Practice: Letting Go
As we all must know by now, everything is temporary, right? Even if you don’t want to admit it or are slow to admit it, everything and everyone we love and cherish will one day be gone. And we will one day be gone too! The hanging onto “things” and “people” as if they were permanent causes us a great deal of suffering. We know everything is temporary and yet we when we lose a job or a loved one or even a pair of our favorite earrings we are upset beyond measure. This more often then not occurs because we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking that things will pretty much go on as they always have, forever.
Of course we’re going to be upset when we lose someone we love because we “loved them” and we will miss them dearly. It’s not so much the being upset part that I’m talking about as it is the shock of sudden change……as if somehow, it was never going to happen to us!
But it does! This is reality. With practice however we can grow to not only accept sudden change, or any change, but also to appreciate it. How can you grow if you are not willing to change? “You lose one job, you’re crazy upset about it, you contemplate retaliation, only to land a different job that you are much more suited to and one that pays twice as much!” How many times have you known this to happen to people? Where someone ended up on the sunny side of loss? So many blessings come because of loss yet we are so quick to cry about it or be angry about it that we hardly give it a chance to fully play out.
How will you mature and develop and age with grace if you aren’t willing to let go? Letting go of what was? Letting go of your expectations? Letting go of thinking you know exactly how it’s suppose to all turn out? Isn’t this the mystery of life that makes it so exciting? The fact that we don’t ever really know?
With practice you can learn to actually embrace change and feel the freedom and liberation that accompanies “letting go.” How do we practice this you might ask? By intentionally letting go of things you cherish. That’s right! Don’t wait until you are forced to part with your precious treasures. Give them up willingly and completely. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to loosen your grip on things that although maybe beautiful, aren’t really all that meaningful in the end.
Here’s how it works: If someone say’s, “I love those earrings! Where did you get them?” In that very moment, take them out of your ears and give them away. If someone admires a particular article of clothing, and it might fit them, give it away. If someone jokingly asks for something they love that belongs to you (as I sometimes do with my sister and my girlfriends), give it up! If someone admires a piece of artwork you made or one that you own, that you really love but you know they love it more, let them have it! Start looking around your house and in your closets and see if you can think of people who would really appreciate this or that……not because you’re tired of it but because you love it and yo know they will too! I know this seems contrary to popular belief but honestly, I’m here to tell you, it’s such a refreshing exercise you might even get addicted to it.
Plus, it’s so wonderful to brighten someone else’s day through the simple gesture of giving. And when it’s completely unexpected and happily given, you will blow people away.
The more you liberate yourself from “things” you are attached to, the more you’ll be liberated from ideas you are attached to, and conditioning, and roles, and ways. You’ll see. You might even thank me!
Letting Go Challenge: At least once a week over the next two months, find something you really love and cherish, and simply give it away. You can do this! Be sure to notice how it makes you feel. Also notice how rarely you even think about it once it’s gone.