I rarely use the words ‘letting go’ even though I know it is a popular expression that seems to help us move forward with some semblance of happiness.
Letting go is allowing happiness in. On the other hand, letting go can be painful. Like an exercise though, it is not a one time event. Nope, it is an every-morning-when-you-put-your-feet-on-the-cold- floor-to-start-another-day-kind-of-practice.
I aim toward letting go with less pain. That may require using the big C word–CHANGE. Change the belief that letting go will hurt you. Change even the idea that letting go has to be painful. When you want to control each moment, each person, take a deep breath, stop grasping or clinging so tightly.
Peace activist and Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, says that ‘letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything like anger, anxiety, or possessions, we cannot be free.’
There is a popular thought that ‘pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.’ Let’s just throw in that happiness is always an option too.
One of the reasons to even talk about letting go is to expand your happiness.We sabotage that happiness by making it dependent on things outside ourselves. We get unhappy about losing those things, people, habits or situations. Thus, we feel the pain.
If it feels scary to let go, just do it afraid. Just do it. Lifting that foot off the floor, may feel like wet cement stuck on the soles of your feet. It’s just a step, not the end of your world, even though it may feel like it though sometimes.
A step implies forward motion, a sort of good bye to something old. It’s like a cigarette butt stomped into the alley, like a step into the cold ocean waters, deep and unknown life floating below. But it is a movement toward.
Do it afraid.
Let go of pain. Let go of being angry or resentful. The result? Welcome new beginnings into your life.
Let go of attachments to always being right. And then what? Suddenly your mind and heart are more open.
When we finally lighten our load, we can move on.
FIVE simple metaphorical steps off the ledge of letting go.
- Write out what you want to let go of onto a piece of paper. One item to let go of per piece. Do you want to let go of anger or bitterness toward an ex-partner? Write it, scrunch it, scrap it, right into the garbage can.
- Visualize lifting a boulder off your shoulders. This metaphorical act of letting go allows you to finally move forward, with the lightness of a hummingbird.
- Practice letting things be as they are. This simply means to be at peace in this present moment. Operate from non-judgement. You can still work to manifest a better future.
- Change your beliefs. Find a way to do it. As a coach I can help you step through the debris of the past, even if it’s old ways of thinking about money, or parenting or any places you feel small, stuck or limited.
- Re-tell your old story with a different ending.
Here’s to letting go starting in the freshness of a new Spring Day.
I’ll leave you with a Zen Proverb:
Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday.
What have you let go of lately?
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