I think one of the most difficult things to do that will bring us happiness and health is to let go of where you want to be. When you’re suffering you want to do what you can to no longer be suffering; you desperately want to be in that place of not suffering.
Unfortunately though, the desperately wanting to be elsewhere brings us even more suffering. When we approach our self-healing from a place of desperation we are not in the state of relaxation that our body needs in order to be able to send its resources to healing. Progress is very slow and we experience the additional suffering of frustration and disappointment, which further adds to the tension in our bodies and keeps us even further from a healing state.
In my client work I see many people make great progress learning illness management skills, but the one thing that truly gets in the way of them really taking back control and creating a life that they love is being attached to where they are trying to get to.
If we want to optimise conditions for healing we have to learn how to detach from the outcome that we’re looking for. If we can let go of wanting to see results, it’s much easier to relax and accept what is. When we relax and accept what is, not only are we creating better conditions for healing, we are also gifting our self the opportunity to be happy despite our circumstances.
The big dilemma is that in order to be as happy and as healthy as possible we do have to be consistent with our self-care practices. How do we stay motivated to do all that hard work and at the same time let go of where we want to be?
Make it about the now:
I first started to become more successful with my self-help when I realised that whatever I was doing to make myself as healthy and happy as I could be today, was going to have a beneficial effect on my health and happiness in the future. Instead of doing things because I wanted them to pay off in the future, I decided to focus on how my new skills would help me make my now better. I’d eat healthy because I wanted to feel good today; I did my T’ai chi knowing it would help my energy today; I’d pace to get the best out of myself today; I started looking out for and paying attention to any little thing that could bring me joy in the moment. Although I knew that these were all great strategies for future well-being too, I let go of what I wanted that future to look like. I focused on the now.
Choose to cultivate trust:
Another thing that helped me detach from where I wanted to be was choosing to cultivate trust. For me that had a spiritual aspect. During my first recovery, I developed that trust through my interest in Taoism. I liked the idea of trusting in the balance of the universe and that we all have a value in that balance simply by fully being our authentic nature in the moment, even when that nature is modified by ill health. This time round I choose to trust in the quantum nature of the universe (which fits perfectly with the wisdom of the Tao by the way). Whatever your belief behind trust, and it’s important to have one, what’s even more important is recognising how trust can benefit you.
Trust is akin to giving up control over the outcome. If you trust, you’re basically saying it doesn’t matter how this turns out because I know it will be OK. And when you trust, you relax and you optimise your conditions for healing. When you trust, you save energy that otherwise would be wasted on worry. When you trust, you avoid needlessly creating disappointment and frustration. And if by any chance things do go wrong, if you’ve managed to trust up until the moment that they do, then you’re going to have more energy and resources to deal with it than if you’d been worried and attached to a particular outcome.
Trust, detachment, attraction and motivation:
When you are able to detach from an outcome and trust, it’s safe to have an idea of where you want to get to without risking the negative energies involved in not getting there. We can engage the law of attraction by paying attention to a vision and feeling grateful for how it feels to be there. Our vision can motivate us to take action that will move us in the right direction, but we don’t have to be attached to getting there because we trust that wherever we do get to, will always be the right place to be in that moment.
Are you ready to let go of your attachment to where you want to be and do your self-care to make your now better?
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