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Posts Tagged ‘letting go’

Letting Go

Letting Go

We all deal with issues in our lives where we want to hold on to someone or something. Sometimes we want to hold on to the past because of what it represents, especially idyllic memories of childhood. Then of course there are things in the past that were hurtful or harmful to us, yet we still hold on to those memories as well, rather than moving on. We hold on to the stories we’ve told ourselves about who we are and our place in this world. We hold on to grudges and refuse to relinquish them without a fight. We seem to feel we are entitled to hold onto things, no matter what they are or whether they are good for us or not.

 

How many times have we prayed for something to come true for us? How many times have we claimed we need a certain thing to happen before we can be happy? In western culture we cling to our material possessions as if our very lives depend it. They don’t. We work ourselves to the exclusion of all else in an attempt to gain more stuff, more recognition, more power over others, yet continue to feel empty and lost.

 

But what would happen if we simply let go? What if we let go of our determination to own the future, own more things, insist on forcing our point of view on others? This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to strive to better ourselves as human beings. Far from it. It doesn’t mean we should simply accept the subjugation of our will to others, or let others determine our path in life. Far from it.

 

It means letting go of expectations for the future. It means letting go of expectations from other people. It means letting go of the intense desire to control everything around us. When we expect something, we become disillusioned and disheartened when things don’t turn out as we want them to. We give our expectations such importance that it can affect our relationships with others, and our relationship with ourselves. How sad. What a waste of time and effort.

 

As a writer, I’ve begun to learn more about letting go of things and expectations than I ever dreamed. I know I can do my best, but at some point, I have to let go and allow things to unfold as they will. I cannot make others understand why I write. I cannot make readers want to read my stories. At some point, I have to let go and allow the universe to unfold as it will. In the meantime, I continue to do my best. I continue to write, to query, to connect with others on various levels. I continue to believe in myself and what I am attempting to accomplish; which is to connect with others via any medium open to me. Writing is just another form of communication for me, and I love it. I love hearing that people have enjoyed what I’ve written. I enjoy hearing from people from all over the world on social media, through this blog, family and friends who take the time to tell me they’ve liked my work. I’ve loved teaching the creative writing workshop classes I held at a local art centre this summer, and look forward to doing more in the coming months. I find great pleasure in talking to groups of people at book readings, public speaking engagements, and so on.

 

But at some level, I always have to accept that each of these endeavours leads to a point where I have to rest my expectations and step back. The work I’ve done will have to stand on its own. The talk I’ve given will either be well received, or not. I can continue to learn and grow as a writer, a speaker, and as a human being, but I cannot own the outcome. No one can. That’s a hard lesson to learn, because we are hard-wired to try to control as much of our environment as we can.

 

Writing has taught me many things, including the necessity for letting go. I want so many things for my life, and I’ll do my best to ensure the best shot possible at my dreams. I can only control me, my reaction to situations, my relationship with others, and my own determination to continue walking this path. I control nothing else. As my mother has often said, “Let go, and let God”. Its one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received, because it allows me to relax and trust that things will work out exactly as they are supposed to, and that whatever happens, I’ll be just fine.

 

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

If we allow it, letting go and believing in the great, unknown possibilities is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye Emily

Book Review:

Well, I’m impressed! I just finished reading Goodbye Emily a few days ago, and it had me in tears. Told from the perspective of Walter, “Sparky” Ellington, Goodbye Emily takes the reader on a roadtrip back to the summer of 1969, Yasgur’s Farm, and Woodstock, the home of peace, love, and rock ‘n roll! But more than that, it’s the story of one man’s attempt to make sense out of today, dealing with heart-breaking loss, and friendships not to be forgotten.

Congratulations to author, Michael Murphy, on doing all the things a good writer sets out to do; evoke different emotions from the reader throughout the story, and allow them to connect to the characters. At times I chuckled, laughed, and cried, but it also made me think about many aspects of life and the choices we all make. This story reminded me that you’re never too old to start something new, and the importance of friendships.

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Reach for the Stars

Let me start by saying, we are not omnipotent. It doesn’t matter how much you might fight it, life, or fate, sometimes puts you smack in the middle of where you need to be. Many times over the years I’ve bemoaned a circumstance or event, only to realize, sometimes months or even years later, that I needed to be there. There are lessons to be learned, even if we don’t think we need to learn them.

