Human beings are fixed creatures. We like knowing what comes next, planning ahead, and most of us are not fond of unexpected surprises unless there is a birthday cake involved. Routine keeps us feeling secure, and structure for a recovering addict, is imperative. We need to set boundaries. We require lines to be drawn. It’s in our best interest that we follow simple guidelines.
I do my best to keep myself on track, but it’s easy to become frazzled when my structure or routine is infringed upon, like this morning, when the shower water was lukewarm instead of hot. More and more I am learning the significance of going with the flow and letting go of my ties to the world around me. I often get reminded that I must be in a mindset of continuous surrender. Boundaries and structure are good, but being flexible saves me from feeling stressed out when things do not exactly go my way.
I grew up with a family who were all sticklers about time. If we didn’t show up to the dock when the boat was scheduled to leave, we were either left behind or lectured and ridiculed. Until just recently, if I was running late anywhere, I became overwhelmed with anxiety. As a mother now, I try to give my own children the space to learn structure and boundaries without being militant. When we get set in our ways, it sets us up for disappointment, and we experience unnecessary stress when rules are broken. It is so much simpler to live in flexibility mode, as opposed to being rigid and formatted.
Our self-will is a dominating force that desires to be the driver in our life, but we should be aware of constant reminders, like traffic and moody children, teaching us to lighten up. It is not the end of the world if I am five minutes late, or if my plans unexpectedly change. If I don’t go jogging today, or even for a week, I am not going to fall out of shape. If dinner burns because something interrupted my cooking, it is not going to matter tomorrow. Everything in life is subject to change. Literally, everything. I often tell my eleven year old (who gets apprehensive when plans change), “be still like the water and go with the flow”.
If there are people in your life who drift rather than root themselves, or those who constantly spill milk in your presence; instead of yelling at them, try to take a step back and muster up a smile. Thank the universe for people who are teaching you that life is not about your rules and expectations. Once you receive the lesson, you won’t be as overcome with emotion when things don’t go according to your plans. You may even discover less unexpected things occurring when you surrender to the world and people around you.
As I showered in lukewarm water this morning, I stopped myself from being annoyed and thought, Well this is one more lesson in surrender. I have no control over this situation, but at least I have water.
You see, we are not the conductors of our lives; we are merely passengers on a journey. No matter the circumstance, the speed, or the turbulence, we should try to get a window seat and simply enjoy the view!