Being high-strung has gotten me nowhere. When you’ve got a very particular idea of how things should be, it’s far too easy for everything to let you down. There’s constant planning and predicting every possible outcome, weighing and measuring options, willing certain situations to happen and others to not, and the worrying that never ceases. Every little unknown on the horizon stokes a new anxiety, a heart suffering under the strain of that fact that there is only so much within our control, and that there are endless amounts to see and accomplish and seemingly never enough time. Circumstances feel like they’re against us. Things don’t fall into place exactly how we wanted or designed. Negative energy abounds.
But through my forays and frustrations, I’ve learned a new secret; and it’s nothing to do with the common suggestions of meditation, new energy and intentions, or following astrological rules (though all those things may help, too). It’s about facing our inherent fears of the spontaneous and the unpredictable, and believing in intuition where logic fails or simply doesn’t apply. It’s about that bundle of nervous excitement in your stomach when you’re in a new situation and that anxious energy of the possible coursing through you when you’ve lost (or chosen not to abide by) your map.
When things don’t seem to be going my way, instead of cursing Murphy’s Law (“everything that can go wrong will go wrong”), I try to translate my angst into some level of faith and trust in the universe and its unfolding. It’s a concept as simple as letting go and saying, “Okay, I will no longer fight this,” and “Okay, what else can I take from this?” Whether you personally believe that all events are completely random or that everything happens for a reason, there is an undeniable benefit to an easy-going attitude. Mainly, your own mood and sanity.
Refusing to obsess over or resist a hitch in your plans doesn’t have to mean you stop trying and striving for the things you want, or that you give up on the things you believe in and relinquish yourself to some other power beyond you. It just means events that seem negative or against you at first can be looked at in a new light and turned into positive learning experiences, at the very least. So you missed your train, so you were laid off, so your relationship has ended, so your plans fell through. Allow yourself to mourn whatever loss you need to mourn, but instead of wallowing in the unfairness of what seems like your bad fortune, take a look at what else the universe has to offer you in the wake. Maybe there is a chance to rest and reflect, or other new opportunities in store. Maybe now just wasn’t the right time. Maybe you needed to be where you are for some reason you don’t even know yet. Maybe there is a small, secret part of you that kind of wanted things to screw up and happen this way. Maybe this isn’t really a screw up at all.
I’ve noticed that even when things seem to be going well and the world’s energy feels in line with my own, the most terrifying little coincidences will be there to reveal something new to me (and to remind me how silly it is to trust that things will ever truly go 100% smoothly). Perhaps I run into a ghost from the past, someone I dreaded ever seeing, in the most unlikely place or circumstance. Perhaps something uncanny will show itself to me after a breakup or the loss of a loved one, something that will pull me out of my sadness and offer me some new perspective. During the smooth times, it feels much easier to pick up on these types of signs and question what we can learn from them. But it’s during the tougher times that it’s the most important to open yourself up to seeing other sides of what at first look like unlucky situations. Making it a point to go with the flow, roll with the punches, or put faith in whatever other little clichés can bring you a smile or comfort on a tough day will bring you to the same lesson: you are just one tiny little piece in a giant, unfathomably complex mechanism – so how much control and structure do you really want to try and enact, especially when the effort and inevitable frustration is often to your own detriment? This doesn’t mean the world is innately cruel, that it has it out for you, or that it just doesn’t care about you at all, even when things seem to be going to complete shit. But it can mean a whole myriad of possibilities you never even had in mind if you allow it to.