Let It Be

897d0d663d67107e77eed1f5f1615eceA couple of years ago I found a little pamphlet or should I say it found me that contained the keynote address given by Arthur Larrabee at the Friends General Conference Gathering of Friends, which was held back in 1998. If you weren’t aware, I attend Quaker Meeting every Sunday. It’s where I’ve been going regularly for the last 3 years to … well … get my peace on. 

One Sunday I entered Meeting very troubled. Things were beginning to get somewhat extreme in my head over a particular situation. It wasn’t good. I found myself sitting somewhere differently that day, but it was right where I was suppose to be, next to this wonderful little pamphlet. Psst…Lisa…sit here you need to see this now.

When I opened it up the words resonated so deeply that I found myself unknowingly crying. Whoa-simmer-down-nowI know right? I’m sharing this now because as I was cleaning during my oh shit we’re having company for Easter frenzy, I came across the pamphlet in my house and paused to re-read it. This must be shared….it just does.

Simma down folks I’m not going to get all religious on you, but I am going to fill you in on some of the messages that I received that day. The first thing that hit me was the story he shared, which some of you may have already heard over the years. I had not. It is a Taoist  fable of sorts … here it is.

An old man and his son lived in an abandoned fortress on the side of a hill. The son was the sole support of his father, and their only possession of value was a horse. One day, the horse ran away. The neighbors came by to offer sympathy. “This is a terrible thing”, they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

Several days later the horse returned, bringing with it several wild horses. The old man and the son shut them all inside the gate. The neighbors hurried over. “This is fabulous,”they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

The following, day the son tried riding one of the wild horses. Alas, he fell and broke his leg. Sure enough, the neighbors came around as soon as they heard the news. “What a tragedy!” they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

The following week, the army of the emperor came through the village, forcing every young man into service to fight faraway battles. Many of them would never return. But the son couldn’t go. He had a broken leg.


The message here is that the old man lives in the now. He doesn’t attach himself to the big “What Ifs?” surrounding him. He embraced the situation he was presented with, therefore giving him peace of mind … which I was desperately seeking in my life.

My personal story was a little different. It didn’t involve an old man or a horse, but it did include that annoying neighbor in the fable … that was ME  a/k/a Debbie Downer.  No one was more surprised by this news than yours truly. As much as I want to deny the whole experience…I can’t….it’s true.

There I was sitting in Meeting sobbing due to the realization that I was slowly strangling my own life with predetermined judgements, while blowing any chance of peace of mind right out the window. Yep, Debbie has a way of sucking the life out of every party. 

20111The Debbie Downer in me immediately put her negative judgement on the situation at hand. Why, because it’s easier than moving on to something new? Umm…yep. She put her preconceived notation that this new experience I was presented with was a “bad” idea and she wasn’t afraid to let it be known … over and over and over again. Clearly, Debbie is also a huge pain in the ass! What I wasn’t “seeing” was that this event was just a teeny tiny piece of a much larger story, one that needed to be TOLD not INTERRUPTED.

So, I spent months, yes months, holding on to what was comfortable, while fighting the new. I was literally being held prisoner by my own resistance!  It’s really no surprise that the tears were flowing, because in that moment I was empowered to give Debbie the big heave-ho out of my head. Toodles Deb, don’t let the door hit ya!

As I re-read the pamphlet this time around it was more of a reminder … one I efff55a4cfdecb4540ea21f05610b2c8constantly need!  I need to stop killing my own chances at life and embrace the resurrections, even if they’re filled with challenges … I think I’m worth the risk.

Easter Message:

Stop the death in your life by letting go of your attachments to the pain, the past and your pre-conditioned thoughts on how things are “supposed to be.” 

Resurrect your life by embracing the challenges, the hopes and the risks by letting things “just be.”

So, say YES! to life and Enjoy the Ride …. it’s a gift.

31 responses

  1. That is one of my favorite stories and one I used in human resource work. What seems like a tragedy in the moment may be the best thing that could happened. How do you really know?

  2. A fabulous post that EVERYONE should read. That horrible voice in your head can be overtaken by the voice in your heart. Happy Easter!

