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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Letting Go, By Livestrong: My answers are capitalized and bold.

What is letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables?
Letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in life is the:

Admitting the obvious truth--that you are not responsible to affect a change or correct a problem which is beyond your competency, power, authority or responsibility.  I AM NOT IN CONTROL!

Releasing over-responsibility--giving permission to yourself to be free from an overresponsible sense of obligation, duty or requirement to make everything "perfect" in your life and the life of others.
I AM NOT PERFECT.  IT IS OKAY TO FAULTER.

No perfectionism--allowing yourself to rid yourself of the perfectionistic need to control every aspect of your life so that nothing goes "wrong" in it.  I CONTROL EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE, SO THAT NOTHING GOES WRONG.  I MAKE PLANS, I MAKE BACK-UP PLANS NOT JUST B, BUT C,D,E,F,AND G.  I DO THIS SO I HAVE CONTROL OVER MY LIFE, EMOTIONS, AND OUTCOMES, SO I CAN HAVE A PLAN FOR THE UNEXPECTABLE.


Getting rational about what you can and cannot do--becoming realistic about what is and is not your obligation or duty to correct, change or control.  I CAN COMPLETE MY SCHOOLING, I CAN CHOOSE A CAREER, I CAN ALLOW FOR THINGS IN MY LIFE TO CHANGE.  I CAN NOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE.  I CAN NOT RUSH THEM TO MEET MY PACE. 


Allowing yourself to be able to say "no" or "I can't" when faced with insurmountable problems out of your reach.  I DON'T KNOW THAT I CAN DO THIS!  I SAY NO, I CAN'T ALL THE TIME, BUT I WON'T DO THIS NOW, NOT FOR THIS SITUATION, NOT YET.


Confessing faith in God or a Higher Power of your choice--openly declare that God or your Higher Power is stronger and a great source of power to whom you can hand over these things out of your control.  Accepting your powerlessness over things and handing these things over to your Higher Power.  LET GO AND LET GOD.  THERE IS A PLAN THAT YOU  CAN NOT SEE.  “UPCLOSE A COMIC IS A BUNCH OF TINY DOTS, IT DOESN’T MAKES SENSE.  WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT FROM A DISTANCE IT MAKES A COMPLETE PICTURE.  THIS IS GOD AND OUR OWN LIFE.”

 
Realistic acceptance of loss--after fully grieving a loss admitting that there is nothing left to be done but to accept the loss and hand the loss from this point on over to your Higher Power's care and love.  I AM NOT CAPABLE OF ACCEPTING A LOSS YET. 


Surrender--extensive problem brainstorming and testing alternatives with the final conclusion that you can do nothing to change the circumstances of the issue and that it would be safer and more realistic to free your energy up by surrendering and letting go of the issue and handing it over to your Higher Power.  HOW DO I DO THIS? I AM TRYING!  I CAN DO NOTHING TO CHANGE THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT I AM GOING THROUGH. 


What are the negative effects of not letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in life?
If you are unable to "let go" of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life, you could:

Become so obsessed with the need to solve everything on your own that you run the risk of physical and emotional exhaustion.  I FEEL THIS WAY NOW!  HOW DO I CHANGE THIS?

Never attain personal serenity and peace by accepting the human condition at work in your life.   I DON'T KNOW THAT I HAVE EVER HAD COMPLETE SERENITY, I NEED TO WORK ON THIS. 


Never establish an effective means of "handing over" to your Higher Power the "too big to solve" issues in your life and thus become bogged down in "chasing your tail" in these issues.  I AM ALWAYS CHASING MY TAIL OR SO IT SEEMS.  I NEVER LET GO, AND LIFE HAPPEN, I ALWAYS NEED A PLAN, AND 5 OTHER PLANS TO BACK MY FIRST PLAN.


Never be at rest, always having these issues stirring up your emotional resources and energy.  I AM NEVER AT REST!  I AM TIRED, I AM SICK!

Become anxious, stressed, insecure and depressed over these issues so much that your personal effectiveness lessens at home, work, school or in the community.  I CONSUME MYSELF WITH THIS ISSUE THAT I CAN NOT SLEEP, I CAN NOT COMPLETE SIMPLY DAILY DUTIES.


Become obsessed with these issues so much that they are the only topic of conversation or focus of attention you have in your life.  IT IS ALL I CAN TALK ABOUT!  IT IS THE ONLY FOCUS OF MY LIFE, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE MANY OTHER THINGS I SHOULD BE FOCUSSING ON.  OTHER THINGS THAT ARE FAR MORE IMPORTANT FOR HERE AND NOW!


Be driven by the sense of failure, not being "good enough" or guilt for not fixing the issues and become depressed and very hard in your self-assessments until you believe that you are the failure who is out of control and needing to be changed into a perfect, all powerful, infallible being.  I KNOW I AM GOOD ENOUGH, BUT I DESIRE THAT POWER TO BE PERFECT AND INFALLIBLE!


