Letting Go of Urgency

In the movie, The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda says of the young Luke Skywalker, "Long have I watched this one. Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing."

For much of my life before recovery, I'm afraid Yoda would have said the same thing about me. I seem to have grown up with the false belief that rushing through life, always getting to the next goal, was the right way to live.

When I was a baby, I wanted to be grown up. When I was in grade school, I couldn't wait for high school. In high school, I was constantly worrying about getting into college. In college, all I thought about was finding someone to marry or getting started in my career. Once into my career, my focus shifted to retirement. While at work, I thought about being at home; while at home, I thought about being at work.


I don't know where that sense of urgency and lack of focus came from. But I'm glad that I've learned to let go of it. My whole life was passing by and I wasn't enjoying one single minute of it. What helped me let go of the urgency? Hitting bottom.

Hitting bottom got my attention. Everything I worked so hard to attain was suddenly stripped from me and I was left with only myself. And I was the one who was responsible. I had rushed myself into a corner of my own making. Of course, at the time, I kicked and fussed and blamed and pointed fingers. It took about a year of hard recovery work to accept responsibility for my own life and my own actions. My life had slipped through my fingers while I rushed about searching for and attaining external, meaningless things.

I know it sounds trite, but recovery is about learning to smell the roses. Enjoying a sunset. Taking a hot bath. Taking the kids to the park and riding all the rides ten times. Recovery is about treasuring what you cannot hold onto. Recovery is about relaxing into the moment, being spontaneous, and enjoying life. What a concept!

A friend recently invited me to Jacksonville, Florida for the July Fourth weekend. I decided to go. We left on a Thursday afternoon, took her car and drove six hours up the Florida coast. We visited with her parents. We visited with her childhood friends. We visited with some of her extended family she hadn't seen for seven years. We went to the mall. We went out to eat a few times. We watched a firework display on a sailboat. On Sunday, we went to church, then drove back home. Every moment was lived to the fullest. Every moment was great fun. We focused on the rewards that every minute can bring when you let every minute be the serendipitous event it is meant to be.

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Today, I'm focusing on where I'm at. I've let go of the urgency. I've let go of rushing through life. I've let go of charting a course and then racing like hell to get there. (And a hell on earth is exactly what I ended up with.) On the other hand, I've found heaven enjoying the gift of the present.

next: Trusting God, Again

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 15). Letting Go of Urgency, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Last Updated: August 8, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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