As I set out to walk my dog in the thick of our recent New England cold snap, I discovered I had left my ipod shuffle in the glove compartment overnight. Music is normally my joyful distraction, from let’s say noticing I am starting to turn into a block of ice. Of course, certain songs tend to do the job better than others. A few select tunes in my collection had come to grow on me more than others. So I would typically play those over and over as I walked.
On this sub-zero morning, however, my shuffle dial was frozen! I could not fast forward, nor go backward. After minutes of incessant pressing and trying to get it to do what I wanted, I heard the voice of my grandmother, when she would see me insist on forcing something that wasn’t working, despite all of my efforts.
“Lascia sta’”, she would admonish. “Let it be.”
I had to get my glove back on in a hurry anyway, so there was no choice but to let the ipod take charge of me. I went with it.
To my surprise, I was led back to some fantastic songs that I had almost forgotten about, having been so fixed on repeating my faves. Now I remembered why I had downloaded those tunes to begin with. It was because I loved them! And it was like hearing them again for the first time. I was now in such bliss that I hardly noticed the cold at all anymore; I was so busy singing at the top of my lungs.
Sometimes letting things just “be” when we have done our best and still can’t change them, is the wisest strategy we can take. Despite our tendency to want to be able to control everything in our lives, there will always be some things, that, despite our efforts, we have no say over. I fear we are gradually losing the ability to accept that fact, and in the process we become more stressed and frustrated, to the point of getting ourselves sick. In the end, we may have just been better off, letting things happen as they will, and going with the flow. Happiness, after all , is about enjoying each day as it comes–despite the glitches.
The next time you get frustrated over something you try to change to no avail, “lascia stare”, leave it alone, let it go. Work with whatever is meant to be, and let yourself feel happy anyway. Flex your flexibility muscle. Learn to make the best of any situation, and discover unexpected joys along the way. Most important–you will do it without paying the price of your well-being.