I’d like to share a story about the Art of Giving Up. Yes, giving up – giving up the pushing, the striving, the over-thinking, the struggle. Giving it up. Surrendering. I hope this story may inspire and help you if you are finding yourself struggling or pushing with a topic in your life.
A few weeks ago I found myself in a rough spot. I was researching a technology and marketing topic, and finding so many different opinions and approaches. Nothing felt clear or straightforward, I was over-thinking and analyzing the situation, and feeling it, it felt hard. In addition to this topic, I was down about my personal life. My son had tested positive for COVID and wasn’t going to come home for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was enough to trigger my story about being single, and all the feelings started to take over. Sigh.
It brought me to an afternoon on my couch, eating a bag of red licorice…angry, confused, sad, discouraged, tired…all of it. I didn’t have the energy to find my center again and gain clarity about a way forward. I had spiraled down and was hurting.
I laid down on my couch to take a nap, and said to myself “I give up”, it was sincere, I had had enough. And in the moment when I said that, I felt a whisper that said “good”. Over the days and week or so that followed, I was reminded of the gift of giving up, totally surrendering, accepting what is, then feeling God take over with divine inspiration. Here’s what I got clear on about The Art of Giving Up:
- It’s Good to Give Up. It’s really a good thing to give up. So often we think we need to push our way through and just work hard. When it gets hard or difficult we may dig in even more. I was reminded that it is good to give up, to stop the struggle, to stop the pushing, and say I surrender, I give up. I think it’s a sign of strength to give up, there’s no shame in it.
- Notice How You Feel. How we feel is such a great indicator of whether to continue on, to persevere, or whether it may be time to step back, give it some distance, and surrender it. I was driving myself into a hole of opinions, perspectives, approaches, none of which felt good. If I would have paid attention to how I was feeling, I may have stopped before I hit such a rough spot.
- Accept It. This is a hard one. It’s really the only way through. Accept it. Accept what’s hard. One way I do this is to put my hands over my heart, and in a little meditation take some breaths, breathe it in and say to myself that I accept it. When you accept that the topic is hard and difficult, you are not pushing it away or resisting it, you are accepting it. When I accept it in my heart this way, I don’t feel like I am fighting against it anymore. My heart takes it in and finds a way to love myself a little more, accepting it, not fighting or resisting. I am reminded again that my heart is immense and spacious, and can find a way to accept, forgive, and love it’s way through. The love of the heart is a beautiful instrument, it helps you to accept and deeply trust what is.
- Change Your Focus. Then, as you give up and accept, change your focus. Give yourself some space from the difficult topic, give yourself some distance. Remember what brings you joy and happiness. It may make no sense to your logical mind to distance yourself from what you think needs your attention, but follow the logic of your heart. Take a break from it and do what makes you joyful. Change your focus. Go be in nature, bake, paint, take a bath, exercise, play with kids, read a book, watch a movie.
- Pay Attention to Divine Inspiration. Then it will happen. I always notice in myself that I want it to happen immediately, right now. It’s probably not going to happen immediately. Do your best to give that up and follow what feels good. And then in those moments of feeling good, the divine inspiration can find you. It will sneak up on you. The whisper, the idea, the nudge, the inkling. It will find you. It doesn’t look like pushing or struggling. I find that divine inspiration feels good and opens the heart. All good signs, even if it may not make logical sense. The creativity of divine inspiration needs space…give it space and trust it to show up.
So, I found my way through with these steps. I gave up, I accepted, I shifted focus, I listened for divine inspiration. Then I found myself in the adventure and unfolding of life with an open heart again. My business problem feels lighter and a new resource to help me showed up. And somehow I was reminded that being single is a sacred gift…bringing me closer to that beloved. My heart has been filled with love and joy lately. I am not forcing my logical mind to figure it out.
I’d like to help you or someone you know walk gently down the path of giving up. Check out this tool for a process to guide you or someone you know through: https://jilldianesaunders.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Give-Up_edited-1.pdf
Giving up, surrendering is a magical art that opens up your head and heart to a flow of possibility, guidance, and insight. Do try it. There are heavenly forces just waiting to swoop you up and fill you with divine inspiration when you give up pushing your way through.