I’ve been thinking about things I need to give up. Let go of. Not spend so much time or thought or energy on. Do you ever do that? I think it might be more difficult for those of us [I know I’m not the only one!!] who have varying degrees of OCD. I know that many of my habits – my “routines” – are helpful. Aging seems to bring forgetfulness along with it. But I know there are MANY things which I need to let go of. And I laugh at myself when I do things which just DO NOT MATTER one way or the other. I feel so excited when I can “let go.”
I’ve found some lists of things others recommend we let go of, and I’ve had a good time thinking about them and “editing” a bit here and there, adding some things, dropping some of the things others suggest. I’ll share a few, and I hope they’ll get you thinking about some things YOU want to drop – to give up. It has every possibility of making life simpler and more enjoyable, and even perhaps less stressful. It could add to our happiness and our optimism.
GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO ALWAYS BE RIGHT. This might be tied to that frightening, terrible sin of PRIDE. We might find we’d rather ruin a relationship (or at least wound it) by insisting on always being right. (“I’ve got to protect my ego at all costs!”) It’s not worth it, is it. It has been suggested in several different ways, but asking ourselves a question like “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” can help us realize that sometimes OTHERS are right, and we’re wrong. GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP YOUR NEED FOR CONTROL. It makes such a difference in our own life if (when) we’re able to let others be themselves. This may wander into the realm of resisting making God’s will our will. Yikes! There’s no way we can control everything and everyone! GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP ON BLAME. I remember a Peanuts cartoon where Lucy is really ticked off. She shouts something like “Whoever is in charge of my happiness is not doing their job!” We need to take responsibility for our own life and stop blaming others (and circumstances and “whatever”) for things we don’t have, or times when things don’t work out. Quit putting blame on others. GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP ON NOT BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. I wonder if we have ANY IDEA how much we beat up on ourselves – how much we seem to be convinced that pretty much everything about us is in the negative column. Sometimes we get stuck in that dark, wrong place. You’re better than that! You are child of God! HE believes in you. You have all kinds of possibilities! Quit insisting on NOT believing in yourself. GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP COMPLAINING. What a non-happifying way to be… constantly complaining about all that is wrong! Maybe some things are not just perfect in life, but continually complaining about them won’t change them! It’s not necessarily what is happening… it’s the way we look at it and feel about it and how we respond to it. It’s SO much better (and, really, it’s easier) to be positive and optimistic. Time to stop complaining… GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP BEING CRITICAL. This is one I’ve been consciously working on recently. Withholding judgment – cutting down on criticism. It’s a bad habit, isn’t it – finding things wrong with people, with experiences, with LIFE. Wayne Dyer said: “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” I think of the words of that old song: Accentuate the positive! Eliminate the negative! GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP THE NEED TO IMPRESS OTHERS. What I’ve found is that when we’re focused on doing this – on impressing others (who probably don’t end up being impressed anyway), we’re trying to be something or someone we’re NOT. You’re YOU (and I’m MEE, ha ha). We ARE who we ARE – doing our best to improve and be the best “US” we can be. Be REAL! Be who you really ARE. Don’t try to live someone else’s life, or the life that the media or others try to convince you is yours. Don’t be distracted from being your genuine, real self. Quit trying to put on some kind of a “false” you in an attempt to impress others. GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP YOUR RESISTANCE TO CHANGE. Oh my… we’ve GOT to do this or we’ll never survive… right? Change is constant! And the Savior and His gospel emphasize CHANGE (even to the point of having a mighty change of heart!). Change can be SO good. It can help us progress instead of getting stuck in a rut. Don’t resist change. Don’t keep resisting. GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP ON YOUR FEARS. This is a really hard one for me – especially my fear of flying! But I’ve heard that fear is just an illusion – that it doesn’t exist – that I’ve (or you’ve) created it! What??? How many times in the scriptures are we told “Fear not.”
Doctrine and Covenants: 6:33 – Fear not to do good…. 6:34 – … fear not, little flock…. 6:36 – Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. 38:15 – …be ye strong… fear not…. 79:4 – …let your heart be glad… fear not…. 98:1 – …fear not, let your hearts be comforted…. 122:9 – …fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. Do you have a feeling I could go on and on? You’re right! Give up on your fear! GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP YOUR EXCUSES. You don’t really need them, do you. I think we limit ourselves when we have a bunch of excuses (which most of the time aren’t even real). Be honest. Have integrity. Do things better today than you did yesterday. Quit being so quick to give an excuse. GIVE IT UP!
GIVE UP THE PAST. This is a hard one, isn’t it. Sometimes the past looks so much better than the present. And sometimes the past tries to keep us trapped in times and experiences which were oh so awful. Quit longing for the past (and trying to live in the past), and quit letting the past be a heavy burden which prevents you from fully enjoying and experiencing the present. As they say (whoever “they” is): Life is a journey, not a destination. Learn from the past, but don’t keep spending so much of your time there. Give up the past. GIVE IT UP!
OK, that’s it for now. I hope at least one little idea has been helpful. Maybe you’ll make your own list. On my own list I have goals like “GIVE UP STUFF AND THINGS.” I’m trying to SIMPLIFY. Another is to “GIVE UP ANXIETY ABOUT THE LAST DAYS.” Maybe you know what I mean by that. Fei is always saying “The last days are getting laster,” and they ARE. But I’m earnestly working on giving up my anxiety – I want to enjoy every single day, and I want to be THANKFUL every single day. There is a thought about “give it up for good,” and at first it seems like “for forever,” but I like to think of it as giving things up for GOOD (and for BETTER, and for BEST!).
I’m looking forward SO MUCH to the remaining sessions of GENERAL CONFERENCE – they always give me a LIFT! And oh boy was the General Women’s session ever incredible and powerful, right??? I’m working to give up anxiety. GIVE IT UP, MEE!!