So I haven’t written in a few weeks. Sorry! I’ve just been so busy with the holidays. I cooked my first Thanksgiving turkey and feast this year. It was super awesome! And my turkey came out so perfectly moist and yummy! My boyfriend said it was the best turkey he has ever had and that’s saying something because he’s a tough critic to please. I think the secret is all in the brining and cook time. I also made the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings – the stuffing, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, marshmallow topped yams, and cornbread. (Am I making you hungry yet?) I did have a minor case of the stomach flu, so I couldn’t fully indulge to the extent that I wanted to, and I also had to rush over and make it to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner as well. So that became a little hectic. But all and all we had a lovely time! And it was a joyful cooking experience! Hope all of your Thanksgiving’s were lovely as well!
Moving on, so because of all the holiday feasts, visiting friends and family, and my stomach illness, I have been under quite a lot of stress, which has turned me into one giant human knot of tension. I’ve been pretty irritable, snapping at the slightest things and yet trying so desperately to be kind all at the same time, which puts even more pressure on me. It’s a tough gig putting everything together. I’ve been trying to do some relaxing yoga sessions and taking time for myself to just rest, but you know how that goes. Saying and doing are two very different things. I was able to do it for the most part, but the last week or so I’ve completely let it all go. I stopped yoga. I stopped resting. I stopped eating even (mostly because of my flu). But I notice how run down and miserable I can get if I let go of my routine.
So it shows how important balance really is in our everyday lives, especially when we have added responsibilities and events going on. But what I did want to talk about today was this idea of just surrendering to it all. I know personally I can get so caught up with the idea of NEEDING to get everything done, even if it means sacrificing my own well being. How unhealthy is that, right? Instead, I’m learning that sometimes we just have to surrender to our busy schedules and our packed lives and just let go of those expectations we have of our selves.
But let’s take it even further. What does surrendering really mean? The dictionary defines “surrender” as ceasing resistance. So essentially when we stop resisting something, it means we are giving up our need for control of whatever it may be – a situation, person, event, etc. Sometime we need to just give up control of the things that are driving us mad or taking up too much of our energy. It may be things that we know are impossible to achieve or letting go of our need to please someone who is impossible to please. It may even go so far as giving up an idea that we really want to achieve, but know is just not possible at this time.
Sometimes when we try TOO hard, it just creates more stress and more misery in our lives. Think about those times when you go on a date and you try too hard to wear the perfect outfit, perfect make up, perfect heels, and perfect hair. You try your hardest to be super interesting and funny and yet the date becomes a total flop. The chemistry is off. You can sense that they are just not interested. You feel unhappy because you’re not getting the results you want. And yeah, sometimes it’s because it just doesn’t work out with some people, but more often times it’s because we are just trying too hard to create an outcome we desire, and when we do that we end up subconsciously sabotaging it. If we just acted natural in the first place, and worried instead about just enjoying ourselves rather than it resulting in our anticipated outcome, things might run a bit smoother.
Sometimes trying is a good thing. It’s good to try our best at something we want to work at, but there is a thin line between trying our best and trying too hard. When we try too hard, we put in too much effort to control the situation and controlling something is nearly impossible because in reality, we have no control over anything. Instead we have to practice surrendering. Ceasing resistance. Allowing things to unfold naturally rather than putting pressure on them to unfold into a certain outcome.
How can we practice surrendering? Next time you feel upset or angry because something just isn’t going right, ask yourself if you’re trying too hard or putting too much weight on the outcome you desire. Most of the time, we are trying too hard. We are so desperate for that desirable outcome that we do everything we can to make it happen. So step back. Just throw your hands up and say, “you know what, I’m going to be ok no matter what happens.” If you can begin to surrender and accept any outcome, you will begin to feel more peace in your heart and less stress on your body.
When tasks began to add up for me during the holiday week, I could’ve just stopped what I was doing and said, “hey, I need to rest for 20 minutes today before I take on all these tasks. I don’t need to get it all done right this second. Or have everything be completely perfect.” But I didn’t. And maybe that’s why I had to pay the consequences of my body falling ill after. But next time I am feeling the pressure, I’m going to make sure I’m not trying too hard to meet these expectations that I have on myself so that I could achieve the outcome I desire. So what if things don’t go exactly as I hope? And even if I do disappoint a few or even myself, is it going to be the end of the world? No. It’s not.
So do yourself a favor and practice that sweet surrender that we all need at times. You’re not a failure if you do. You’re not giving up. You’re not going to blow your chances. Just listen to your heart and realize that you don’t have to do it all or be it all. That sometimes giving it your best shot, is all you can do. And then leave the rest up to fate. Surrender and trust that there is a bigger plan in motion and that one way or another, you will be ok.
The Self Love Daily Challenge:
Practice surrendering, especially when under stress or pressure from yourself or others. Don’t try so hard. Just try.