“It is not the pain from hurt that challenges us but the relationship we have with it.”
Just the idea of ‘letting go’ or being told to ‘let go’ as many of us have heard before, can be confronting to hear. What does it mean to ‘let go’? How is it achieved? What are the steps involved?
To begin the process, it may help to know what you’re holding on to, how and what to do to facilitate that process. Holding on to something that’s destructive to your quality of life, takes a great deal of focus, effort and energy and inevitably a price to pay for the privilege.
“If my hands are fully occupied in holding on to something, I can neither give nor receive.”
Here’s a little experiment I encourage you to try. Clench your fist as hard as you can out in front of you. Do this for 1 minute without adjusting your effort. As the time ticks away and draws closer to the 1 minute mark, what are you noticing? What’s occurring as a result? What’s your mind saying? Are you becoming fatigued? Is your strength and effort waning?
Were you able to maintain the same input at the end as you did in the beginning of the exercise? Could you maintain this for 2 minutes? What about 1 day or even a week? What about 3 years? 10 years? You may be surprised to know that some people hold on to painful or difficult thoughts, feelings or behaviours for a large portion of their lives.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go.”
To make room for the practice of ‘holding on’, a re-arrangement of priorities must take place. Something must give. Typically, it’s your health and wellbeing on some level. Your mental health may suffer, struggling to cope with day-to-day tasks, perhaps your sleep quality has slowly diminished or maybe you’ve withdrawn over time and rarely see the people you enjoyed spending time with. What’s holding on really costing you?
”Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth)
To let go means to become aware of distressing thoughts, painful experiences and behaviours that causes harm to the quality of your life and the life of others around you as a by-product. Recognising how it’s having a negative impact in your life and actively address them in a way that helps you diffuse its power. Holding on to the past or wanting something different to what the current reality is, distances you from experiencing things like love, joy, laughter or engaging in the world around you.
”Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
Letting go is a process, a transition, a rite of passage from what was into something different, something new that carries a sense of reality, wisdom, and growth. Creating a new relationship with the pain and hurt you’re experiencing and holding on to.
By discovering more about yourself and who you are when you’re not holding on, opens a whole new world and can be incredibly enlightening. It creates room for more of what is within you to shine. Listen to that.