to letting go of your anger and experiencing relief”, and if you’re anything like me you’re gonna feel wicked stubborn and frustrated about the anti-action of being patient and accepting yourself where you’re at [while feeling unworthy and unlovable and avoiding copping to those feelings because nobody’s trustworthy and you’re afraid if you’re friends knew they’d abandon you].
It’s hard to just be without trying to make anything happen, especially if you’ve grown up in an environment where manipulation and control got shit done. I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t have a magical answer for understanding how to let go of control. I finally felt like I understood the concept this past summer, and it smashed me in the face and I hated it because it hurt [and I loved it because my whole head became clear when it clicked].
It’s hard work at first, just letting things happen. Trusting other people to make decisions on their own. Trusting directly asking for your needs [with safe people] will be fruitful and spur more intimate connections in your relationships. Believing there’s something greater than yourself looking out for you. Believing you’re okay no matter how you feel.
The hunt for letting go is worth the struggle, it frees you up to love and be loved.