Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Letting Go

C. S. Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963)

Since it is St. Patrick's Day and because I have a significant amount of Irish blood in me, I want to mention one of the most brilliant Irish authors ever (in my opinion).
His name is C. S. Lewis . I am fascinated with his writings and I encourage you to become familiar with his work, if you haven't already.

Recently, I ran across yet another thought-provoking quote by C. S. Lewis. He said, "The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose." If you consider this quote, it could be interpreted to mean something totally polar opposite from my understanding. So with apologies to Mr. Lewis, I humbly blog my explanation and application of this quote in my life.

I have a friend who is celebrating her 40-something birthday today...on St. Patrick's Day. After contemplating a conversation we had I consider her brilliant, too. Hopefully you will understand why after reading this blog.

You know how they say 'true friends will be honest with you even when it hurts.' Well, about two months ago this 'true friend' called me and treated me to dinner. At first she was really sympathetic and acknowledged my ongoing trials and tribulations. Then, with no warning at all, she let loose! And to be honest it hurt like HELL! In short, this is what she told me....

Your problem is not the peripheral things in your life. Your problem is YOU!
YOU are the problem! YOU are miserable because you can't control life. YOU are miserable because YOU are unwilling to let go of trying to control things and to cause the results that YOU think should occur. YOU have to realize that it's not yours to control and manage.
YOU are going to have to let go. That does not mean YOU don't care. It just means YOU stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave a certain way. YOU need to surrender to the way things are temporarily. YOU can't do the impossible, but YOU can do the possible. That means laugh, love, and take care of yourself.

After she said all this I didn't know whether to get up and leave or hug her. Well, I didn't leave. I let her words sink in and as painful as it was, I told her she was correct. And I even thanked her.

So back to C. S. Lewis. I think that's what he was saying when he said, "The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose" is that if I really want the life that God wants for me, I must be willing to let go of the life I had planned.

Sweet release.
Thanks to C. S. Lewis and my friend.

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