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I remember it like it was yesterday, rushing to the hospital because I just knew something serious was wrong with me. During my last year of graduate school, I would experience sporadic episodes of insomnia, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Before applying and getting accepted into graduate school, I would hear these crazy stories and see funny memes depicting the intensity and high stress level that graduate school can bring…and boy were they correct! Don’t get me wrong, graduate school was an amazing time, enabling me to hone in on my social work career; however it was also the test of all test, ultimately becoming an eye opener to an important lesson – letting go.
After countless trips to the doctor, various labs, and EKG’s, everything came back normal. It was not until six months post graduate school that I was finally diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was shocked to say the least. After all, I’m a social worker so how did I ignore all the signs my body gave me, pointing to high stress levels and anxiety? Secondly, I practiced self-care A LOT! So how did I even have anxiety?
Truth be told, graduate school was so stressful so I could understand why I would have panic attacks, but after graduation they were still happening. After spending time self-reflecting, I became more aware of my difficulty in letting things go, specifically the uncontrollable.
Letting go of the Past
Letting go of the past has been one of the biggest challenges that I still face. I can become so wrapped in the “what ifs”, “could haves”, and so forth, leading to anxiety. At times I would consume myself with thoughts about failed dating experiences or the ending to a friendship, wondering if I had some huge flaw.
I frequently engaged in negative, illogical thinking, blaming myself in regards to how things played out in my life. One day I realized that sometimes the removal of people or certain situations can be a positive thing and beneficial for growth.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is important to look in the mirror if you constantly find yourself losing friends and other significant people in your life – it may very well be a call for some serious self-improvement and inner reflection.
However, in this case, letting go of my past involved accepting the unchangeable – the uncontrollable. The saying “the past is the past,” began to ring true to me. The past was simply something I could not control, so why harbor on it and beat myself up about it? It’s important to be thankful for whatever ups and downs, breakups, gains, and losses you’ve gone through because it’s all a learning experience. It’s a part of life and your story! Forgive yourself and others…then move on.
Live in the Present
Living in the present is still something I struggle with because my mind is always moving a million miles per hour. I’m constantly setting goals for the future or frequently daydreaming about some adventure I would like to take - sometimes to the point that I am blinded to what is really going on before me.
Look, we all have busy schedules, but it is essential to live in the present moment and simply cherish it. You cannot get time back, plus tomorrow is not promised. So for your sanity, it’s okay to take in a deep breath and relax, not allowing your mind to get lost in the past or future.
God is in Control
So right off the bat I have noticed that I am a planner when it comes to my daily life. Since I have my to do lists and goals written out, I automatically think things will and should go as I planned and boy when things deviate from my “perfect plan” I can become frantic.
It always felt like I could “not catch a break” when it came to finances, health, dating, and managing my work load during graduate school. That was until I changed my mindset. Instead of wallowing in my stressful time, I embraced it and thanked God in advance for the outcome, causing an unspeakable peace.
Simply put, trusting God is all you can do in stressful situations and truthfully that is exactly what he yearns for us to do at all times. He wants us to believe and have faith that he will get us through the unforeseen. Think about some of your most difficult situations – did you make it out? I know I did! I also made it out stronger, reiterating the power of God’s plan, timing, and faithfulness.
Once again, tomorrow is not promised, so enjoy life while working towards the plan and purpose set for your life! "Let go. Let God." XOXOXO!
I want to hear from you!
I want to hear from you! Have you ever experienced difficulty in letting go of a situation? If so, how did you end up coping with it? Drop your comments below! XOXOXO