When friends and family members are going through a rough time, often our immediate reaction is to try to resolve the situation for them and control the outcome. If a romantic relationship hits a rough patch, we cling harder, trying to convince the other person to stay.
However, by easing our grip on relationships and circumstances that feel out of control at work or home, we gain the power to take charge of our own lives and inspire others to live their own greatness.
Drawbacks of Being Everyone's Traffic Cop
When the traffic signals at an intersection go on the fritz, and a white-gloved policeman shows up to direct traffic, we're relieved someone took charge of the chaos. However, if the cop stayed after the lights were repaired, and insisted on controlling traffic one car at a time, we'd get annoyed.
In a similar vein, when we try too hard to direct all the activities and results in our relationships, we interfere with others' opportunities to grow and make their own choices. When you step up to be that helpful fix-it person again and again, you set yourself up for issues. These include resentments on the part of others (and yourself, when they don't take your advice), feeling unappreciated and disrespected, exhaustion and additional stress, rapid aging, and chronic tension.
If you believe it's your job to prevent relationships from falling apart and to coordinate everyone's happiness and well being, others rely on you to take over when they have a challenge, but paradoxically, they resent your interference, no matter how helpful or loving it might be.
The roots of clinging behavior can quickly grow deeper and wider. Every aspect of your life is affected. You feel the burden to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Your misplaced sense of responsibility can become so strong that other parts of your life—those soul-wishes for happiness and fulfillment—begin to wither from lack of attention.
Balance Love of Others with Love of Self
Balancing your love for others with love for yourself is the key to finding the calm confidence and peace of mind everyone craves. When you are steadily on course with your own dreams, and living on purpose to create a life that is joyful and expansive, it becomes much simpler to allow others to live their own lives, too, even if they do it in ways you would never choose.
And, yes, that may even mean a relationship important to you comes to an end, or changes in a way that you at first want to resist. Clinging to the old and trying to force others to see things your way is never the path for creating more growth. Loving yourself and others means learning how to release the other person to go on their own journey and discover what makes them happy. Reassure them that you have faith in their ability to make the right decisions and to enjoy positive outcomes. When appropriate, declare your love and affection for them.
Reap Your Rewards
The secret power of letting go contains a seed within that will blossom and flourish if you nurture it. You will be gifted with:
• Peace of mind
• Ability to intuitively support others in their own growth while ceasing to micro-manage their every move
• Energy to pursue your own vision
As you practice letting go, instead of clinging out of fear the situation will get worse, you'll discover that events and relationships will become more easygoing, fulfilling and harmonious.
The power of letting go is a secret because so few people are using it. It's a lost art that millions seek, not understanding they are looking for it somewhere out there, when it resides inside, ready to access at will. Try it: I believe you'll enjoy your new sense of freedom to love your own life, on your terms.
Evelyn Roberts Brooks is a bestselling author, speaker and transformational life coach. Go to evelynbrooks.com to enjoy over 400 free articles, free webinar invitations and to receive your free 3-Way Guilt & Stress Busters gift collection. To learn more about W.A.I.T. and other tools for working in harmony with the universal laws, see her book, "You Were Born to Triumph: Create a Five-Star Life in Your Quantum Kitchen." For your free parenting workshop video gift, "The Secret to Family Harmony, " and articles about raising great children and enjoying a happy family life, click here.