Trust Life Knows What It’s Doing
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” — Anne Lamott
When problems occur, what is your first reaction? Do you worry about it and immediately try to fix it? Do you become anxious, frustrated or angry? It’s natural we respond this way, but what if there’s a better way? What if we don’t have to get caught up in the mental muck? We often try to solve our problems with a limited mindset and don’t have all the answers before us. Furthermore, the situation may still be developing and requires more time to take shape. Therefore, our reaction is based on what is taking place at the time, instead of waiting for things to unfold. We become too invested in our problems and complicate matters further.
Sometimes, things are better left to resolve on their own, without trying to force it. Can you relate to this? Can you think of a specific example where you forced something to happen, and things got worse? It happens all the time; we make a mess of our problems when we try to manipulate them. It requires a certain mindset to trust that our problems will resolve themselves when we get out of the way. I’m not talking about apathy or resignation here, but an inherent trust that life knows what it’s doing. Often, circumstances will fix themselves with little or no participation on our behalf. It’s difficult sometimes to know whether we need to take action or leave things alone.
Regrettably, some people take too much action to resolve their problems. If they let things be, even though conditions are not favourable, the problem will fix itself in due course. Obviously, there are matters where immediate action is required such as our health, finances, career or relationships. But often, the more we worry and force a situation, the more out of control it becomes. I’ve noticed this particularly with relationships. If we’re constantly trying to change other people so we will be happy, we are bound to experience misery and disappointment. But if we accept others as they are and change the way we look at things, our problems will settle in due course. I’m not suggesting we tolerate abuse in our relationships. I’m reminding you to accept people as they are, without controlling conditions.
Try A Different Approach
“When we stop trying to control events, they fall into a natural order, an order that works. We’re at rest while a power much greater than our own takes over, and it does a much better job than we could have done.” — Marianne Williamson
Is this something you’re willing to try? Could you respond differently to experience a different outcome? If we respond the same way each time, we set ourselves up for disappointment. It requires a change in thinking, and this can be the troublesome part because we are taking a leap of faith. To take a comedic perspective, I’m reminded of an episode from the sitcom Seinfeld, in which the character George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander, tells Jerry that every decision he has ever made has been wrong, and that his life is the exact opposite of what it should be. Jerry persuades him that “if every instinct he’s ever had is wrong, then the opposite has to be right.” So, George experiments doing the opposite of what he would normally do and experiences a series of fortunate breakthroughs. His life improves when he acts on the opposite of his instincts.
Whilst a fictitious story, there’s an element of truth to it. If we’re not experiencing better outcomes, it makes sense we change how we respond to our problems. I’m encouraging you to trust that life knows what it’s doing and problems we consider unpleasant, will resolve themselves without trying to fix them. Therefore, I encourage you to take this advice and try it out over the coming days. If there’s a problem you’re dealing with that doesn’t need your direct involvement, could you let go of worrying about it? Could you allow life to bring you the best outcome? Could you let go of anxiety and frustration?
If we respond the same way when problems emerge, we train our mind and body to react the same way. Even if the situation is favourable, we might sabotage it because our first reaction is one of anxiety and frustration, instead of patience and trust. I speak from experience and know if I get out of the way and keep my wits about me, a resolution will emerge better than I imagine. It requires practice, patience, and the willingness to try something different, instead of reacting the same way. Go ahead; try it. If you keep a journal, instead of worrying about the problem, journal your thoughts about it. Then you can look back and see how far you’ve come in your personal growth. After all, most problems have a way of resolving themselves because when we get out of the way, life will do its job and bring us exactly what we need.