Chris Newcomb, M.Div.
I grew up playing in water whether it was the James River in Richmond or Virginia Beach just 2 hours east of the city. Activities included summer swim team practices and meets as well as 'boogie boarding' and 'body surfing' in the waves at the beach. I had a fantastic time during the summers of my youth!
In college, a group of friends took a road trip to Lake Gaston about 2 hours away from our school. The goal: a weekend of water skiing! I was so excited because this was going to be my first time ever water skiing!
I think people perform well on any given task or project if they learn from a very competent teacher. I assumed this would be my water skiing experience. It was not. I follwed the instructions that were given to me. Every time I got up out of the water, I would immediately fall flat on my face into what I call a 'speed boat face plant'! They hurt in case you were wondering.
I distinctly remember growing frustrated as with each unsuccessful attempt lead to face planting into the warm lake water. What I found was the instructions were not given correctly and that I was paying for it on my face every single time. It got so bad that one time when I fell forward onto my face and was dragged by the speedboat I actually tried to stand up as if I could over power the torque of the boat from a prone position! Insanity truly is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. It occurred to me that I needed to let go because I had failed to realize that I could react differently to the situation!
I stopped trying to water ski that day. I knew it was an exercise in futility much like herding cats. Good luck with that! Instead of continuing to drink lake water and ride the water's surface on my face, I chose to get back in the boat. And like that, in a flash, the painful situation was interrupted and I felt better.
Have you ever felt like that? Ever felt like life was spinning out of control? Ever feel like it was way beyond your ability to cope? Maybe you've tried drugs and/or alcohol to deal with 'life on life's terms', so to speak? Maybe you got addicted. Maybe you've suffered with chronic pain and took the medicines just as prescribed but got hooked any way? Maybe it's time to let go.
Letting go is a concept that is often advised in recovery but very often not understood. The premise of letting go is realizing that however reality is in the current moment, even though unacceptable to you, is the way it is and there is nothing you can do to change it. If you need to let go, inevitably you have exhausted all the possible ways to fix the issue at hand. Therefore, the only thing left to do is let go...if you can...with all 10 fingers....no exceptions.
Why not try practicing the concept of 'letting go' this week? Let go of stress. Let go of anticipation. Let go of expectation. Let go of worry. Let go of anger and resentment. Let go of the need to control. Pay attention to how you feel when you do let go and when you don't. Finally, maybe you need to let go of the drugs and/or alcohol that is ruining your life and get the help you need. It's never too late. There's always time for help, hope, and healing but you have to make the choice. Let it go. Pick up the phone and change your life today.
By the way, it's worth a mention that years later I had the opportunity to go to the same lake with a different group of people and I got up on the first try and have been water skiing every since. But that would never have happened unless I let go of the first boat!
At The Coleman Institute, we're waiting to hear from you! If you or someone you love is in need of detox from alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-773-3869.