You don’t have to exert that much control

August 05, 2017

“Hey Killer, how about relaxing the old death grip there.”

Why did he always say that? Probably because I always got nervous and held the yoke too tightly. Rob, my flight instructor, was teaching me basic maneuvers in the little Cessna 172 trainer again. He wanted me to put the plane into a steep turn. The only problem was that every time I tried, I felt as though the little plane would fall out of the sky. I know. It’s crazy. But knowing didn’t help my feeling very much.

“Here, watch this. I have the controls,” Rob said. And taking the controls, my instructor put the plane into a sharply banked turn. Then he let go of the yoke. “Aaaaah!” I yelled. Nothing happened. The little airplane kept turning with no further input from anyone. “You see,” Rob explained, “when you have the trim settings adjusted right, the airplane will do what you tell it to do. There’s no need to force it. Now relax and try again.”

I did, and the turn was better this time. Maybe the plane wouldn’t fall out of the sky after all. And another small piece of the puzzle got filled in.

There are many things that we can do to keep our lives on course. We can talk to our mentors and sponsors, read positive books, attend support groups, listen to positive music, pray, meditate, work a recovery program if we’re in one, and grow. We don’t want to become complacent. Safety consciousness is important. But once we have set ourselves on course, it isn’t necessary to constantly be worried about falling out of the sky.

Set your plan in motion. Get on the right track. But remember that if saving your life is important, it is also important to have a life worth saving. Relax a little. The plane will keep on flying as long as you give it the right input.

God, grant me the grace to relax, to let go of worry and self-doubt, and to let myself enjoy life and the experiences that it has to offer.

From the book: More Language of Letting Go

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