Learn to let go of things in life, even the things you love.
My first impression to that statement is fear and refusal. It doesn’t make any sense. At least, it doesn’t feel like a natural thing to do, as if you almost have to learn the skill. We’re even encouraged in a way, to hold onto the things we have, and that shows me how backwards things are. Material things say nothing about a person. I could be brilliant and poor as a peasant (Mozart for example, didn’t know how to handle his money).
The whole concept of letting go, in fact, is scary. It is to me, at least. When you work hard for something, or you rely on something for support or comfort, you ordinarily wouldn’t want to get rid of it quickly. When that something goes away, you have to break out of your routine, and step out of bubble you were living in. You have to adjust. We center our lives around certain things, and when you hate your life, the few things you hold onto become so much more vital, so much more crucial to stay grounded. They go so far as to remind you of who you are. Or so you think.
Maybe holding on to those things, things in general really, is what holds one back. Maybe the attachments actually get in the way of living. You can’t stop worrying about that muffin top you recently developed. Perhaps your new shirt can never be worn because it looks so nice. Maybe those things take away from the experience of life. Is that a ridiculous thing to think? I know that when I have forced things to happen in the past, the natural flow is shoved aside, and everything turns sour. Part of acceptance is letting things be. Part of living in the moment is letting things happen.
I think the biggest thing about holding onto things that holds one back is that it keeps one attached to material things, earthly objects. If I become too attached to my computer, my clothes, my phone, my books, my furniture, even things like my reputation, I remain living at a shallow level, a level that is held in place by my wants for material pleasure. One may find comfort in objects, but it’s not true comfort. Furthermore, one’s true self really is so much more than a collection of ‘things.’
As was rather nicely shown in the movie Everything Must Go, the protagonist had to let go of all of his things to move forward in life, to move beyond on all the problems that plagued his life. I think Will Farrell does a fantastic job in that movie in showing that there is so much more out there if you can move beyond the sentimental attachments that we create. If you want to change your life, one of the first steps is to let go of the things you have, which change’s one’s view on objects in general.
Nobody said letting go was easy, and I’m certain not about to say otherwise. I haven’t let go of many things yet myself. I think more than anything, I hold onto my image. It really isn’t anything at all, just an idea I have of myself, but I value it highly and find that I struggle in just shrugging it off. It matters to me, but I must learn to let it go, because image really shouldn’t be where all my attention is put, and let’s not forget that the human body is really only a vehicle for my true self, my soul.
Letting go is an art, something we must discover, something that does not come from a
thinking, heady place, but rather a feeling place. Feeling life and going with the flow of the energies around you doesn’t mean giving up investing your enthusiasm and love into living, nor does it mean giving up the things you love in life. Because when you let go, you don’t have to forget and move on, and I believe that when you make a strong connection with something, it doesn’t ever truly die away or leave you. It becomes a part of you. Remember, those things (people, aspects of yourself, experiences) do not solely exist at the material plane. They transcend that level.
And it should be said that you don’t have to hold onto something to have it be a part of your life. The things you love won’t just leave. You may think they will, but they won’t.
Letting go requires a certain level of acceptance and openness towards life. I truly believe we must learn to let go of the many things in life, even things we think we love. If that aspect of your life is meant to be in your life, it’ll stay.
A great question of life is how to live. Must you always do, perform and accomplish, or are you content simply to be?
- The Process of Letting Go (openheartedshaman.wordpress.com)
- The Art of Letting Go & The Roots of Courage (abundantwildlife.typepad.com)
- The “Art” of Letting Go (elfinfun.wordpress.com)