The Art of Allowing

The Art of Allowing

The art of allowing is a powerful concept.

Allowing is not surrendering, although “surrendering” and “allowing” are profoundly connected: surrendering is admitting to yourself that you can’t do it on your own, and so you let life take care of it—but the art of allowing is the ability to say “yes” to the way life wishes to take care of it.

So many of us surrender to life, but then we start looking around for the temporary, quick fix solution that only superficially fixes our problems for a short period of time. Life, instead, seeks the long-term solution to everything that troubles us, and often the fix to what truly, deeply ails you is far more complicated and far more involved than a one-step, quick-fix solution.

Life knows better than we know what we need.

Can we allow it to show us what it wants to show us? Can we allow things to unfold in the way life wants it to unfold?

I am learning that what we deeply wish for comes true in due time, but the when and the how of the wish’s fulfillment is never up to us. That part of it is always handled by something far greater than us.

You would think that this would give us relief: knowing that our wishes will find fulfillment as long as we wish for them and try to make them come true. You think it would give us great relief and satisfaction to know that we really don’t have to worry about all the deadlines and all the details.

But, the truth is, knowing that we can’t control every single part of the entire process drives us crazy. We pretend like we want to be surprised as to how things will come about, but, really, we want to be given all the spoilers: we want to know how much longer its going to be. How much longer will our dream come true? How much longer before we find our soul mate? How much longer before our story reaches its climax? And in what way is it all going to happen?

We are dying to know.

But life won’t tell us. It only bids us to wish and to try. Wish and try. Wish and try. Wish and try.

Until we’ve wished our brains to death and we’ve tried so hard that our eyes are tired and our fingers are left swollen.

And all along the way, you feel like life has been giving you clues and hints and puzzles–but none of it ever seems to lead you anywhere concrete. And all along the way, you feel like the people you know have been trying to tell you something, but have been holding back their true feelings, and they’re just waiting for the right moment to finally hand you their secret.

And then sometimes you feel like all these people can’t possibly help you because they’re all just like you. And sometimes you feel like the answers people give to you just can’t work because otherwise everyone would have tried them out already and their lives would have been all “fixed” by now.

But then you find yourself reading a book, or a poem, or a news article and the person who wrote it says something that sounds so much like something you’ve always wanted to say, or something you’ve always been thinking–so close to it, in fact, that you think it can’t be possible that no one has figured it out yet. Someone must have figured it out already. Because we are all so alike, and we’ve all gone through this same thing over and over again. And there has to be some reason behind it all.

You see, the art of allowing is believing that there is a reason. That there is a purpose.

The art of allowing is believing that this mysterious purpose is so big and so abstract that if you knew the time and method of its full realization you would likely sabotage it from ever taking place.

Even if you are anxious to know what the magic trick is going to be, you have to be patient while life, the magician, hands you the cards, asks you to shuffle them, and distracts you while, behind His very back, He’s got the Joker you’ve had your mind on hidden just underneath his shirtsleeve.

much love,


Today’s Courage Exercise

Don’t just surrender to life: allow life to handle the fulfillment of your deepest desires using its own methods and its own time frame. Trust that life has more experience than you do in “making the magic” happen.

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Categories: Writer's Journal