We humans like to think life can be reduced to a list of tips or suggestions that will keep everything controllable and running smoothly. Social media and marketing promote this illusion with articles and ads that proclaim the “top ten” ways to health, wealth, love, or eternal youth. The truth is that life is not manageable. Relationships can be challenging, checkbooks may not balance, and the most carefully thought-out plans fall through. Is this the end of the world, reason for despair? Absolutely not. If life were predictable and reducible to easy steps for across-the-board success, it would be boring, and we would not grow and evolve.
Which is not to say that we shouldn’t be open to wisdom that can come from many sources, including others who have walked a path of challenge before us. Still, to believe that we can completely control outcomes is a trap that keeps us caught in trying and aspiring to something just out of reach. If we let go and allow life to unfold naturally, just surrender to being itself (as God and our souls intended), we relax into possibility and relinquish predictability. The divine plan for our lives and life itself is so much more expansive than anything our minds could conceive of. To experience the wonder of that is such a blessing.
I admit that I’ve written to-do lists for much of my adult life. Many years ago my massage therapist had me stop writing them as a way to relax at a deeper level. It was a challenge, but she was right. When you only see life through the filter of tasks to be completed, you miss so much. You miss the bends in the road and the side-paths that may take you to unforeseen miracles. You miss everything that can’t be written down or spelled out. And honestly, God will always find a way to tear up your to-do lists and send you tumbling into the unknown. Better to surrender the human need to control ahead of time and trust that something greater, beyond words, will support you on life’s journey.
Doors will magically open ahead of you and experiences will flow when you just allow them to. Don’t let fear stop you. It is only the mind’s defense against loss of control. On the other side of fear is infinite possibility—an entire cosmos waiting for your open-hearted participation. Yes, I still scribble down passing thoughts or ideas on pieces of paper or in my journal. As a writer, I feel I am often a conduit for my soul’s voice, and I don’t want to let that pass unnoted. But I am no longer ruled by a numbered list of tasks. My life unfolds more organically and spontaneously. In the deepest part of my heart and soul, I acknowledge God/dess as the source of all, not my own mental constructs. There is freedom in that. In letting go, I am open to so much more.
So don’t be fooled by the voices that tell you that one short list will solve all your problems. The key is not to see life as a problem at all. It is complicated and messy at times, but it is not really a problem to be solved. Everything becomes simpler if we open ourselves to a cosmic design beyond our comprehension and just allow it to transpire in its own intricate and unpredictable way. Then we tap into life’s greatest wisdom: Miracles can’t be listed or self-generated. When you surrender completely to a greater intelligence in the universe, or whatever your own view of God is, your life begins to soar into experiences your wildest imagination couldn’t foresee. And then there is only one word written on your heart: Gratitude.