Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Attitude

My attitude towards life and events and people is everything. So is yours, for that matter, but I can't do anything about your attitude can I? I can only work on my own. Marianne Williamson in her best-selling book Return to Love, says there are only two emotions: fear and love. And everything that isn't love is an illusion. I also remember a slogan from Al-Anon: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

I have been examining my thoughts and feelings the last few months and realize I am fearful most of the time. My stomach is almost always clenched, I am anxious about this or that, I worry about results of things I have no control over. This is stuff I've known for a long time, but somehow, because of the health challenges I've faced, it's all been intensified.

They say that alcoholics and drug addicts only go for help when they reach the bottom. They have exhausted their own resources and know they need help. My huge issue with trust has kept me from fully turning my life over to the care of God as I understand God (third of the 12 steps). Instead, I have been hyper-vigilant about trying to control everyone and everything around me.

Well, this past week, I surrendered. Not gave up, which is what I always want to do when the going gets tough. But surrender. Release. Let go. Trust the universe to support and guide me. The more I am able to do this during the day and before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning, the more my stomach unclenches, my heart stays calm, I feel lighter and I laugh more.

The slogans from the twelve step programs might seem simplistic, but they sure work. Let Go and Let God.

How about you?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Let Go and Get God is also a book!
We can only control us, so it's much easier to let God control everything else. Glad you hit that point, Karen!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It's a life-affirming, liberating place to be. I know the feeling well, both sides of it.

Karen Walker said...

thanks, Alex - now all I have to do is remember it often.
Karen, I think we all flip back and forth unless we are in a convent and devote every moment to learning an accepting this.

mooderino said...

It often feels like there's a way to fix all things and all people if we just push a little harder and shout a little louder, but there are no magic keys that unlock all the answers. I've found when I do what's right for me, it makes things easier all round.

Moody Writing

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We so want to be in control, but sometimes we just gotta let Go do it.

Suze said...

Karen, I felt something as I read about your surrender. There's this thing I believe in, spiritual authority. It's like when we wish for something to be true and need it to be so but it just doesn't flip. It stays like a magnet butting up with the wrong end. But then the time is ripe and something happens and change comes, and it's irrefutable. That's kind of what I felt reading your words.

Karen Walker said...

mooderino, this is so wise - I then need to learn not to care about others' reaction to what is right for me.
Diane, yup!
Suze, oh how I love how you put your thoughts into words

Robin said...

Surrender is so often confused with defeat. Letting go. It's actually one of the most powerful things we can do. Yay you!

Tracy Moore said...

I love this Karen! There is so much that I can identify with. So happy that you've surrendered...and you're so right about it being different than giving up.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I know how you feel, Karen.

I spent much of 2013 fearful, and it took a massive toll on my health and wellbeing. Thankfully, my faith (in my friends, my loved ones, my wife, what I think of as God, and in myself, pulled me through in the end.

There's no scientific explanation I'm aware of, but at all times in my life, when I let fear rule me, I suffer. When I trust that things will turn out as they should, I thrive. I experienced that the hard way last year. I intend to do better this year.

Tracy Jo said...

Yes, I know this fear and it's so hard on our bodies. The clenching. There is something about health issues too that makes a person stop trusting their body. At least that is what I found. I have a mantra that I say over and over - part of it is that I am healthy and strong. It seems to help a bit when I do that. Love what Mooderino said. I'm practicing letting go this year...even on my blog...just trying to write & post and not overthink everything. You are on an awesme journey. Congrats on practicing lettttttiiiing gooooo!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love the distinction you draw between surrendering and giving up. People mistakenly think that they're the same thing. We all need to surrender sometimes. It's cathartic!

Karen Walker said...

Goodness, I was hesitant to post on this topic because it is so damn personal, but I am awed and inspired and blessed by all of you who shared your struggles and successes with surrendering versus letting go.
Thank you.

LD Masterson said...

I'd been lying awake for hours one night recently, stressing over a family issue that wasn't in my power to resolve. I kept trying to put it aside and go to sleep but couldn't. Finally, I realized what I needed to do. I told God I was really tired and I wanted to dump this problem on him and go to sleep. That's the last thing I remember before I woke up the next morning.

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Karen! It's been too long since I stopped by! "Let go and let God"...why is that so deceptively simple! It's something I think we all struggle with. Faith isn't easy, but necessary, especially when dealing with fear. And fear has been a bugbear in my life since I was a small child. BUT I'm on my way to conquering it, one victory at a time!

It sounds like you are too :)

Robin said...

Good morning Karen, I just wanted to let you know that I dedicated something to you on Friday's HERE'S TO YOU post. I hope you like it.

Unknown said...

I love that. "Let go and let God."
Words to live by for sure. Repeat that mantra daily. I also often remind myself to "give it to God."
I don't think we're meant to carry around so much burden and worry. God is here for us if we let him in.
Your amazing, Karen. Embrace that.