How to Surrender or Let Go

I never have really understood the concept of letting go. I mean…I understood it in an abstract way, but I didn’t actually know what it looked like to DO IT. It seemed hard. Unrealistic. I would “let go” only to have invasive thoughts creep back into my head…thoughts that I TOLD myself I was letting go of. It just didn’t work. I eventually stopped trying because I felt like a failure at letting things go.

I have decided to focus my attention on the art of letting go. So, instead of trying to let go of my thoughts, I am now telling myself “I Surrender” throughout the day. It is a powerful mantra that really seems to work. It brings me back to the present moment to feel my feelings instead of dwelling on my negative thoughts. “I Surrender. I Surrender. I Surrender.”

I want to let go of my past. I want to let go of my obsessive thoughts. I want to let go of control, especially unhealthy control over things that I have no control over. I want to let go of guilt and shame. I want to be open. I want to listen to my inner voice. I want more peace. I want to gain more personal power. I want my life to be fluid. I want to surrender.

 

Sober Hair and a Little Prayer

Today is a good day. Writing about my plans for later in the week (in my last post) helped to relieve some stress, and I have been spending time thinking about how much more positive I feel compared to when I was drinking. Plus, you guys! I got a new haircut. A totally new look, and I love it! I feel like a different person. Or… that’s not right exactly… I feel more like myself with this haircut. Yes, that’s it. It suits me quite well, I love it, and I never would have had the balls to do it in the past. And really… who cares what anybody else thinks, anyway? It’s my head! In the past I would have worried about it more, I think.

But seriously, life is good.  I feel more like myself on so many levels, not just superficially because of my hair. I think quitting drinking has given me a renewed sense of self, and I am only now beginning to explore it. I know these happy feelings won’t last forever, but I sure am enjoying them while they last.

Some of these good feelings have to do with praying and meditating, I do believe. I read a quote yesterday that made a lot of sense.

“Whenever you feel inadequate, pray to be of service. When you’re in an energy of service your ego melts away.” -Gabrielle Bernstein*

I feel inadequate a lot, and praying to be of service changes my perspective. It doesn’t have to be a big service or anything, you don’t have to immediately go out and begin feeding the homeless, for example, but doing this gets me out of my own head and thinking about others in a different way. I am going to do this a few times today to stay balanced and centered before heading out to my friend’s bachelorette party this evening. Maybe I can enjoy my time at the party by listening to friends talk about themselves instead of thinking about me, me, me and drinking, drinking, drinking the whole time. We will see how it goes.

*Gabrielle Bernstein is the author of ‘Spirit Junkie’ and ‘May Cause Miracles.’ I just checked out ‘May Cause Miracles’ from the library, and am curious to see if I like it. I will write about it if it is helpful. She has been sober (mainly from a drug addiction, I believe) for 8 years.

Loving Kindness

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Today my goal is to start a practice of loving kindness. I think many alcoholics/addicts can be hard on themselves; I know that I beat myself up sometimes for not doing enough/doing too much/being altogether unworthy/etc. Loving kindness means that you are giving yourself the gift of unconditional positive regard. You are viewing yourself from a detached point of view, and treating yourself like the perfect grandmother-figure would treat you in a perfect world (that’s my perspective of it, at least). You can also extend these feelings and thoughts to others, or the whole world, the entire universe, on and on.

Here is a loving kindness meditation if you are interested in doing it, too! There are many versions of this meditation, but I like this one for right now. Simply sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath for a few moments. Repeat the following phrases as many times as you want. I will have to read them out loud until I can memorize them. No pressure, though. The goal is to create more happiness and peace in your life, not to create stress.

May I be happy, well, and at peace.
May I be open to things just as they are.
May I experience the world opening to me just as I am.
May I welcome whatever arises.