Thursday, 28 October 2021
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

Let go of what you can’t control and focus on the good

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Jan 10, 2021

Back in the 50s, it may have been the case that diamonds were a girl’s best friend, but in 2021, in the times of Covid-19, I think most pet owners would disagree.

Without a shadow of a doubt, my best friend and my most treasured possession is my cat, Lucky Boots.

I wouldn’t swap him for all the diamonds in the world.

If there has been something good that has come out of this time in the world, it is that we are learning what’s really important. Strip everything back and what’s left? Love.

Love is always there.

We just need to remember that, as often as we can. Thankfully my furry, grey, four-legged friend is a constant reminder of what love is.

He’s not just there for the good times, to get fed, for a warm body to lay next to, or when the sun is shining. He’s there for it all, and accepts me just as I am.

It goes both ways. Even I’m woken up with a cold wet nose against my face at 4.30am, I can’t get annoyed by him. Even when he’s standing half-in, half-out the door for ten minutes while he decides whether he’s going out in the rain, I can’t rush him. Even when I have spent the day trying to figure out why my Zoom camera has stopped working, and I realise it was probably that morning when a certain someone was walking all over the keyboard and switched the camera button off, I can’t be cross. I take one look at him and I melt.

My over-riding thought is one of pure love and of being so thankful that he’s here with me for this. Coming all the way here from Devon, he’s like a small miracle every day, and I know that he helps me get through this latest lockdown, in fact, life in general.

I read that “love is the light in a heart filled with gratitude”, and this really hit the mark for me. In yoga, we call it “santosha”, which means a feeling of joy and contentment that comes about by focusing on what we are grateful for.

It also applies to letting go of what you can’t control and focusing on the good.

In my teaching recently I’ve been talking about a book called “Man’s Search for Meaning”, which was written by a psychiatrist called Viktor Frankl, and the methods he applied to help him survive Auschwitz.

One of his famous quotes is: "Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedom - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

I’m sure it applies to women too, but the point is that when we can apply the wisdom of realising what we can and can’t control, and that we have a choice as to what we focus on, it helps us feel we have some sense of power again.

It also helps us stay in the path of love, rather than fear.

This week I made the decision to ban myself from watching the news for the foreseeable future. I realised I can’t watch Boris’ announcements without getting triggered, and I started to question why I was watching news at all as it doesn’t make me feel healthy or happy. It just depletes my energy and makes me feel sad.

I get the information I need from sensible sources that don’t resort to fear-mongering and I leave it at that.

Instead I’ve chosen to adopt an “attitude of gratitude” for what I do have - a “sigurna luka” (safe harbour) here in Molunat, some awesome friends I can stay connected with by video (now I’ve figured out the camera button!), all I need in terms of food and sustenance, work I absolutely love, and a rather glorious cat.

When I focus on these things, I feel a warm and fuzzy glow throughout my whole body, I feel the love in the world, and as the saying goes, love is all we need.

Read more Gillie here...  


Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

To find out more about Gillie go to


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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