Letting go of expectations and changing my perspective, two things I tend to struggle with at times. I lived a significant portion of my life believing that if people only behaved exactly as I would like them to, everyone’s life would work out for the best. That way of thinking led me down some very miserable paths. The expectations I had of life, myself, and others usually directed me straight to the nearest resentment. In this week’s class, we were instructed to change our perspectives, by either lying down and looking up at the sky or down at the ground. I chose to lie flat on a picnic table and stare up at the sky. Something about the storm clouds drifting by intermingling with the scent of the crackling bon fire soothed me. This small act felt symbolic, an instruction to look up and let go. If I’m having trouble letting go of expectations, what am I struggling to accept within myself? When something is causing me discomfort, is it because instead of radically accepting the situation for what it is, I fight against it? Radical acceptance, this concept isn’t foreign to me, yet every time I am reminded of it, it feels like the most simple and profound piece of information to ever exist. Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems. I can see the storm clouds as an inconvenience to me being able to sit outside. Or as a blessing, their rain nourishing the earth allowing for nature to flourish, so that I may continue to benefit from its beauty. Either way the rain is coming.
About the Author
Lauren is currently attending Johns Hopkins University in pursuit of her Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She obtained her BS in Psychology from Towson University. She currently volunteers at the Center for Nature Informed Therapy and hopes to integrate mindfulness and nature into her future practice She will be receiving her practicum and internship training at the Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative. Lauren is also a veteran of the United States Navy and is currently assisting in the development of a nature informed veteran support group.