Incredibly, we sometimes think that we can control everything that happens in our world. We do the practical things like go to work, get the kids to school, create time for our partner, etc.. Often without knowing it, we believe that we can direct the outcome of events in our lives if we just try harder or come up with better solutions.
This attitude greatly contributes to stress, and contrary to popular belief, doesn't really help control the outcome of situations in our lives. There's an old saying about this - "We plan, God laughs". In other words, we are not really able to direct our lives, though we can exert some influence by doing what 12 step programs call "the footwork". But after that it's not really up to us.
So how to get things done and live life without twisting up into that stressful knot of control?
As different religions and spiritual philosophies often emphasize : "Surrender the outcome to a Higher Power". In other words - whatever "Higher Power" means to you - Jesus, Allah, the Buddha, Nature, or just a sweet quiet force in the universe - learning to surrender the outcome to that power can be very profound. When we surrender, it doesn't mean that we give up our personality or wants or needs, it just enables us to cultivate a connection to that "higher power".
This can be a huge relief, and ironically, will actually make more psychic room for our lives to go in the right direction. Because by surrendering and relaxing, we are creating a space for creativity and manifestation.
In our everyday lives, we still need to be responsible and do the footwork, but we don't need to go crazy trying to fix everything or worry so much. In fact it is a huge relief and a big step in the direction of balance and peace to let go. As it says in "A Course in Miracles", you never really know what the outcome of a situation really means, in other words, don't judge the outcome as "good" or "bad". A situation may seem "negative" or an outcome not one that you desired, but there is almost always a "silver lining" to every event. The initially unwanted result can turn out to have saved us money, time, our health, or even our life.
We can't really control the outcomes in life, only work towards them by doing the necessary and concrete footwork. By surrendering, we can relax, breathe, and thereby trust in the outcome.
Katharina Sandizell, LMFT