When writing a fiction book, the author is God-like. We make omnipotent decisions for and about our characters, their lives and their choices. We manipulate circumstances to bring about desired events and we put people in places they may not normally be. We give them emotions, thoughts and flaws to make them human (even when the characters aren’t necessarily human at all). When writing, re-writing, editing, and throughout the entire process of crafting a believable story, we do this. We place our characters and the supporting characters where we want them to be so we can hopefully tie all the pieces together for a cohesive, enjoyable tale.

What power! We can’t do that in our own lives. We are subject to the same whims, peaks and valleys as everyone else. We struggle with health issues, fears, love, failure, successes as any other. We are eminently fallible. We have no more insight into the whys of our lives than other people. We are human. But human nature wants to control. We want to make the decisions and postulate on the right to choose our destiny. As authors, we brave fear and possible failure and rejection every day. We wouldn’t have it any other way. But sometimes we fight where we are in our lives. We push and shove to move forward.

A prime example is what’s going on in my life right now. Several months ago my husband and I were struggling financially, so we opted to sell our house (at no profit), reduce our bill payments and start over financially. Like so many others, we were drowning in debt, and it didn’t matter what we did or how hard we worked, the numbers just weren’t lining up. Add to that some health issues I began experiencing due to the increased stress. We decided to man up and make some hard decisions. One of those was getting out from under mortgage debt. Goodbye my lovely little home. We maintained our seasonal park model trailer and stayed there for the summer while we strategized our next course of action. By summer’s end we’d decided to continue the breather we’d taken and move in with my parents, who encouraged the decision. Dad was finding it harder and harder to do the odd jobs around their 1800 square foot home, and my mother’s health had been less than optimal for quite some time.

I love my parents tremendously, but I didn’t want to move in with them, even temporarily. I wanted my own space, my privacy, and my own way of doing things. I was adamant we would only stay a short while as we began looking for permanent living accommodations. Everyone agreed. Okay, I was on the road to recovery financially and emotionally. We had a short term plan in place and were moving ahead. It was all good.

Then last week, at my mother’s seventy-fifth birthday celebration luncheon, my father experienced a mild stroke. We rushed him to the hospital and although greatly shaken, were relieved he seemed to have suffered only minor damage to his left side. Throughout the last week we travelled back and forth between my parent’s home an hour away, my sister’s house, and the hospital. We brought clothing and toiletries to my mother who opted to stay in the city at my sister’s, drove her to the hospital when we could, and visited my dad. Scary stuff. I was supposed to attend a major trade show in Las Vegas for business this week, but it’s a no-brainer. I’m needed here more than there. Sure I’m disappointed. I’ve never been to Vegas before and was really pumped about going, but hey, trade show vs dad and family. No contest.

My superhero, my dad

My dad is my hero – my rock. He’s the one who keeps us on track and laughing (he loves to laugh). I remind myself it could have been so much worse, and it could. We are very lucky. We got a whopping wake up call and thump upside the head to remind us no one is immune. Not even my father.

Here’s the funny thing though. It occurred to me about mid-week that it was a very good thing we were here with them. A very good thing we were able to help out however we could this week. And perhaps a true blessing that my parents won’t return home alone. Over the course of this past week, my mother has said many times how relieved she is that we will be here with them when my dad finally comes home. My dad has expressed the same thing, as have my siblings and children.

Two days ago, on the way home from the hospital, I heaved a great sigh and said to my husband, “I guess it’s a good thing we’re going to be staying with mom and dad for a while, huh?” All the fight had gone out of me. I realized I was right where I needed to be. Life was teaching me another lesson despite myself. It’s all good and well to fight, to strive, to move forward, but sometimes there’s a reason we are where we are. Sometimes we may have to accept that God, or fate, or whatever you want to call it, places us right where we are needed so the story can continue as it should.

Memories

As an author, and as a person, I get that. For now, I’m content to do what needs to be done and be grateful for the lessons learned. I am willing to accept change and let go, for a while, the need to control everything, yet even my decision to do so is solely within my control. Today, I’m just a daughter who is needed by her parents. Each day, each week, each month, I’ll pick up the threads and continue weaving my life’s story, learning as I go.

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The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

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