“…when you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you’re free. To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up.” ― Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life While most of us start our day with the highest of expectations for ourselves and from others, sometimes things just don’t work out the way that we would like. Sometimes people disappoint us by not acting in a fair way, sometimes we disappoint others by doing the same. Instead of letting go of that thing that bothers us most or asking for forgiveness, we may have a tendency to ruminate over and over again turning a very “small” event into something that takes over our day, our month, or a significant part of our lives. While we could have just discarded a certain incident as inconsequential or a misunderstanding, we may hold on and allow it to become something so much bigger that steals our serenity for a long time to come. One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received in life is to keep our expectations low and our acceptance high. When we go into our day with this attitude, then we can accept life as it is, even when things go wrong. We can accept ourselves as we are in that moment even if we have not behaved authentically. And mostly, we can accept others as they stand even though we don’t agree. And when we accept things as they are, we are free. When we decide to not make a mountain out of a molehill, we can let go and allow ourselves to lighten up. Ruminating over something that has happened in the past is simply put, abuse. And as the serenity prayer sets forth, we have the privilege in life to set ourselves free from the abuse of others by releasing the things that we cannot change and free ourselves from abuse from ourselves by having the courage to change the things we can. And by focusing on the big picture, all the ridiculous minutiae just falls away as we are no longer allowing ourselves to be deterred form the bigger plan that is our life. And on a smaller scale, when we let go of the pettiness and release others from our expectations, we get to resume the experience of a wonderful day that remains to be enjoyed.
“Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace. . .” –Reinhold Niebuhr