Trying not to Try


Slowly. Reluctantly.

Hesitance settles down upon your shoulders.

Fear and Doubt gnaw at your bones.

One step at a time.

Blind trust. A leap of faith.


Let Go.

Struggling only tightens the reins.

You belong in the world —



No chains to tie you down.


At last.

©Jennifer Horton

I’m trying to take it easy today. I guess it’s a little  ironic that I have to expend effort in order to take it easy, but such is my life. I read about a new book out the other day called “Trying not to Try,” and I think that encapsulates my experience perfectly. It’s a delicate balance. Often, as is the tendency with people like myself who are prone to think in black and white terms, I veer too much to one side or the other. In ‘trying not to try,’ I usually end up trying so hard that my original intent — to relax and take it easy — is completely obliterated. As though I think I can achieve peace and a sense of contentment by force. Hands clenched, muscles taught, I do everything I can to fit myself into that desired state, only to find that the harder I try the further away from it I get.

So today I’m back to square one: trying, once again, not to try. Sometimes, the best way for me to do this is to shut my brain down as much as possible. My thoughts normally spin in overdrive so much that by the end of the day my mind is utterly exhausted — from sunrise to sunset it’s an onslaught of thinking about what I have to do next and what I should be doing and how close I am to reaching my goals, yadda yadda yadda. Essentially I drive myself crazy by thinking ALL DAY LONG. I was trying to describe to my therapist once what this was like, and while I couldn’t quite come up with the words, every time I tried, my fists would clench and my jaw would tighten. THAT’s what it’s like. It’s like having your fists clenched all day long, trying SO FUCKING HARD to be the person you want to be. Occasionally, I just want to scream and say fuck it. Fuck the whole damn thing, I’ll go live in a cave somewhere and screw all this shit.

And then I hear the birds singing outside, and I feel the warmth of the sun through the window, and I know that’s not really what I want. What I really want is just to be here. In this moment. And this moment. And this one. Because life really is such a beautiful thing when I’m not adding all these unnecessary layers onto it and complicating it with my thoughts.

Accept…. Release…. Let go……

Today, I’m unclenching my fists and relaxing my jaw. Today, I just want to be here without all that baggage. So I’m putting it down.

Struggling only tightens the reins.

You belong in the world. 

I belong in the world.

No chains to tie you down.

No chains to tie me down.

Free, at last.


Shake off your chains today people. Put down your baggage. And soar.



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