Allow your life to unfold naturally
Know that it too is a vessel of perfection
Just as you breathe in and breathe out
Sometimes you’re ahead and other times behind
Sometimes you’re strong and other times weak
Sometimes you’re with people and other times aloneLao Tzu (Tao Te Ching: The New Translation from Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition)
In our fast-paced, constantly-connected world, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we must make things happen. We must be proactive, take charge, and make things happen, right now. And while that might be true for many things in life, for many other things, the best thing we can do is step back and let things unfold naturally.
There is merit in observing the path that life wants to take you on and then going with that flow.
Why allow things to unfold?
I don’t know if there’s one answer to this question. But for me, it’s about learning to trust the process and myself.
It can be challenging to stay present when things feel like they’re falling apart. We want to control the outcome, and we don’t want to feel the pain of uncertainty. But what if we could learn to allow things to unfold without resistance?
There’s something incredibly powerful about surrendering to what is.
Sure, it takes courage to let go of the need for certainty and trust that everything will work out in the end. But I believe that it’s worth it.
When we allow things to unfold, we open ourselves up to new possibilities. We may not always like what happens, but it can lead us to places we would never have gone otherwise.
The 4 Steps to Allowing Things to Unfold
Here’s a 4 step process I’ve come up with to help you let go and accept life as it comes. This process is inspired by Taoism and its Harmony, Balance, and Peaceful Living philosophy. Taoism comes from Lao Tzu, a semi-mythical Chinese figure who wrote the classic Taoist text, the Tao Te Ching.
The steps are as follows:
The first step: Acceptance
To allow things to unfold naturally, the first step is acceptance. This means accepting that there is a natural order to things and that we are not always in control.
It can be difficult to let go of our need to control everything, but it is essential to remember that sometimes the best thing we can do is simply let go. By accepting that there is a natural order to things, we can allow them to unfold in their own time and in their own way.
The second step: Letting go
In order to allow things to unfold naturally, we must let go. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is essential to the process. Letting go opens us up to possibilities and allows for change.
Change can be difficult, but it is often necessary in order to progress. When we let go of what we hold onto, we make room for new experiences. We may not always know what those experiences will be, but that is part of the beauty of life.
Allowing things to unfold naturally enables us to embrace the unknown and trust that everything will work out in the end.
The third step: Surrender
In order to allow things to unfold naturally, one must first surrender. It is essential to the process. As Lao Tzu said, “If I let go of who I am, I become who I might be.” In other words, we create space for new possibilities to emerge by surrendering our attachment to outcomes.
Try and become aware of your patterns of resistance. What is that you’re holding onto tightly? What are you afraid of letting go of? When you can identify these patterns, you can begin to release them. You can start by simply choosing to let go, bit by bit.
It’s important to remember that surrender does not mean giving up or giving in. It is a powerful act of self-love and self-trust.
The fourth step: Trust
Trust a higher power has a plan for your life and is guiding you at every stage of the way. That plan may not be what you had hoped for, but it will lead you to a place where you are needed and have something to offer. Trust that life is fair. It is always good, even with its challenges.
You need to start believing that you are right where you were always supposed to be and will never be somewhere you don’t belong. Every single situation you encounter, every single circumstance, every obstacle, every win, and every loss it’s all contributing to your journey.
Everything is moving you toward your destiny, and you need to learn to trust the forces of life to take you there.
Ted Talk On Allowing Things To Unfold
In 2016, Peggy Oki gave a TED talk at TEDxQueenstown about this topic. She went into detail about her life story of how she went from skateboarding to becoming the first female surfboarder for her team and how it led to her pursuing an interest in Marine Biology, which later led to her becoming an Artist. Her story is very inspiring. But it also is an excellent example of how you can still end up with great things just by letting go and letting yourself be taken where life takes you.
I highly recommend you listen to this talk if you haven’t already.
Allowing things to unfold naturally is key to a fulfilling life.
I’ll end with another Lao Tzu quote, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” When we allow things to take their natural course, we align with the flow of life.
This doesn’t mean that we do nothing and let life happen to us; instead, it means that we trust the process and know that everything will work out in the end.