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Que Sera Sera
Lyrics from a popular Doris Day song from the 1950’s:
“Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be;
the future’s not ours to see, que sera sera”
A few years ago my sister wisely advised me, “que sera, sera” when I was complaining about my relationship with a man who seemed very slow to succumb to my charms. He just wasn’t that into me, but I was definitely into him and I was waiting patiently for the day when he’d come to his senses. I even imagined us being buried side by side someday, for God’s sakes! (Neither of us were spring chickens.)
“Que sera, sera. Easy for you to say. You’ve got a husband,” I thought to myself, indulging in a little self-pity. I remember how very difficult it seemed to even think about having such a free ‘n easy whatever will be, will be attitude. It sounded so blazé. How could you feel like that if you really cared? Right?
That relationship never got off the ground. The resistant boyfriend finally admitted it never would. Letting go of my attachment to him and to the future I had imagined with him took me several wailing, depressed, I’ll-never-love-again months. But I got over it.
And after that, I loved differently. I think it was a combination of things. Maybe something inside me just decided it didn’t want to go through all that wailing again, but I think there’s more to it. I’ve been meditating for years now. Twice a day. A complete failure at it if you ask me. But I have noticed a slight shift in my controlling, gotta-have-it -my-way behavior. It snuck up gradually, quietly, somewhere along the way. For 20 minutes I sit on my butt and let the thoughts flow through me, letting them go, over and over. I never really achieve what I consider stillness of mind, but I try not to latch onto the thoughts. Just let them float through, like feathers in the wind.
It seems that letting go of the thoughts is good practice for letting go. Period. I seem more mellow, less attached to outcomes. And not just to boyfriends. It’s like I’ve internalized the serenity prayer. Changing things when I can; letting go of them when I can’t, and knowing the difference once in a while.
I had a good test of this recently, when one of my sons was in the grip of a serious depression. He was a train wreck and until his meds kicked in, his anguish and suffering were so intense I could hardly stand it. I cried with him one evening and that was a good thing, but I knew I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t control the situation, couldn’t make him happy, or I’d be eaten alive. I could hope for the best, and be there for him but that’s all, anything more would just be a form of control. “Release with love,” a friend of mine used to say when her mother was seriously ill and there was nothing she could do about it. I had to let go of my expectations that the story end the way I would’ve written it. I had to surrender. It was only then that I really could be there for him. And I keep surrendering. Every day.
I’m in a new relationship now, with someone who really is into me, and love him dearly, but, just like the situation with my son, I don’t know how it’ll turn out. I don’t fantasize about sharing a gravesite with him, thank heavens! I just enjoy the hell out of him, show up, and let things unfold without “pushing the river.” Perhaps getting older has helped to level me out some, but I’m pretty sure it’s at least partly the effect of being present to myself and to Presence Itself when I meditate that carries over into the rest of my life.
Maybe I’ve gotten the hang of “que sera, sera” at last.
By Ceci LaDuca