Here’s a good thing and a good motto or mantra to take on. Let it go. There is so much we can take on personally. Only if you know someone through and through can you truly get the sense if any commentary, words, or statements they make are meant to be personal, be it boss, co-workers, childhood friends, spouse, Harper Valley PTA members, etc… The good thing is to assume the best in other’s intentions. Rarely, if ever, is it meant to be malicious even though you may perceive it to be so.
What does this mean, let it go? How can it be applied daily? It’s something I remind myself all the time. And I didn’t really come by it so much until I was out of the Air Force and into Head Start. What do you mean assume positive intent in others??? Why should I assume someone meant the best when it’s so much fun to just think they meant me harm…then fire up a flamed email or find a way to get back. Tried that once or twice in the Air Force, it never goes so well. Actions acted upon in anger, just seems to bring about so much negative energy, so little productive outcomes. Here’s the litmus test…if we all took on that method, we would always assume others meant us harm and what kind of life is that? It would kind of be like being Donald Trump and no one wants that person in your life or to work with. Have you ever seen good outcomes in the end come out of assuming the worst? Granted the 1% of times when someone actually does have ill intent in their actions, you may be surprised by it, blind-sided, but chances are your sense of others and knowing who to trust will win out before it ever actually comes to that. Don’t know if all that makes sense or not?
Someone may tell you that you have to be hardened to the world, un-jaded, clear-eyed and aware of others intents and question them. Screw that. For me, that’s no way to live. Not sure overall if people like me more than those that don’t, but if you live an authentic life and are honest and genuine with people, chances are people are going to attend your funeral and say nice things during the eulogy. Living for the space between the dates…the dash, you know like Born 1968 — Died ????, and doing that well with kindness and understanding for others, that’s the secret sauce right there. Living for the dash, and letting things go beyond your control. Don’t stress, worry, consternate over others peoples action that may cause you some level of hurt in the present, but tomorrow is a new day where you have a chance to just let it go.
I’d rather die an optimist with good thoughts about others and humanity than to die a bitter old man reading into others words and actions with some spirit of malice. This has all been very self-help’y so it’s more a journal entry than something you read and think…oh, that’s cool, that is a good thing. Not sure what your life journey is but the Fish Philosophy out of Seattle’s Pike Street Market has served me well. So if any of this “letting things go” peaks an interest in you, check out the following:
So letting things go doesn’t mean it’s okay to accept others behaviors when that behavior causes you some sort of pain. Be authentic, talk to them directly and work through it. Then you just let it go. That doesn’t mean you won’t suffer, suffering is part of life. People are born (happy life event), people die (sad ending). How do you deal with the pain of loss and the things that fall into your “sad” bucket? The western world philosophy that many of us have grown up with teaches some level of guilt. We were all born miserable sinners and the only way we can let go of our ugly imperfect natures is to feel bad, beg for forgiveness from a higher power then the price has been paid…you can let it go. I’d also suggest the Buddhist tenet of embracing suffering and turn it into acceptance and happiness/wellness. That may sound like a bunch of hooey eastern religion mumbo jumbo, but it’s not. Buddhist aren’t trying to convert anybody. It ain’t in the dogma. But being a philosophy vs. a religion means that approaches to life, strategies can be borrowed with out going full tilt buying you a golden Buddha and putting it in a well-lighted place. So this really is for myself, really. Here’s my takeaways, 1) Practice the Elusive Art of Letting Things Go, 2) Assume the Best in Others Intent, and 3) When Life Does Hit Ya with a Gut Punch…embrace suffering, accept it and move through it back to wellness and happiness. There shouldn’t be pressure daily to have to be happy. That’s part of our societal expectation and it just isn’t realistic. Peace out Peeps.