Become competitive with your Higher Power as the source of wisdom and light in the lives of those whom you are so desperately trying to control, fix and change.  I FEEL AS THOUGH I AM WISER AND SMARTER THAN GOD, I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR ME.


Try to replace God by referring to yourself in terms only appropriate in describing your Higher Power because of your belief that you have the power to solve the unsolvable situations in your life. Because of this inflated ego and incapability of solving the unsolvable, your self-esteem and self-worth take a beating.  MY SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-WORTH WILL TAKE A BEATING IF I CAN NOT MANAGE THIS


Exacerbate low self-esteem by becoming so obsessed with the sense of shame, guilt, failure and incompetence in not being able to solve your unsolvable problems.  I FEEL WORTHLESS BECAUSE I CAN NOT MOVE ON, I CAN NOT COMPLETE DAILY TASKS.  I CAN NOT LET GO.


Loss everything of importance by making such great sacrifices to save the things beyond your control that you lose everything in your life which gave it meaning including: marriage, money, success, business, jobs, children, relationships and even your life.  I FEEL LIKE I HAVE LOST EVERYTHING IMPORTANT IN MY LIFE NOW.  I FEEL AS THOUGH I AM JUST TRYING TO KEEP IT.


How is letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables a control issue?
Letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life is a control issue because:

It de-powers the external locus of control issues in your life and helps strengthen your internal locus of control.

Saves your sanity--unless you let go of those things over which you are powerless, you run the risk of burning out your emotional and physical energy, enthusiasm, spirit, resources and reserves. Letting go is an act by which you release your need to control every situation, person, place or thing in order to ensure that your sanity is not threatened.  I WILL NO LONGER GO INSANE WHEN I POWERLESS OVER A SITUATION.  THIS SITUATION HAS BURNED ME OUT EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, WITH ENTHUSIASM FOR LIFE, AND MY SPIRIT.  I WILL GAIN MY ENTHUSIASM FOR LIFE BACK BY GOING TO A COOKING SHOW.  I LOVE TO COOK.


Not a power play--instead it is an open admission that you do not need to exercise power and control over people, places, things or situations which are not amenable to such efforts.  I CAN NOT CONTROL EVERY SITUATION, I CAN NOT CONTROL THE DECISIONS OF OTHERS, SITUATIONS THAT OCCUR, OR THINGS THAT HAPPEN.  LIFE IS UNEXPECTED AND I NEED TO ACCEPT THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT LIFE PROVIDES WHEN S@#T HAPPENS.


Enhances self-control--since it frees you up to gain self-control over your own life without guilt or fear of reprisals by those people, places or things which you have let go of.  I AM LETTING GO OF MY MARRIAGE SO THAT I CAN FOCUS ON ME.  I WILL NO LONGER STRESS OVER MY MARRIAGE OR MY RELATIONSHIP STATUS.  I WILL FOCUS ON MY PRIORITIES, SCHOOL, MY HOBBIES OR LIKES, MY CHILDREN, AND MY FRIENDSHIP WITH MY HUSBAND.


Unhooks you--since you have not let others' intimidation, manipulation, over-dependency or helplessness "hook" you into being a "fixer," "caretaker" or "rescuer" of that which is not amenable to being fixed or helped.  I WILL ALLOW MY HUSBAND TO TAKE CONTROL.  I WILL ALLOW HIM TO HELP ME WHEN HE ASKS.  I WILL HELP HIM TO TAKE ON MORE RESPONSIBILTY, RESPONSIBILITY THAT I HAVE A HARD TIME LETTING GO CONTROL OF.  BILLS, GROCERY SHOPPING, DINNER MAKING, TUCKING THE KIDS INTO BED, CLEANING.  IT IS OKAY IF IT IS NOT DONE THE WAY THAT I WOUL DDO IT, IT IS OKAY IF DIFFERENT DECISIONS ARE MADE.  MY HUSBAND IS A FAR BETTER CLEANER THAN I AM, BUT I FEEL HE WORKS TOO HARD, AND SHOULDN’T HELP IN THIS.  I WILL LET HIM HELP, GOD KNOWS MY HOME WILL BE CLEANER.  THIS HELPS WHEN YOU ARE MARRIED TO A GAY GUY.


Freedom from Idealism--often due to your idealism and irrational belief system about how perfect things should be that you get trapped into unhealthy efforts to solve things which are not solvable and by letting go you gain the ability to free up and focus on yourself, the one thing you can control and change.  THIS IS ME TO A T.  I TRIED MAKING EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE, “PERFECT”.  EVERYONE LOOKED AT ME AS HAVING THE PERFECT HUSBAND, THE PERFECT KIDS, AND THE PERFECT LIFE.  IF I FELT MY LIFE NOT PORTRAYED AS PERFECT I WORKED TO MAKE IT SO.  I WILL NO LONGER BE PERFECT OR EXPECT THOSE WHO I AM CLOSEST TO BE EITHER.


