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On the Art of Letting Go

I am sure, if there was a grade for trying harder, I would get an A. Oh, but what about all the times I gave up in despair? Maybe I'm more of an all-or-nothing person than I realize.

It seems that any time we decide to do or to be better, it's really our ego deciding that we can do it on our own—our willpower!


But are we willing to follow Jesus who said that he only did those things he saw his Father doing; who instructed us to remain in the vine and let its life flow through us; who said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”?


So how do I lose my life --is that the same as my ego –those times when I take charge of deciding what I do and what is most important?


Richard Rohr says, “It will be done unto you”.


“So, what do I do,” I ask our Father, “while I'm waiting for “it “(whatever that is) to be done to me?”

“Just live,” comes the thought, I am sure accompanied by a grin.

Live, as in just go through my day doing what I always do?

Ah, Ha!


“God,” says Paula D’Arcy, “shows up as your life.”


So, in the middle of my ordinary day, God is going to show up?


How will I know it is God?


I wonder if it is here that all the words I have been pondering begin to make sense - being awake, being aware, being present, being in the moment, being open, noticing...


Can I really let go of my life to that extent? There is the rub!


My commitment this year is to begin my day with the Welcoming Prayer. I have to tell you, that takes courage! Every day I begin:

  “Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.

 I welcome everything that comes my way                                                because I know it is for my healing.”

Everything? The good, the bad, the ugly?

And “my healing”? I'm agreeing to trust you, God, that You are present always and that you are totally committed to and immersed in my healing? That is both sobering and incredible.


Even that line would be enough, but there is more:

“I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.”

All? Again, that feels like the good, the bad, the ugly – oh, and I can add the beautiful.


So, I open myself up, and I begin to wonder if the actual invitation is not to judge, not to dualistically decide what is good or bad, ugly or beautiful... Just to let it be. Everything is welcome because God is present in it all.

 


Then the prayer continues with four phrases that all begin

“I let go of my desire...”

That struck me initially as amazing. Not “I give up” which for me has negative connotations (as I mentioned at the beginning when I was focused on trying harder), but a choice to let go, which somehow to me seems gentler -- maybe because my years of practicing centering prayer includes putting thoughts into boats and letting them float away… but that's a story for another day!

And then it says, “my desire”, not “my need”. That also seems meaningful to me.

 

I am so new to this, amid exploring all it means, wondering how it will work out in my daily life, opening myself up to possibility…

              “I open to the love and presence of God and God's action in my life.”  Amen-- so be it.

                                             My daily bread.


And some day, I will wake up and realize what has been done to me.

 

Does this resonate with you? Is there an invitation from God for you? Are you willing to try it?

My daughter shared an idea she had heard about trying a new habit: try it on for a few weeks. Don’t start it as if you must do it forever. See if it brings you life.

 

Open yourself to the wonder of God’s presence with you and His desire to bring you life and that more abundant.

 

 

Here is the Welcome Prayer in full. I suggest you say the words slowly out loud and that you pause after each sentence.

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I welcome everything that comes to me today                                                        because I know it’s for my healing.

I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.

I let go of my desire for power and control.

I let go of my desire for affection esteem, approval, and pleasure.

I let go of my desire for survival and security.

I let go of my desire to change any situation condition, person or myself.

I open to the love and presence of God and God’s action within.

Amen.

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