The father of following your bliss, Joseph Campbell said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”
Many of us have suffered loss and disappointment this last year, or maybe in this life so far. I am proposing an idea that you can let all that pain go if you choose. I can imagine that seems rude or insensitive to suggest that you can choose to let the pain from your past go. You may be thinking, “I can’t just let go of this pain. My loss happened TO me. I didn’t control that. I can’t make it go away. I can’t change it.”
You are right. And please consider, could it be possible that the disappointment and loss that we have suffered can be exactly the way it is AND we choose to live life today as if we have never been hurt and disappointed even though we have. Maybe you can relate, I have thought that if my loss, disappointment, failure or whatever hadn’t happened, then I would be able to be happy, successful, whatever. This belief is the problem.
This last year was an intense year for me. Along with the normal challenges of money and career, my grandfather and my close first cousin that was the same age as passed away. I planned for my loved ones to be successful, healthy and happy. Then they weren’t. Sometimes this is enough to derail an entire life. Have you ever thought you couldn’t openly be happy and successful because someone else you care about was miserable?
Campbell talks about letting go the “life we have planned”. This is an essential element of highly effective people and also of happy people. It’s letting the life you have be ok and then going for the life you prefer. You have to let go what you thought you wanted when you can no longer have it. Only after you let go of a past you can’t change anyway do you free yourself up to create and embrace a future that you would prefer.
Here is my new years wish for you. I wish and pray that you are able to be independent of the good or the bad from your past. Use your past as lessons to make better decisions today. And don’t use your past as an excuse that you can no longer go for what you want because you have “learned” that you only get hurt when you risk. Love and give and risk because of who it makes you. When you love in spite of being hurt you learn to love in a deeper way. When you give in spite of there being no chance of your gift being reciprocated you experience the intrinsic joy of giving. When you risk with no assurance of success, you experience the exhilaration of life that only comes from risk and doing something that you are scared to do.
So happy new year! Choose to make it the most loving, most giving, most exciting year that you have ever chosen to have.