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Letting Go - Simplicity Vs. Complexity

Many of us approach our lives as though we need to make better things happen. We think we need to change the negatives of the past to positives in the future. Our memories tell us that we need to do something about it.

It’s like thinking that when we go see a comedian, we need to remember to laugh, cry, giggle, clap, or shake our heads. According to this thinking, we need to plan ahead, maybe while buying the tickets, to enjoy ourselves and behave in a way that reflects our decision (or goal) to see the humor in the comedy act, or that we need to keep focused on the comedian, or be certain that we laugh the right way, or clap the right way.

This would be absurd. No one would ever imagine doing this. We naturally do just the opposite, we go to see the comedian, fully expecting to experience whatever happens in the moment while the act is going on. We spontaneously experience all the natural thoughts, emotions and feelings and behavior in play in that moment–we laugh our heads off, slap our thighs and split our guts. We did not need to plan ahead in any way.

In our mental health, these same principles always apply. It does not matter what we are experiencing; we will think, feel and act in responsive, authentic ways. It is not necessary to plan our lives. It is not necessary to plan our day, week, month, or year. What is necessary, is to come to understand that all we need, to be successful and happy in our lives, is to allow our deeper wisdom to plan our day, week, month, or year. When we remember to work from this place of faith, then, “all things are possible.”

This is where we often lose track of our understanding of our inner wisdom and particularly, our understanding of our thinking. We believe that we are the one who needs to plan our lives. We believe that we are responsible for correcting the effects of the past, and making the decisions for change in the present and future. This thinking holds us hostage in the past.

Understanding that we think, is the basis of understanding our inner wisdom. Once we understand that we are not our thoughts, we are able to begin letting go. We are able to let go of what our memories tell us. We are able to let go of our instant, habitual reactions to life that come through our memories. We will begin letting go of the insane idea that we have the answers to all the problems of our lives, or that we have to be in control, and control everything and everyone around us. We will quickly understand that we are able to let go of the insane ideas that other people, or things, or events, have the power to affect our inner peace. And finally, we will let go of the constant stream of thoughts flowing through our minds from our memories, and allow spaces–big spaces–for God to give us new thoughts that will begin to heal us, and heal the distorted, painful thinking addictions and disorders we have developed through habitual memory-work.

The fact that so many of us constantly see life as a series of problems is our clue that we do not have the answers, and will never have the answers. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) said, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." And Will Rogers (1879-1935) said, "If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?"

Unfortunately, our social upbringing, which included education from many sources, tells us that we need to do something about it. We've got to work harder, longer, or more diligently at solving our problems. If we see anything as a “problem”, it is our clarion call that we do not have the answer, we have come to the end of our knowledge and experience. Our obstacle to our personal psychological health is that we don't recognize the clues.

Our innate wisdom tells us to recognize this, to back up (let go), and recognize the need for new information. We need to ask for new information, wait and listen (this is otherwise known as; be patient), and then act with courage on the new information from our transcendent intelligence. We do not need to do anything to solve the problems of our lives except be willing to let go of our memory-bound notions, and have faith in our built in transcendent wisdom.

We have been socialized into difficult, complex, and overwhelmingly complicated lives. Our egos (memory-bound thinking) tell us that the answers lie in complexity and that simplicity is Pollyanna-ish. All around us in recovery programs, education, occupational fields, parenting, family and marriage treatment and the criminal justice system, we are told that “change is hard,” “change takes time,” “once an addict always an addict,” “you may never overcome.” All these views are backed up with complex systems and programs that validate this belief.

In contrast, our innate wisdom tells us that there are answers to our lives that lie in simplicity not complexity. These answers lie within. At our source of thought. With our spiritual capacity to think, and our awareness that we think, we awaken our ability to change, at will, what we think. It is that simple. That simplicity defies all complexity. The difficulty in seeing this truth lies in its simplicity.

Be courageous and accept the simplicity. Be willing to let go of what you think you think you know. Be willing to allow your innate, natural thinking, the opportunity to cleanse and heal your negative memory-bound* thinking.

Many of us have heard the sounds of an untuned musical instrument. We shuttered at the discordant sound it made. Many of us are like the out-of-tune instrument, and we say to the world, "I don't need to be tuned, I am fine the way I am."

Innocently we continue through life playing our song, horribly out of tune, terribly discordant and offensive to others. Our ego tells us that we don't need anything from anyone. We are fine the way we are. We have build complex systems and patterns to control, defend, deny, or hide behind, etc. All because of our being out of tune, while resisting the simplicity of the solution to our problems.

In the blindingly, brilliant, clear moment that we realize the simplicity of the solution–in the moment we let go of complexity–God will tune us–we are His instrument. Without missing a beat, without missing a note, without any change from us, our song will go on as before–except it is now beautifully and exquisitely in tune. There is nothing more than this that we have to do with our thinking.

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

D. Tully LeBaron, LCSW

* memory-bound - these are thoughts that we get stuck in and defend as real and use any means to maintain. This contrasts with memory-based thoughts that we know are just thoughts from memory, thoughts that are useful and necessary, and we are able to let them go without seeing them as real.


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