Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…

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When Life Shifts

Life happens quickly. Some things we can prepare for, while other things happen without us being able to get ready. Either way, once things shift, we have to determine our response to it. My life has been a steady avalanche of changes over the past few months. There have been some things I was anticipating, but often there have been things that were completely unexpected. Take the birth of my first child, for instance…my pregnancy was “normal” for a while, but towards the end, complications arose that changed every one of my birth plans. It would have been easy to stay completely stressed out due to the complications, but I had to make a conscious decision to be at ease. No, my first child was not born like I wanted, but the end result is that she is here. That in itself is enough.

Life has this way of reminding us that there are some things that will forever be beyond our control. How we respond to what happens can determine the next steps and how things play out for us. By learning to let go of the notion of always being in control, and remembering that when life shifts we were created to also be able to shift, we can make things just a bit easier for ourselves. The beauty of life is that even when things change, everything eventually works itself out. So, don’t get caught up in the shift. Flow with it.


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Learning to Lose Control

I like being in control. Really, I do. That is not to say that I cannot function when I am not, but it can be a bit uncomfortable. Imagine my surprise when my husband came to me and suggested an East Coast tour for our 8th wedding anniversary. His only caveat was that we would go to several states, and instead of planning what we would do in each, I had to be alright just “going with the flow”. He did not want me looking up things to do, or having an itinerary scheduled. I was supposed to just sit back and let things happen. Say what? I thought that he must have been mistaken thinking that I could or would allow that to happen. As we talked about it more though, I decided that I could try. Admittedly, I still charted our course and where we would stay in each state, but I did not plan our outings or anything else. I allowed myself to be alright with losing control.

As we flew in to our first destination to get our rental car for driving from place-to-place on our way back to Georgia, I was excited. It was good to get away and be able to breathe a little. Still a bit hesitant not knowing what we would be doing exactly, I decided I would relax and see what happened. As each day passed, I felt life’s cares begin to fade away as I enjoyed discovering new things and wandering somewhat aimlessly through each place. As I let go of my control, I rediscovered the joy in being present in the moment. I understood, again, that life is not about having every single aspect of my time being carefully constructed and organized. I remembered what it was to live, laugh, and love without parameters and without knowing the next steps. I rediscovered me along the way. As I released the tendency to plan and to know what would happen at all times, I understood that sometimes losing control is not a bad thing.

Now, I cannot say that I will never want to control things, because I will. My personality lends to having things organized and efficient, but I understand that sometimes life will just happen. Sometimes it needs to happen…and I have to be alright with that. In the same token, many of us feel that if we let go a little, things will not go as we would like them to. Honestly, they may not. One thing is for sure though; Life goes on. Good and bad happens, but you are built for this. Breathe. Release. Live a little. Life is waiting on you.

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Just Ride

A few weeks ago I was riding along in no particular hurry. As I rode along, I realized I was on a winding back road, with no traffic around me. In the moment, I took my foot off the gas and just allowed myself to cruise along. I went around the curves, and had to tap the brakes, but still I did not put my foot on the gas. It was not until I came to a hill that I had to apply more pressure to get over the hill. After the hill, I again took my foot off the gas, and I cruised along. At some point though, I had to come back to the moment, and apply pressure on the gas and brakes, so that I could reach my destination safely. In the moment of letting go, and just allowing my car to guide me, I felt an immense sense of freedom, peace, and the ability to enjoy the moment. I allowed myself the luxury of letting go, but still being able to control my destination. I was not on edge. I was not scared to let go. The moment just was. That was big for me because I am used to being in control. I had not known what it meant to lose control until things happened that threw me unwillingly into being out of control. I kicked and screamed for a long time, trying to regain the facade of control I thought I had. Then one day it just clicked. I got it. I realized that it really is alright to not always be in control. Sometimes you have to just be in the moment. When I got it, though some things did not change, I changed. Life began to make a little more sense. Recently I spoke with a friend, talking to him about some things I had been thinking. I told him that for a long time I tried to ignore things, and pretend like other things did not matter. I convinced myself that the more I denied it, the more those things did not exist, and I was able to maintain control in my life. I was cheating myself out of the opportunity to grow and even learn from those things I could not control. When I understood that what I was thinking and feeling just was, I embraced it, and I freed myself. Freedom from control. Amazing. Now, I still like to be in control. That is just my personality, because I know that there is a certain way I like things to be done; however, I now know how to let go and let things be when it is time for those things to be. We cannot control every single aspect of our lives. While there are some things we may need to handle, we have to remember that life happens, and we flow with it. Our life becomes what we create. If we mess it up more because we want to hold on to the illusion of control, then we are hurting ourselves and holding ourselves back from all that is within us. We are also holding ourselves back from experiencing love, life, joy, and so much more that there is to experience. The beauty in us is that we were created as a multi-faceted being. There are so many dichotomies to us, and our minds work in such wondrous ways, so we can balance it all and just live. Maybe you are holding on to an ideal of how things should be. Maybe you are beating yourself up because you feel like you are wrong for feeling how you feel. Maybe you do not understand how to truly let go. Let go. There is such freedom sometimes in being able to just drift along, and being able to get yourself back in order when you need to. Take a moment. Allow life to happen, and watch as you still approach your destination at the time you were supposed to reach it. Just ride.