Surrendering to the Unknown

Today’s guest post is written by Sara Gideon. Though Sara and I are very different in how we live our lives (city mouse – country mouse kind of thing, it seems), we share some core values, and seem to understand similar principles that help us to grow happier and healthier; Sara notes that her writings are intended to be her “journey to find peace and create happiness.” We have that “journey” thing in common too!

She also says that “by stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring ideas I’ve always been interested in, I hope to grow.  To re-discover myself and the wild woman within.  To open my mind and my heart to this life.  To live in the now.” 

Unlike me, who writes with more of a philosophical bend, Sara’s writing comes from the perspective as a mom, “growing my babies and loving my little family”. Her post today, speaks of so many things that resonate with me: surrender, trust, and listening to yourself. I hope you, too, find her voice inspiring.

Surrendering to the Unknown, by Sara Gideon; originally published April 4, 2017 on growing giddy.

As a mom, I feel like I’m always trying to figure out something or that I should know what to do about everything. In the first year of motherhood, I was asking myself a LOT of questions. Why won’t he sleep? Why is he crying? What’s the best way to..? Should I be doing this or that..? With all the sleepless nights, those questions became overwhelming and exhausting. Mom guilt made me feel like I was failing if I didn’t know the answers.

I read so much, probably too much, about infant development in those early days. I mean, my goodness there is an unlimited amount of advice! Books, magazines, blogs, websites, Facebook groups, other parents, friends and family – there’s an opinion about everything. I read so much that I started doubting my own intuition. That made things really tricky because I had most of the answers within me already. I still read parenting books here and there but I’ve learned to only take the advice I need and really go with my gut.

Besides parenting, I’ve felt myself struggling with my own care and development. I’ve thought that while I stay at home, I should be able to figure out what I want to “do” with my life. I have many interests I’d like to explore but I’m not sure where to start. Should I go back to school? Should I try to get a part time job? Should I continue in something I know or try something new? What do I WANT to do?! Admittedly, I’m also a little scared to start something new that might fail.

Most of these parenting and self improvement questions lead me to one answer: I don’t know. That thought used to leave me feeling helpless. Like no, that’s not good enough, I NEED to know! …but I don’t. There are many things I will figure out along the way and some things I will never, ever know. The most I can do is follow my intuition, listen, be brave and open. I have learned to surrender. I have accepted that I won’t know the answer to everything or an outcome to a future situation. I have also learned that it is more than okay to let someone else figure out the answers if I can’t or just have too much to do anyway. When you consciously surrender control, you simultaneously let go of a lot of stress, worry and guilt – who knew?!

I was rocking my son the other day, thinking again, “what do I want to do with my life?” My mind instantly said, “I don’t know.” Instead of being filled with anxiety, I just smiled and sighed with relief. One thing I do know is that I don’t have to know everything. It’s almost become a mantra now. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I don’t know and that’s okay.

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