Detachment oriented--letting go involves detaching from persons, places or things which have had emotional "hooks" on you and threatened your overall well-being.  I WILL NOT DETACH MYSELF FROM MY HUSBAND, BUT I WILL DETACH MYSELF FROM MY MARRIAGE.  I WILL WORK ON MY FRIENDSHIP WITH HIM, SO THAT WE MAY CONTINUE, WHEN THIS IS ALL SAID AND DONE.


Gives power back to the source of our power--by recognizing that there is a Higher Power to whom you can let go of those things which you are powerless to control or change is an act of self-control and a step towards self-healing by getting out of the power struggled with your Higher Power.  I WILL LIVE MY LIFE AS IT IS MEANT TOBE.  I WILL NEED HELP IN FINDING MY WAY AGAIN, IN LETTING GO.


Self-Healing--through admitting that you are not omnipotent, infallible, omniscient or superhuman, you can allow yourself to take control over yourself once you let go of those things holding you down in a quicksand of non-coping, self-pity and "sick" behaviors.  I AM NON OF THESE THINGS.  I AM HUMAN, I CAN ONLY HANDLE SO MUCH.



What is the irrational thinking which leads you not to let go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in life?

* I must solve every problem that comes my way. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.

* Only I can solve these problems.  I CAN NOT SOLVE THIS.  THIS PROBLEM IS UNSOLVABLE.


* If I don't solve these problems, I will be seen by others as a failure or no good.  I WILL NOT BE SEEN AS A FAILURE.


* I need to fix all of these things perfectly and as soon as possible.  YES, SO I CAN MOVE ON, SO I CAN PLAN TOMORROW.


* There is no one else available who is going to help me solve these problems.  IF YOU WANT THEM SOLVED SLOWER THAN A TORTIOSE MOVES.  IF I DON’T SOLVE THEM, NO ONE ELSE WILL.


* All those people need to do is to follow what I've told them to do. YES, EXACTLY.  I AM USUALLY ALWAYS RIGHT.  ASK ANYONE!


* This place would be ideal if it would only do what I want it to do.  YES, MY RELATIONSHIP WOULD BE IDEAL IF HE WOULD JUST LISTEN TO ME!  IF HE WOULD STAY WITH ME AS I WANT HIM TO.


* These things wouldn't be so bad off if they had been left to me to take care of by myself.  THIS IS SO TRUE.


* They don't know what to do and they need me to tell them.  YES, THIS IS ME!!!


* They can't do anything right without me. If they lose or fail, it will reflect badly on me.  IT MAY NOT BE DONE WHEN OR HOW I WANT IT TO BE.


* What would others think if things didn't work out the way they were supposed to?  I REALLY DON’T CARE WHAT OTHER THINK.  THIS IS NOT ME.


* I've only known crisis, chaos and panic in my life so why should I expect any peace, calmness or serenity if I leave them to take care of themselves?  I HAVE EXPERIANCED A LOT OF LIFE STRESSES.  I AM USED TO PANIC AND CHAOS.  I HAVE ALWAYS CONTROLLED THEM, OR AT LEAST I THOUGHT I DID.


* I must make everything better around here or else I'll go crazy.  I DO GO CRAZY ESPECIALLY, WHEN IT COMES TO FINANCES.


* If I let go too soon, things might change and I'd be sorry for releasing them too prematurely.    YES, YES, YES!  THIS IS ME.  IF I LET MY HUSBAND GO TOO SOON, MY HUSBAND MAY CHANGE HIS MIND AND I WOULD BE SORRY FOR LETTING HIM GO!


* If I let go of them, I might lose them.  IF I LET GO, THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!  I DON’T KNOW THAT THEY WILL EVER BE BETTER!

* If I stop trying to fix and change them, they would no longer need me and leave me.  IF I GIVE HIM MORE CONTROL, HE WILL NOT NEED ME AND HE WILL LEAVE ME.

* There must be a way to turn them around and I can't give up yet.  I HOPE HE CHANGES HIS MIND, AND stays with me.

* What if they blame me for not taking care of them if they fail or fall flat on their faces?  THIS IS NOT ME.

* I'd rather sacrifice myself than have them blame me later for not helping them.  THIS IS NOT ME.

* They are so irresponsible they would never do it on their own. HE CAN DEFINITELY MAKE IT ON HIS OWN, HE DOESN’T NEED AS HE FEELS HE DOES.

How to improve letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life
In order to let go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life, follow the words of the Prayer for Serenity by Reinhold Niebuhr:


"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

 Living one day at a time,
 enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it,
trusting that YOU will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You
 forever in the next.

By letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life, you allow people, places and things to be responsible for themselves, which takes a tremendous burden off you. By freeing yourself of this huge burden, you will appreciate life more for what it is. You will have the energy and strength to pursue your own interests. You will be able to relax and have fun.

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