Let ‘It’ Make You
I was living for awhile with the father of a good friend. In a three year period he’d lost his wife to drowning, his daughter (my friend) to illness, then his aged mother. The three women in his life gone, one after the other, and this was the kind of man, very smart in an absent-minded-professor kind of way, who had let those women around him make most of his domestic decisions, decisions like what color to paint the room, what’s for dinner, where do we go on holidays, like that. So now he was kind of lost and freewheeling when it came to personal decisions.
One week I told him I noticed that he was stressing more than usual lately, and asked what was up. He had recently been dating a single mother, from another city two hours away, and said she really wanted him to move, to sell his house and move in with her. He liked her very much, but was stressing, trying to decide what to do. He lived in the same house he’d been in during the years of his daughter’s illness, the same house only a couple hundred yards from the river channel that claimed his wife. It was a wonderful property, 35 acres, with wild mountains behind, no other homes right next to it, a garden, hot tub, greenhouse, the works. Nice and wild area, nice view of the valley. He loved it both for itself, and because he didn’t seem ready to let go of the memories yet, either. But he was lonely and also wanted to live with the new girlfriend, who couldn’t leave her own city for various reasons.
Right away, I saw what was truly stressing him, and saw that he hadn’t realized it yet. I said, “Is there any reason you HAVE to make this decision right now?” He stopped for a moment, I could see that sink in. He said, “Well… no…” I said, “If there’s no emergency, nothing pressing or dependent on you making an immediate decision, why not let it go… let things take their own shape in their own time? Why force this decision, if there’s no hurry?”
It was just what he needed to hear, it was exactly what was bothering him. I could see him visibly and totally relax, right then and over the next days. It is true that some decisions in life arise that must be chosen immediately, or with time limits… but he was piling on the enormous weight of immediacy, to a decision that had no necessary immediacy. She was not giving him deadlines or ultimatums, just saying that she really wanted him to move in with her. It was his own mind that added the turmoil of trying to decide this immediately.
When we stop trying to force actions and decisions that have no real reason to be compelled right away, we open our minds to relaxation, to allowing more time to pass while we see how more things, more factors, play out. We stop the effort of making, forcing decisions, and start allowing the circumstances to weave their natural patterns and arrive at more gentle, organic solutions for us. And those solutions are so perfect, they MAKE us do them. Given enough time and freedom, we let ‘it’ make us do it.
It eventually will, every time.
Do you have to try decide to go to the bathroom? No, you go through your day, and as your body needs to expel wastes, it tells you, urges you, makes you. You don’t need to decide the exact time to sit or lay down and rest; when you really need to sit down, or sleep, your body urges you and you eventually obey. And when you’ve been resting, there comes a time when you’ve rested enough and begin to feel antsy, energetic, so you get up and move around. You don’t need to decide that… ‘it’ makes you. You don’t need to decide when to eat, because your body begins to feel hungry and you are eventually urged towards finding a meal.
There are times, events that do force us to make immediate decisions or decisions within a time limit. And there are times when this ISN’T necessary, yet we fall into the habit of thinking we must decide right away. Or we’re pressured by someone else to make the decision immediately… when really, there is no reason for us to make an immediate decision, other than to appease the controlling tactics or impatient nature of others. Learn to tell the difference: if it is something you don’t need to rush or force.. then LET ‘IT’ MAKE YOU DO IT.
Do your thing, carry on as usual, think and talk and work, but don’t try to force that decision. Allow that decision all the time and freedom it needs to work itself out, to find its own definite conclusion, and if and when those events click into place, those events will MAKE you take that course of action.
We want to do things. We want relationships to work out, we want jobs to work out, we want our home and family and projects and health and travel and interests to work out. That simple seed of ‘wanting’ will keep you rolling along to your eventual choices. It keeps the gears turning both in your head and around you in your life. If you stop forcing decisions, it doesn’t mean you’re afraid of deciding, that you’re procrastinating, lazy, neglectful, absent-minded… it means you’re allowing events to age, like fine wine, having a trust and wisdom that things are progressing and evolving, and that they will progress and evolve with even more perfection than if you were to force them.
