I was walking my dog Trixie but we were in some strange place, we were on the edge of a cliff which was overlooking a body of water. The water actually came right up to the edge of the cliff and was at the same height so I could have just leaned down and put my foot in. But the walkway was so narrow, it was about the width of my foot and on top of that, there was a railing on the ground that we had to balance on.
Trixie was on a leash and I was scared to death that she’d fall into the water and drown. She’s afraid of water and weighs 60 pounds so if she fell in, there would be no way for me to lift her out.
I knew that I could make it through by myself but I was sure she was going to fall in any second. My heart was pounding and I felt like I was having a heart attack. I became so paralyzed with fear that I couldn’t move.
I realized there was only one thing I could do–pray.
And so I did. I prayed for protection and that we would get to safety.
And then I let go…
I let go of my fear, of trying to control the situation, of my being in any moment other than the one I was in.
I totally surrendered.
Immediately, a deep sense of peace washed over me and the fear was gone.
I slowly took the next step.
And then the next
And then I woke up.
The dream was a great metaphor.
Every moment in life offers us the opportunity to choose between trust and fear.
Because where would fear have gotten me in the dream?
The only peace was in letting go.
And it’s just like that in life too.
I spent a lot of time gripping, holding on for dear life because I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to get what I needed or wanted.
It took a long time for me to learn that there’s another way.
But don’t get me wrong, I get to practice letting go every day.
And I get to have dreams about it in case I forget!
Letting go doesn’t mean you don’t want things.
It doesn’t mean you’re not working toward a goal.
It doesn’t mean you’ve given up.
It doesn’t mean you don’t set intentions.
It’s merely a stance you take.
It’s coming from a place of trust–trust that whatever the outcome is, will be the highest good for all involved.
It’s knowing that whatever happens, however things go–you will be OK.
The only way to move freely confidently forward is to let go and trust that direction you’re going in is the right one–that your path is there (even though you can only see the very next step and sometimes not even that) and you just need to walk it one step at a time.
And that if you’re not on the right path, circumstances will show you to the one you’re meant to be on.
But first you have to let go.
I have a folder of poems and sayings that I started collecting as teenager. This is one of the oldest in the bunch. I hope it gives you something to think about–
As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God because he is my friend.
But instead of leaving him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own.
I finally snatched them back and said,
“How could you be so slow?”
My child, He said, “what could I do?”
“You never would let go.”