How to Master the Art of Letting Go
(continued from How to Regain Connection with Your Higher Self)
Letting go can be delightful, such as releasing a 'wild thing with wings' from one's hands or loosing an impediment to allow a stream to flow more freely. Yet humans may struggle with letting go of the comfort of habits, emotionally charged projections of the future or memories of the past even when it would mean their freedom.
There are many types of letting go. Sometimes one lets go, not by choice or conscious agreement, but when forced by life circumstances. When a loved one is suddenly gone or favorite things must be relinquished or familiarity left behind, one may 'let go' physically but bury the painful emotions inside.
Sometimes letting go is premature, as when giving up on a deep heart longing. Hanging on too long or letting go too early or unwillingly can clutter the human space and experience with bitterness and resentment.
This has been a hard-learned lesson for me and for many. Pain ran deeper and far longer than it had to, by my not looking quickly and honestly at my unprocessed grief over a period of years from the deaths of two brothers, my mother and father, the brain surgery of my first wife and our later divorce. I dragged a great weight through my life and it was not needed if I'd gained the understanding to work with my emotions. The way would have been much easier if I had mastered earlier the art of letting go when there is a 'stalling reaction', in the present moment.
Life quality for me depends not on things or even relationships but on free space to realize my true being and communicate with the Higher Self, the perfect self. When we humans clutter our space with discord, the communication signal is scrambled. Nothing is a greater joy than to feel joyful for no reason, from within.
What besides attachments to people and things is there to let go of? In order to give my true nature room to unfold, I continue to let go of:
- defending myself,
- having to control,
- non-authentic desires which come not from my own intent,
- limiting beliefs, habits and opinions,
- fixed ideas of how things have to be,
- taking care of how people feel when it is their responsibility,
- the need to belong or achieve in society,
- thinking that anyone or anything is 'special' above another,
- dwelling on the past or future,
- rebellion, manipulation,
- over-analysis, preoccupation,
- projection, expectation and speculation.
Thoughts are also possessions and the more I drag them along, the heavier they become. I grow less identified with all of these, and more with my authentic being.
As an example of being detached from charged emotions without being removed from life, I may let go of my macho need to 'win an argument' by responding neutrally but warmly to the other person's view, "That certainly is one way to look at it." Staying centered and transparent is the best I can do for another person as well as for myself.
When a person tells me that their religion is "the only way," I may say, "I certainly respect your right to your beliefs and choices."
Or if I get into a heated discussion and can stop long enough to make the conscious choice to exit from it, I may simply respond with, "Is it so?" or "As you say." And then I clean up inside myself any residue of lingering resentment and acknowledge that the other person has a right to their temporary experience. If there are any further responses needed from me, I will know it in the moment.
The whole person is freed and nourished by engaging not in what is entangling or depleting but in what is actual and in the life-affirming present moment.
For more reading
Less is More in the Art of Letting Go
Excellence: inherent natural ability to thrive