Be Your Best and Say "Fuck 'Em"

Surrendering to things outside of my control is not giving up. Again. Surrendering to things outside of my control is not giving up. 

Aristotle wrote many long winded, wordy lessons about happiness and control; summarized for the point of this essay: you cannot let things outside of your control affect your happiness. What are some things we cannot control? The weather, death, other people’s actions… the list goes on until everything under the sun and in the shadows is included… everything besides your own free will is outside of your control.

You can influence, you can inspire, and you can work with the people in your life, but ultimately you cannot make anyone do anything. 

So. When the rain gets your shoes wet, or somebody you love is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or your significant other continually insists on creating the same problems over and over… simply recognize the situation as it is. 

Acknowledgement is the beginning, not the end. Once you recognize the unchangeability of certain situations, it frees you to support without personal guilt, take personal preventative measures, and ultimately surrender.  

Just as you are incapable of forcing genuine change, you are also not required to allow others’ stubbornness to immobilize you. Recognizing the limits to which you can impact, and therefore requiring the people in your life to take responsibility for their own actions, will free you. You can then say with good conscience, “I’ve done everything I can.”

So, when your loved one inevitably does die, you can be by their bedside without personal guilt for not having been able to save them. So, when the rain comes, you can change into rain boots or accept your soggy toes for the day. So, when someone you dearly love refuses growth despite your best support, you can be free to cut ties with them. You are not required to become a victim to other’s immobility, or a sufferer of helplessness. You are free to give it your best and surrender.