• natalienuttall

Swim with the tide

Uncertainty can seem a bit uncomfortable and intimidating. How many times do we hear or even utter "I don't like change" as if we are somehow existing in a static picture?

A tendency to want to control is often underpinning this fear. I grew up believing that it was up to me to carve out my future, to seize opportunities and create something of myself. It felt inspiring and motivating at the time, but there was always an undercurrent of impending doom if I somehow took my foot off the accelerator or looked the other way at what might be a critical juncture.

The apparent need to want to mastermind and manipulate how life would unfold also stemmed from a misunderstanding that when things appeared under my control it was due to my extraordinary plate-spinning ability. It seemed like all those airborne dishes defying gravity were down to my dexterity. It was all on me.

Cells divide and replicate. Breath is inhaled and exhaled. A heart beats relentlessly. And even if I relax and take my eye off the spinning plates, it's still happening. To suggest that I am consciously willing it all to do this is big headed. To imagine I have the capacity to micro-manage the miraculous process is off the scale arrogance.

So often we get in our own way, trying to override what is innate. I have wrestled with insomnia on and off throughout my adult life. I tried every trick in the book and no amount of room re-alignment, lavender spraying and positive thinking could will me into a soporific state. Why? Because I was trying to clumsily make it happen, all the while forgetting the wisdom within. When I let go of the need to 'fix' it and started to trust, the hyper vigilant thought patterns seemed less relevant and my body's natural system resettled. I just didn't see that I had a psychological immune system.

The tendency to control is also cemented in place by an unhelpful belief that things have to be a certain way for us to be OK. We have created a false hierarchy of feelings and states of being, upholding happiness as the 'go to', while automatically relegating sadness, confusion, fear and discomfort as 'unwanted'. In truth, life experiences present a myriad of transient feelings, all of which are valid and all ephemeral. While excitement and euphoria fade, there is grace in knowing that sadness too shall pass.

So are we to remain inert and passive in our lives if we're not hyped up on positive affirmations and a heavy dose of control freakery? Of course not. There is a middle way. An alert sense of openness to what may unfold.. an allowfulness that enables resistance to dissolve and brings with it a quiet contentment. Instead of flapping against the tide and paddling with great gusto, we see the wisdom in relaxing into the current and letting it carry us.


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