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Letting Go to Make Room for Mystery

Guideposts blogger Dan Hoffman tells a story of letting go–and making room for something else in your life.

Letting go to make room for mystery.

Sometimes in life, we resist what’s happening to us. We have certain expectations–of ourselves, of others, and of life in general–and when they’re not met, we fight back, and it creates additional suffering. Often it would be much easier to let go and see how everything plays out.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about this. It started with one of the stories I’m working on for our Mysterious Ways June/July issue. It’s about a mother who sees her family undergo one ordeal after another and has her whole life turned upside down. Of course, you’ll have to wait until the issue arrives to find out everything that happens, but an extraordinary occurrence convinced this mother to surrender to God’s will. She puts her trust in God rather than stick to the plans she had before life took a turn. She and her family end up finding happiness beyond their wildest dreams.

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Just last week this same theme came up again, as I was reading Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book Anatomy of a Calling for yet another article. In her book Rankin talks about letting go of “attachment to outcomes.” In her journey as a healer, she had to learn to let go of her feeling that things had to be a certain way; she learned to trust that whatever the outcome, it was okay, even if she didn’t understand it all yet.

And then this theme came up again in meditation. We often talk about “letting go” of certain ideas about happiness and success. Someone in the group shared about how when he was younger he thought he would be a classical violinist. Yet, despite his talent, he wasn’t making the cut. Because of his unquestioned attachment to this idea of himself–that he was destined to be a classical musician–he fell into a deep depression, until, eventually, he let go. His life took him elsewhere, and he found a different calling, no less interesting or satisfying than music.

So what do I, working for Mysterious Ways, make of all this? For one, I don’t think it’s an accident that the same theme has come up in my life multiple times in just the last few weeks. I have some letting go and surrendering to do myself. But whereas earlier in my life, before I worked here, I might have taken that to mean giving up or being indifferent, now I know that there is an important distinction. It’s more about letting one thing go in order to make space for something new—and quite possibly better. Just what that is might be a mystery for a while, but that keeps life interesting, doesn’t it?

What did you give up that allowed you to discover something even better? What nudge did you receive that led you down a new path? Share your stories with us.

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