2003-02-15 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

By Marilyn Gelfand

The expression "going with the flow" is very common, and we all use it. It’s difficult sometimes to do it. It means being able to be flexible enough to alter our thoughts or plans as life’s circumstances take us through a different route than was planned. We believe we have a lot more control over life than we actually do. Other people, timing issues and situations have causes that affect what we may be doing. Another way of looking at it is another expression.... Man plans and God laughs.

We can recognize that every similar situation does not have the same response. Our response may be determined by who we have to deal with or the emotional state of the other person at the time of the situation. The answer may not be known till that very moment on how to proceed. It is very important to not do things impulsively, but rather what my instincts advise. That way, there should be no backtracking to correct something that should not have been done or said.

Our own personal resistance to the flow is often what makes us crazy. We want it our way, and when it doesn’t happen, we get shocked, angry, disappointed, etc. Then we create barriers to understand that we were wrong to assume it would go our way in the first place. It is better to put things in motion without being married to a particular outcome, and then be able to step back, let it unfold and watch what happens. When we need to intervene, we do.

Going with the flow means knowing when to wait, when to take action, when to work hard, when to relax and when to listen. It involves a recognition that life is bigger than just my approach. Others see things their own way, the Universe has a greater understanding of circumstances that I cannot possibly understand from my perspective, and sometimes, life just happens. We always need to be able to stand back and allow ourselves to experience reality as it is, not necessarily what I want or through my own rose-colored glasses.

If we can truly let go of our resistance, and go with the flow, life becomes easier. We accept what is, sometimes get unexpected rewards and find ourselves to be living an interesting life. We are then creating life as we go, step by step, unencumbered by judgments, plans, expectations, etc. Life is then an exciting adventure!

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