  3. Love your Easter message! I am living in the now!!!

  4. Thanks for the reminder !

  5. Loved the Taoist tale.

  6. This is a time to remind us of this lesson, Tops. Thanks.

    1. No problem! Have a wonderful Easter.

  7. Better than a chocolate bunny. I read your post, then started to read the paper, then put it down. The headlines were like the neighbors in your Taoist fable. (Go ahead AP, pull my chain.)

    What’s a puzzle is why our minds don’t just remember to keep steady, instead of slipping into perseverations every time the wind picks up. Are we pre-programmed to make ourselves suffer? Ah well. Thanks for the fine Easter message. It’s nice that your Quakers offer Taoist literature at meetings.

    1. Hahahaha! Sadly the newspaper & news in general these days is just nothing but Negative Nancy…ugh.
      As impacting as this was at the time, one would think I would remember not to beat myself up, but I do. It’s insane!
      Quakers rock in my book! If there is message, no matter what faith, it’s shared. In this same keynote address there was a wonderful Jewish saying that also touched me.

  8. Thanks – a good reminder about balancing wants and needs and what is really important. Have a great day!

    1. Your Welcome! Hope you had a nice day as well.

  9. Great message! Thanks for sharing this… hope your ‘company shuffle-clean’ went well… I didn’t have to do that since I am the company!!! But, if it were the other way I would be like you, and unlike you, I never would have taken the time to re-read the message although I would have needed it. It would have been stuffed in a drawer. Thanks for reading and sharing it. I needed to see it. Have a wonderful Easter. DAF

    1. Enjoy the little lamb and the rest of the family too! I probably wouldn’t have stopped to read it, but it had such an impact I thought I might need a refresher course.

  10. It’s a great story and a wonderful post. It also goes to show that sometimes lightbulb moments can spring from the most unlikely circumstances. The human capacity to reason is remarkable, but it has to be balanced by also going with the flow at times. Wishing you and yours all the best for Easter.

    1. Isn’t that the truth!! Best to you and yours for a lovely Easter as well.

  11. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad yous at where you did. Happy Easter to you!

  12. I do so love that story – and one that I remind myself, and think, of often.

    1. Thank you and have a wonderful Easter.

  13. Thanks for sharing a great story. We all need to be reminded to live in the now. I’m gonna step outside now and smell the sweet air, and live in the moment.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed that sweet air, it was wonderful yesterday.

  14. I couldn’t agree more with your message! If we don’t let go of things, we have no room in our hands to receive something new.
    Happy Easter Tops!

  15. Great reminder, Lisa. Happy Easter! xoxoM

  16. Well said, Lisa. Everything happens for a reason.

  17. Great message for the Easter holiday. Just say yes to what things really are and enjoy life as it is. Happy Easter!

  18. Much like the pamphlet came to you at the perfect time, I think this post may have done the same. Thank you.

  19. Great post and fable. Being an Old Fart, one of the things I learned is we control our reaction to anything. For example, we only become offended if we take offense. So, if we wake up thinking today is going to be a great day, more than likely it will be. If we wake up as Debbie Downer, people will probably run when they see us. By the way, you are worth the risk. Life is not a rehearsal. Take care, BTG

  20. A great message for any time of year. So easy to see in others, so hard to see in ourselves, thank you.

  21. This message makes a whole lot of sense. Hard to think that way in the face of perceived disaster or even in the face of perceived good fortune, because really, “How do you know?” Thanks for sharing.

  22. What an amazing revelation. I’ve always been a big fan of messages, no matter how we receive them. Its so true that for us to move on we have to learn to get comfortable in that place of feeling uncomfortable. And good for you for kicking old debs out the door. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya 🙂

  23. Wonderful message for us all, and I’m so glad you were able to take that message and let it work in your life. So many people cannot do that.

  24. I’m a little late reading this…I’m sorry. It made me cry. Having a hard time over several aspects of my life at the moment so fear is running the show. The story about the old man and his son really resonated. How do you know…would make a fine tattoo…if I wasn’t such a prig from Connecticut that is. Beautiful writing.

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