Tell yourself how long you’ll wait

June 18, 2017

Use deadlines as a tool.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. We don’t know what to do next. We don’t know how to solve the problem. We don’t know the course that’s going to unfold. Maybe we’re seeing someone, and the relationship isn’t gaining any momentum, but it’s not time to push the issue. Maybe all we need to do is give the other person a little space and time to work through his or her stuff. Maybe the business that we’re pursuing isn’t gaining any momentum, but things may change course. Part of us, the obsessive part, says, “I need to know right now.” But the other part of us, the serene, wise part, says “Relax. It’s not time. You don’t have all the information yet.”

Create a deadline, a private one, with yourself. Tell yourself you’ll give it six weeks or three months or maybe a year to change course. Then you’ll evaluate the data and make a decision about what to do next.

Sometimes, setting a deadline is all we need to do to help ourselves relax. We know we’re not trapped. We’re not being a victim. We’re making a conscious decision to let go and let things unfold.

God, grant me the serenity to not try to force outcomes and solutions too soon.

From the book: More Language of Letting Go

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About the author

In addiction and recovery circles, Melody Beattie is a household name. She is the best-selling author of numerous books.

One of Melody's more recent titles is The Grief Club, which was published in 2006. This inspirational book gives the reader an inside look at the miraculous phenomenon that occurs after loss--the being welcomed into a new "club" of sorts, a circle of people who have lived through similar grief and pain, whether it be the loss of a child, a spouse, a career, or even one's youth.

For more information about Melody and her books, visit the author's official website