I have seen and heard this statement for the last two weeks, and I’m realizing that this is the overall theme for October 2015 for all of us. To me, seeing and hearing these two little words is no coincidence, especially with what’s going on in my life lately. Then again, I don’t believe there are any such things as coincidences, but that’s another blog for another time.
Letting go…“Just let it go, already.” “Let go and let God.” Hell, Disney’s movie Frozen even has a song “Let It Go.” So, what’s it all mean? For me, it is releasing. Releasing what, you say? Well, releasing the past, the present, the future, my anger, my frustration, my disappointment, my hold, my need to control things and the outcomes, past relationships, current relationships I’m frustrated with. I could go on and on.
But “letting go” is one of the hardest things for us to do. Yours truly included. Sometimes, I’m in the absolute flow of the universe, and I feel unstoppable. And other times, I want to control everything down to the last and final detail, which includes how I want the outcome to go. In relationships, I’ve been extremely angry with a person, have had my heart broken, been hurt by something someone said to me or, in general, have been very disappointed in a person’s behavior toward me or my family.
But why is it so hard to “let go?” It’s our insane need to control everything that is happening to and in our lives, including the thoughts, behaviors, and actions of others. It’s our expectations we have of others, our circumstances and situations, and of our outcomes, and then the disappointment when our expectations are not met. It’s the story we continue to tell ourselves is happening to us, taking on a “victim” mentality. The sad part is we waste so much energy on these things, when we could be using that energy toward something more constructive in our lives. I know because I do it all the time, until I get slapped upside the head by the universe, telling me to “keep it on the down low. It’s all good.”
We “carry” these things around with us all day long. Our thoughts flit to that person we’re irritated with or angry at and can’t control, or to our circumstances or situations that are completely in the hands of and at the mercy of other’s actions. But how do we release it all. Well, it takes practice, but it can be done.
I remember a story I used to read to my daughter when she was little. It was called Zen Shorts. One of the stories was about a young woman and two monks. The young woman was screaming for someone to carry her across the muddy street. The older monk crosses the street, picks up the woman, and puts her down on the other side. The young woman never thanked the monk and treated him poorly. The two monks continued on their way. However, later, the younger monk asked the older monk why he was not angry with how the young woman treated him. The older monk stated, “I put her down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?”
In the book, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo, he states “in a moment of ego we refuse to put down what we carry in order to open the door.” The author suggests taking the following steps:
- “Meditate on some threshold you are having trouble crossing in your life. It might be at work, at home, in a relationship, or the doorway to greater peace.
- Breathe steadily and look to yourself to see if you are carrying too much to open the door.
- Breathe slowly and with each out-breath put the things you are carrying down.
- Breathe freely now and open the door.”
In order to let go, we need to stop carrying these burdens, to put these down at the threshold, close the door, and walk away, to release that which is no longer serving us and ask for the highest and best good for all involved. You will be surprised at how much lighter you feel. It’s quite liberating, in fact.
So, this month, think about what you need to release in your life and just “Let Go.” Here’s to a beautiful October!