We hear many sayings or idioms over and over again, but ever had one of those moments when you hear one for the millionth time and they suddenly, you just get it? Like the words sink it to your pores and it resonates to your core?
That has happened to me twice in recent memory. In both cases, it almost felt like a cartoon lightning bolt striking my head, or the bop to the head like in those old V8 commercials.
Today I’m going to write about the time my friend Annie was trying to help me navigate a family situation I was wrapped up in. I was waist-deep in a scenario full of drama, stress and tough decisions. There just didn’t seem to be an easy way to get through this situation without someone being hurt or pissed off. Exasperated, Annie looked at me and just said,
“Well, let the chips fall where they may”.
And I was like “Yup, those chips are just gonna have to fall their little hearts out”.
There was suddenly a level of acceptance I hadn’t felt before. Or rather, a weariness that had taken over my body and soul which left me unable to fight anymore. I was not going to be completely consumed by the fear of shitstorms happening. I was going to stop freaking out and let go of thoughts like “Well, then she is going to do this! And then he is going to say that! And then I’m going to look like a such and such!”
For some reason on that one day in Annie's kitchen, I decided not to care where the chips - or the emotional shit - was going to land. I was just going to let it all happen and relinquish control.
Most of the time, we are freaking out about what MIGHT happen, and it rarely does. Or it isn’t as bad as we think. Or, on rare occasions, the results are actually WORSE, but they lead to something amazing or transformative and were necessary stumbling blocks to navigate.
We simply cannot control everything and everyone around us. I know, it seems so obvious you might be wondering why I am bothering to write this. But in those tough moments when family is screaming or a client is freaking out, we need to remind ourselves of this. As long as we are making the decision we feel best about in that moment, then we just have to let those chips fall. I am definitely NOT recommending you make rash decisions without regard for others’ feelings. No, I am saying we have to let go of always wondering HOW things will transpire and WHAT the consequences will be. Simply because an obsession with HOW and WHAT paralyzes us, makes us doubt our true values, and stops us from expressing ourselves authentically.
What is so interesting is that I often think of Annie saying this phrase to me whenever I am in a touch decision-making moment. And it is so liberating. It allows me to take a step back and yet move forward at the same time. I even picture myself throwing my hands up in the air - with a bit of Delta Burke sass - and purposefully walking away with confidence in my decision and compassion in my heart.
To your brave success,
FUN FACT :: The idiom “Let the chips fall where they may” apparently comes from the world of logging - at least the internet says so! When you chop down a tree using an ax, every time you hit the tree, pieces of wood - the chips - scatter about. While you are cutting, you do not worry about the various chips flying around; you don't really care where they land. (Source here)