"I'm a pretty uptight guy. In a tense interpersonal situation I tend to get angry, blowing the relationship apart. It really is pretty serious. I've lost half a dozen jobs, two marriages and more girlfriends than you would believe. Because of that, I am very excited about a breakthrough I had recently.
* * *
I have been practicing letting go, going with the flow, trusting the process. Not for very long, either, just for a few months since I've been reading about this kind of thing. The idea was so totally opposite to what I always do - in fact, to my whole way of thinking -that it kind of intrigued me. I've been trying it out on little things, and most of the tirne even then I'm not too good at it, but I've been trying.
Well, last Thursday my girlfriend suddenly announced she was breaking up with me. She just sprang it on me, out of the blue. She said she was feeling "cramped" and wanted more "freedom."
In the past, I would have gotten defensive and angry. We would have gotten into a big argument that would have proved her point, and that would have been the end. That's the way it's always happened before.
This time, though, something made me remember. "Let go, trust the process, go with the flow." And sornething just like kicked in, a mechanism, and I found myself "standing back" (mentally) and just listening to her. And understanding her, supporting tier, not defending myself at all, really letting go of the outcome and just trusting the process moment by moment.
It took about half an hour for her to talk herself out, because she really was pretty upset. She said a lot of things that I wouldn't have let myself hear before. While it was going on I honestly had no idea how it was going to turn out, That's the whole point - I really let go. And before I knew it, the storm was all over and we were in each other's arms again. And I was thinking to myself, "Hey, this stuff really works!""
Comments: Achieving a favorable outcome with this approach is not unusual and always gratifying. However, it would still have "worked" if your girlfriend had left you. You did let go of the results, didn't you? - and that might have been the best outcome. The primary benefit of letting go and trusting the process is its effect on you. Achieving a favorable situational outcome is icing on the cake. But since you got the cake and the icing -congratulations, and good work!
Now the good work must continue. You have been given a glimpse of what is possible. Of course you were making an effort, and you get full credit for that. Still, it sounds as if the result on this occasion was out of proportion to the effort you have made so far, - especially considering your history. This often happens early on in practicing a discipline, we are given a glimpse of its fruits. This helps clarify the goal and spurs our efforts to get there. It does not mean we have arrived.
Imagine how completely your life would he
transformed if you were operating in this mode
all the time! And that is not impossible to attain.
Part of what you must do is continue the
discipline you have been practicing, Of course.
But also you may want to consider working in u
modality - deep therapy for example -- that will
allow you to drain your reservoir of anger and
ultimately heal the wounds at the anger's source.
Your experience highlights an important point: inner work is about improving your life. Thai may sound obvious, but most people are more interested in having (or reading about) mystical visions, Perfect Masters and paranormal powers. These things are fine if they come along in the natural course of your progress, but they mean nothing if they don't contribute to a happy and successful life. Inner work should make your life work better, even in simple and everyday ways. That's the real test of its validity. Your experience is right on target.