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Trust life the way you trust your breath.
These words hit me like a ton of bricks during a yoga class I participated in a few years back. Hearing these words triggered something within me that was thirsty for answers. Thirsty for more—for a deep understanding of my past and current emotional suffering.
What if I were to trust life the way I trust my breath? I asked. What does that even mean? I don’t worry about my breath making me happy or when the next breath is coming. I don’t question my breath, wondering when it is going to be leaving me. I have absolute faith that my breath is sustaining my life, so what if I trusted life this way? What would happen?
Often, we go against the grain; we struggle, we grasp, cling, and hold on to the things we love the most in hopes of never losing them or never being faced with the decision of having to let them go. We disregard the order of the universe when we demand that our circumstances remain the same forever. The universe is fluid, and it is a constant flow of energy ebbing and flowing, forever evolving, changing, and growing.
When we demand our external circumstances meet our needs—and that our external events remain the same—we become out of alignment with the universe and, ultimately, ourselves. When we stay out of alignment with ourselves, we can feel less desirable emotions such as fear, desperation, grief, sadness, depression, and despair.
Buddha said that “the root of suffering is attachment.” When we grasp and try to hold onto things outside of ourselves in hopes that they will bring us peace and happiness, we suffer. This was the biggest lesson I learned years after my divorce and custody battle.
I had been suffering because of attachments to everything outside myself: my marriage, ex-husband, son, all my relationships. I was in love with the idea of a family—a happily ever after.
I mean, no one gets married to get a divorce. It was never even a thought, not even a possibility. But when things didn’t go the way I thought they would, when I was so attached to the outcomes of how I thought things should be (and when my life zagged instead of zigged), everything felt foreign. My life didn’t feel like mine any longer.
But how do we let go of how we think things should be? How do we release the need to control our desired outcomes? How do we begin to trust ourselves, our lives, and the path we are on?
We must have a profound acceptance and understanding that loss is inevitable, that life is meant to change. Openness is required to experience contrast, ups and downs, the heavy and the light moments. There would be no light without the darkness.
We often fear the unknown and reluctantly (if at all) leave our comfort zones that have become familiar and provide a false sense of safety. Circumstances won’t always turn out the way we want them to, and that is okay. Being able to embrace situations for what they are—with acceptance—will allow us to cope more effectively. Instead of resisting, we allow change to unfold.
Cultivating and fulfilling the practice of gratitude will change your life.
As we focus on what we want in our lives and let go of our attachments, we create the life we have always wanted.
Letting go is easier said than done, but we have to start somewhere. Let go of the “shoulds,” the “what if’s,” the “what could have been,” and the “if only I.”
Let go of the language that you are holding yourself hostage with. Let go of the meanings you are giving events and circumstances in your life.
So, if your marriage ended; what are you making that mean? Are you a failure all of a sudden?
Will you never be loved again?
Are you damaged goods with so much baggage no one will ever love you?
Let go of all the ways you are not treating yourself as you would your best friend. It’s time to take a deep look into your mind and your heart and let go of what is no longer serving you.
When we embrace change and can find acceptance that life is unknown, we take our power back. We become unstoppable. When we allow life to unfold for us, it feels freeing and empowering like a breath of fresh air.
Every day reminds me to trust life the way I trust my breath. As a divorced mom, this saved me.