3 Principles That Can Change Your Life
3 principles that can change your life revealed themselves to me through a quote.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a presentation on FAITH at a retirement community. I ended my presentation with this quote:
“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”
The quote struck a chord in many seniors who lined up to request that I write it out for them on scraps of paper they carried.
Later, I pondered the significance of those words. Rereading the quote several times, it occurred to me that these words contain the recipe for a happy and peaceful life.
Allow me to tease it apart for you.
1. Accept what is. Disappointments, rejections and unmet expectations weave through our days, in and out. We are called to accept. Every single day, and sometimes moment to moment in a single day.
A terminal diagnosis.
An adult child’s poor life choice.
An aging body that struggles to keep up.
A sister whose mean streak is a painful trigger, time and again.
What I know is this: We don’t have to like it, but we do have to accept it.
We’re not saying that it’s okay that it happened. We’re saying it happened.
Question to ask: Am I moving toward acceptance or resisting what is?
2. Let go of what was. Nobody created their future by living in their past. Yesterday is only good for reflection.
So, if your friend never returned the $500 she promised she would, all the mental energy you expend on the rights and wrongs of the situation won’t make you richer by $500. If you’ve done all you can and it’s still not here, let it go.
Same with not being to let go of a relationship that has soured. Focusing on how good it used to be is okay. But if you follow that up with a thought that says It’s not fair that it happened and I want it to be what it used to be you remain stuck in grief.
Letting go is a deep spiritual practice.
It is not the same as giving up. Giving up is about feeling weak and out of control. Letting go is about feeling empowered because you’re no longer grasping or clinging. It is a happy goodbye to something that lasted in your life for as long as it was meant to.
Question to ask: How am I clinging to what no longer serves me?
3. Have faith in what will be. We can’t see what’s round the corner. But if we live in high-alert mode trying to be safe, we miss out on the joys. Instead, if we can place our trust that all will be well, we ease into life’s flow. We breathe. We slow down. We open up and engage.
What will be is not a promised fairytale ending.
But faith lets us know that we can choose how to be in every situation.
We can choose to invest in possibility.
We can find the gem in the rubble.
We can trust that ultimately all is well.
Question to ask: Am I investing in fear and doubt or the best possible outcome?
If you’re stuck and unable to let go, trust or accept what is, write to me. Let’s find a way to help move you from striving to surrendering.
Thanks Uma, This message was very meaningful. I conduct reminiscence and life review workshops and always encourage the participants to reconcile the past with today and learn from, forgive and move on and appreciate where you are today and share the wisdom gained with the future generations.
Lee Q Miller
Thanks, Lee, for your thoughtful comment. I am glad this post resonated with you. How wonderful that you’re doing the kind of work that liberates people from the bondage of needless suffering.