How in the world do you do this "letting go" thing?
Have you ever loved someone so much that you KNOW if they would only listen to you, and do what you say, they would be in a better position? I have.
Have you ever loved or cared about someone so much it pains you to see them in pain or stuck in a rut? I have.
Have you ever felt the internal satisfaction of “I told you so” when someone did not listen to you because you knew what was best? I have.
Have you ever convinced yourself that you are acting out of love and doing what is “best” for someone else, when honestly- it is what is best for you? I have.
When I first moved to the Eastern Shore I became friends with another Sara-but with an H. We used to have long talks about all sorts of things going on in our lives. On one occasion I shared how hard it felt to let go and let things take their own course. I really questioned the concept of “just let go”… “But HOW do you let things go?!” How in the world do you let something go when you see room for improvement, when you see suffering and when there feels like a big responsibility to help? What does letting go really mean anyway? If you let go are you just giving into accepting that everything is as good as it can possibly get? Would I be giving up on a situation?! (loud gasp, with my hand on my forehead) I was questioning this at work, with family situations and even in reading the news. Sarah listened to all of this and then gleefully suggested I stand on a chair and jump off! (Awkward Pause).
I looked at her like she had five heads. “Really. Really?” “Yes- if you can jump off a chair, everyday, and let go enough to do it then it will be easier to let go in other situations too. Consider it practice.”
At that time, I wanted badly to jump, I wanted so badly to stop the drama and the constant push to fix the things that felt insurmountable. But like any good addiction- it felt SO good to help. It felt SO good to offer solutions, and talk someone through the pain. I was exhausted afterwards and it took a toll on me but it was the only way, right? So, as Sara-with-an-H suggested I began jumping off anything I could find- curbs, chairs, steps. Not airplanes. I haven’t gone there yet but I practiced the act of jumping and often.
I started practicing acknowledgment. Noticing when I wanted to fix someone else’s issue because I love to help and love those close to me. When I noticed the old behavioral pattern coming in, I would take a deep breath and practice letting go and would focus on the parts I could control versus the ones I honestly could not. I took action on what I could and I took action of letting go of what I did not need to be involved with.
I let others do what they needed for them, not what I felt like they needed to do. And I still have to practice this, constantly. Life is a big circle right? We keep coming back around to the same lessons, only each time we can see a little more clearly and are 1% less messy. I was reading a book of daily meditations and this one really hit home to me on the concept of letting go.
This vast, vague, uncharted and often untaught territory of letting go can feel like the Wild Wild West, but let me tell you- it is pure, sweet, joy when it is practiced. “Relax and Flow I visited the Hoover Dam in Nevada some time ago and marveled at its construction and purpose. Here was a huge structure that had been built into a canyon to harness the power of thousands of tons of moving water. The water flows through the machinery, and the energy of the moving water is transformed into electricity that powers thousands of homes and businesses. But it wouldn’t work if you dammed up the lake, because the water has to be moving for it to have power. The secret to the power is in the flowing.
How often we try to stifle the flow of events in our lives with control. We think that if we could only get things to go the way we want, then everything would be all right. We take the energy of the universe and bottle it up. And we kill its energy. Let go of control. Let the energy of life flow through and around you. You can learn to direct the flow, but you don’t need to control it. Become open to the energy that is flowing around you, and rather than trying to bottle it up, let it flow. Energy is useful only when it is flowing.
Relax and go with the flow of the universe. You will be better able to harness its power. God help me let go of my need to control. Help me let go of my fear.” More Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie