5 X 5 Rule – 5 Ways of Letting Go
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I once read the following quote:
“If it’s not going to matter in 5 years then don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset about it”.
Too often I have allowed the small injustices to hold me back from moving forward in my life. This is one of the ways that I have become stuck. Once stuck it can be difficult to get unstuck. The truth is, life is not always fair and I will not always be treated fairly. I have a choice to make when life throws me a curve ball of unfairness and that is either embrace it and see where it takes me or I can have a temper tantrum and fight it. If only I could say that I always choose to embrace it. Sadly, I don’t . Too often I will have a temper tantrum and stomp my feet and cry and let others know just how much of an injustice I am experiencing. Oh, how grateful I am for the patience, understanding and forgiveness of God.
If it’s not an injustice that holds me back or gets me stuck, it can be the small annoyances and frustrations that can get me right in a “mood”. You know the ones? The times when you are running late and get stuck behind a very slow driver. Or when you go to put a load of laundry in the washer only to find someone else has left his in the washer and now You have to do two loads. This one gets me all the time, the missing toilet paper on the toilet paper roll. I could go on and on, but I am sure you get my point. If you’re anything like me, you have allowed the small stuff to take big chunks out of your time, your energy, your peace of mind and thus your life.
Lately I have been working on letting go. I am working on not allowing the small things to wreck my day. I am working on acceptance in all things. Life is truly short and the reality is that I can spend it miserable and negative or I can put things into perspective. There are too many important issues that require my attention that get left behind as my focus is on the issues that in the scheme of things really don’t matter.
5 Ways to Let Go of the Small Stuff
1. Take a deep breath
This allows me to clear my brain and is a sign that I need to refocus.
2. Commit to keeping my mouth shut
Sometimes the best thing to do and the hardest thing to do is to be silent. One of my best coping skills has been to learn how to respond to situations instead of reacting to them. If I think before I speak, I can save myself from a whole lot of extra stress.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words” – Proverbs 18:21 amp
3. Be mindful of my thoughts
I am a firm believer that my thoughts control my life. If I focus on all the negative, then that is all that I am going to see. Often a refocusing of my thoughts is all that I need to move on from the small annoyances and frustrations in life.
‘”For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor your ways My ways,” declares the Lord’ – Isaiah 55:8
4. Put on an attitude of gratitude
This requires action. I need to be intentional in being grateful. When I am focused on looking for the things in my life that I am grateful for, the little things don’t seem to faze me as much. This is a daily event for me, I wake up actually looking for things to be grateful for.
“In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Lord gives me peace and He gives me comfort. When I am anxious and I turn to Him, He calms my mind. He also gives me guidance and direction if I ask for His assistance. Prayer is not a magic wand and I get what I want, it’s communicating to the One that loves me the most. I am able to be authentic when I pray. He wants to hear all about my feelings and then He wants to give me peace. When I vent to others it can lead to greater problems, but when I vent to God it leads to solutions and peace.
“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” – Psalm 139:23-24 amp
“Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes” – Psalm 37:7 amp
“The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace” – Psalm 29:11
“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” – Philippians 4:6
Lastly, I look to see if there are any blessings in my injustices, annoyances and frustrations. Often when I have a change in my perception and my attitude I am able to see that God has used these things for my own good. Whether it means He has saved me from a potential accident, injury or harm. Sometimes it’s that He has used these things to teach me about, compassion, empathy, understanding, love, patience and/or forgiveness. I know that if I dwell on the small stuff I feel imprisoned by my own emotions. Once I work at letting it go — I feel free.
I am am grateful that God loves me enough to challenge me.
Be blessed 💞💞💞