For my friend’s father, it worked perfectly. He stopped trying to force the decision about selling his home and moving. He let it happen, let it play out. In a few months, he and his girlfriend felt there were not deep enough sparks between them, not the kind that would make them want to spend the rest of their lives together, and they stopped dating. He eventually met another lady, they both sold their old homes a few years later and bought a new one together, and married. He gave his circumstances the space to do their own work, he got his ‘forcing’ out of the way, and then ‘it’ happened in its own way, on its own terms.
LET IT MAKE YOU DO IT.
There was a period during my deep mind-exploration years that I played with this, experimented in letting things ‘make’ me do them. When I awoke, I would lay in bed, not trying to decide what time to get out of bed. Sometimes I had nothing on my schedule to arise for, other times there was an appointment, meeting, something to rush me. Either way, whether from becoming naturally restless or from fear of missing a meeting, eventually the urge would force me to get up. One moment I’m in bed, comfortable, and the next moment, without even trying, I’m up and away, hardly remembering the moment I left the bed.
I took this experiment to the smallest degree for awhile. I wanted to see exactly what my body and mind urged me to do, without my forcing any decisions. I tried it with eating… when, where, how much, what food. I’d fine-tune it… I’d be lifting a forkful to my mouth, and maybe in mid-lift the urge would be gone. I wouldn’t finish that meal, whether there was a bite left or half the plate. Every activity of the day, I practiced this, just to see what my insides urged me to do and to not do. This exercise was one of the more powerful contributors to clearly seeing my own mind, the hidden crevices I’d never explored before.
I remember walking down our main street. Just walking, I had no destination or meeting planned. I came to this corner downtown… and simply had no feeling of which way to go. Do I cross the road and carry on straight, or go right, or left, or turn around the way I came, or enter a store… what?
Since I was practicing my explorations with a determined bravery, I would do certain things – if I thought they were important to explore – even at the cost of the people around looking at me as if I’d lost a few shingles in the last storm. So I stood on that corner, with people walking past, waiting until my feet began moving of their own accord. I decided to let ‘it’ make me move, in some direction, rather than deciding myself when and where to move.
And as I said, it always works. Something always makes you move. I might have stood there three or four minutes, not trying to stand there stiff, but not trying to force myself to move, either, just looking like a loon standing there doing nothing. Allowing. And then, I was walking. I’d hardly even noticed starting to walk again, it was as natural as breathing.
You don’t need to remember any of this, you don’t have to ‘try’ any of these tools, don’t need to worry over whether or not you should do any of the unusual ‘exercises’ I mention myself going through. I did them as they came to me naturally, I didn’t read them anywhere. I allowed them to come to me, I explored them, and I wanted to. I went into those strange zones so I could, years later, return to ‘normal’, return to boring, ha, and to tell others that you don’t need to do all that unusual stuff in order to clear your mind and clear up your life. Keep your normal life, you don’t need to force any changes.
I had to put this tool to use in writing this tool, ha. I began roughing it out a few days ago. I was anxious to write it, get it out there for you, add another post to my new blog. I even began stressing a little, after each day of the words just not coming to me clearly. But I let this tool do its work: I stopped trying to write this post. I decided to not even actively think about it, to LET IT MAKE ME DO IT. In its own time and way, since I had planted the seed of wanting to write about it, I knew it would build up some kind of pressure naturally, like having to eat or sleep, and then I would do it, with no forcing or effort on my part.
Last night I jumped in the hot tub outside, under the dark sky and cold stars. (It is winter here.) Later I climbed out, ran around the corner to chase the wild horses out of the front yard – it’s difficult to relax in a hot tub when there are wild horses snorting and pawing up your lawn at midnight. I came in the house, lay down in bed to read, grabbed this notepad I keep on the bedside table… and the writing just came, I scratched out the text for today’s tool. This morning I’m typing it.
If you dissolve your stressful need to decide things, to force yourself to do things that don’t really need to be forced… you’ll begin to clearly see what your mind, body, and world want you to do. And be. Give them the time, relaxation, space, to allow their genius to work. Shift your forceful intentions out of their way. When you let ‘it’ make you do things, then you also let it make YOU, create you, define you. And ‘it’ has a much clearer, more perfect, powerful and fantastic way of doing things than you do.
Stop forcing what doesn’t need forcing:
LET ‘IT’ MAKE YOU DO IT.