You know that old saying, if you love something let it go... We may question, how do we know when to let go and when, well, not to?
I'm a big believer in letting go, not holding onto the stuff we shouldn't. My other blog that I hid from the world (why blog if you're going to keep it a secret? i don't know!) was entitled Getting to Letting Go. I find it interesting at this point that one of my blogs was about letting go and the other...(satisfy this hungriness) sounds to be about filling up. What a contrast. But isn't that life? Full of contrasts, full of all of it?
I read a passage from Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn in class tonight. I think it's worth repeating as I talk about letting go myself quite a bit.
"The phrase "letting go" has to be high in the running for New Age cliche of the century. It is overused, abused daily. Yet it is such a powerful maneuver that it merits looking into, cliche or no. There is something vitally important to be learned from the practice of letting go. [...] It is a conscious decision to release with full acceptance into the stream of present moments as they are unfolding. To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking."
It's so easy for us to react to our likes and dislikes. We're born doing it. Give us apple pie in a jar as a baby and we smile. Give us asparagus in a jar and our arms start flailing and here comes the wail if you try that again. While it's obviously natural to have reactions, it's quite empowering to realize that they don't have to control you. When you take a beat, take two...you realize that this thing that is causing you such a ruckus is really (not usually) that big of a deal. I'm talking here about the smaller things that we constantly react to like being in the car with less capable drivers than yourself around :) (my number one space to spaz out) or having someone clearly be rude to you (my number two space to spaz). Why do we have to give it back to them, who gains from that? Us? I don't really think so.
Clearly that is their stuff, not ours, right? If we realize that the stuff they're trying to give us is not actually ours...then it must be theirs. If they are carrying around this anger or sorrow or grief or jealousy or general malcontent (or horrible driving skills)... maybe we should give them our compassion instead of giving them back our anger, etc...
Listen, I know this isn't easy shit to do! I just got a speeding ticket the other night and, for whatever reason, I way overreacted. I was feeling off balance. I was tired, I had been driving for quite awhile and you would have thought that cop beat my dog in front of me while I watched. I was so angry that I had to be like, wait, what is this about? So, yeah, I still get angry and sad and all of that.
I had a teacher once talk about letting go as a leaf falling from a tree. The vision is so graceful, the gentle drift. The leaf doesn't scream and cry and kick and say "it's not fair, I'm not ready to fall! That tree let me go on purpose! It's always hated me!" No, that would be ridiculous. It accepts this moment and falls beautifully to the next and helps to fertilize the soil for the next year so more life can come from that process.
Letting go means to me not controlling the outcome but staying present gracefully through what is. Not letting fear influence your every action. Because what is...is what should be. We can work towards something, but that doesn't guarantee it will happen. If we try and control the outcome and get something not fully true as a result, what good is that? I suppose it's all one big lesson anyway. But I really want to learn to accept and be with what is. That's real stuff. No temper tantrums, no flailing the asparagus in a jar against the wall. Just breathing and being with and being present. And learning.
xo and namaste~ erin