Let Go, and Let God
Do you find that these feelings are recurring, as these people who cause them just cannot seem to change or get better?
I had a revelation of sorts recently. It came to me in various forms – Facebook shared article, online reflection piece, advice from a priest during reconciliation service. The message was the same. The root cause of our unhappiness and anger and frustration stems not from the faults and failures of others, but from our own unmet expectations.
As a schoolteacher, I often have to set expectations for my students. It is usual practice to get annoyed and reprimand them when they do not meet the expectations, as we are responsible, to some extent, for their character formation and also examination results.
As a manager, I have to set clear expectations for my staff so that their work is carried out properly. So expectations are necessary in some cases for one to maintain certain standards at work, but this mentality often stays with us and affects all other aspects of our lives.
For example, you get home and your spouse has not prepared dinner or helped the kids with their homework. Anger and disappointment arise in you, and you start to behave in a manner that would probably cause you some regret later. The feelings are not wrong in themselves, it is how we deal with those feelings that call our morality into question. In other words, caving in to these feelings often lead us to sin. As such, it is important to pay attention to these feelings, as they signal areas in our lives that need deep examination and healing.
We often hear of the phrase “Let go and let God.”
In order to find the peace and joy promised by leading a life in Christ, we have to learn to let go of these expectations, and turn our attention away from ourselves to God.
Truly, this is easier said than done, as such expectations are usually deeply rooted in us, formed from a complex interaction of social and personal influences.
“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11)
One way of learning to let go is to simply be still in the presence of God. There are a few forms of Christian meditation that you might wish to try out. I learned about one such discipline recently, recommended by the meditation practitioners of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM).
This discipline is centred on the doctrine that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. In becoming one with the mind of Christ, we take attention off ourselves, and leave the self behind.
“The aim in Christian meditation is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become more and more not only a reality, but the reality which gives meaning, shape and purpose to everything we do, everything we are.” John Main OSB
Instructions for meditation: Sit in an upright posture, remaining still with eyes lightly closed.
Begin to silently recite a single word, such as “Maranatha”, focusing on nothing else except the four syllables. Continue the recitation for twenty to thirty minutes, twice daily.
“Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)
Let us continue to pray for one another as we journey towards a fuller life in Christ.