Letting go is an act of self-care


We are living in uncertain times. Daily life is uncomfortable. Things are unpredictable. I need comfort to feel safe. I need predictability to feel confident.


In 2011, I moved back to Massachusetts from five years in California. So many experiences behind me. The loss of my spouse in a fatal car accident, selling my house, buying another house, changing jobs, living with my daughter’s unstable health. My life had broken open. The bright corner of this was I was in love again but I left this new relationship because my daughter was worse and my mother was dying.


My house was rented so I lived in apartments, five of them during a two-year period. For various reasons, I’d lose one apartment and find another. Part of that journey was renting a room from a woman who later turned out to have a serious drinking problem. I was in the midst of an unstable household. My safety was at risk. My belongings were at risk. I had to get out. It was a harried process that resulted in renting a room from a couple who wanted to help. This is when I learned the lesson of what it means to choose to be right or choose to be happy.


The drunk woman owed me $500 from my month’s rent paid before making my hasty exit. She was unable to be truthful with me, rented my room before I left and collected money from the next tenant. I was furious. Injustice blatantly demonstrated. I dug my heels in and demanded the return of my money to no avail. She was illogical and disillusioned. She knew about my struggle with my daughter’s health. She knew about my struggle settling back in Massachusetts and my mother dying. She knew my vulnerabilities. She knew and yet she persisted in denying me what was rightfully due me.


A wise friend asked do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?


Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?


I couldn’t believe this injustice on top of all I had gone through and all I was facing. I chose happy and let go. It was a visceral release as I weighed my happiness over my demand to fairness.


By making the decision to be happy, I put down my victim costume and walked away. I was free and that was worth more than proving my point of what I was owed. With awareness I make choices every day what I battle with and what I let go.


Living in uncertainty breeds the need to be right. I got stuck in fighting for what’s right because it was a truth. I forgot about my priority meter and when I weighed this truth against what I needed, my choice was obvious.


Letting go is an act of self-care. Discerning what battle I choose is an act of self-care. Defining my needs is an act of self-care. Practicing self-care demonstrates to me the deep respect and honor I have for me. I do not abandon me. I choose to be happy.


We live in such uncertain times. There is peace in uncertainty when I let it guide me. Using discernment aids in the guiding. These are uncertain times and I choose self-care.

Excerpt from Embrace Uncertainty by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Embracing Uncertainty is a book about sleeping better at night…about easing the pain in our brains that comes from trying to control the uncontrollable…about making life more an enriching adventure than a continuous worry. It is about providing that something enduring to hold close, something that won’t wash away in the furious tides of change.”
“I was once told that certain Spiritual Masters in Tibet used to set their teacups upside down before they went to bed each night as a reminder that life was impermanent. And then, when they awoke each morning, they turned their teacups right side up again with the happy thought, “I’m still here!” This simple gesture was a wonderful reminder to celebrate every moment of the day.”
“Certainly, we all need reminders that we are privileged to be alive, that life is short, and we need to make the most of it. Unfortunately, most of us wake up leaving the teacup upside down, metaphorically speaking, dragging through the day, putting off life, thinking we will live forever but acting if we were already dead! No joy today. Another time perhaps.”