It is extremely challenging to remember in times of strife to “let go”. It’s difficult because oftentimes we don’t catch ourselves in the moment trying to control things. Leaving our lives and will to an unknown (some call it a higher purpose or “god”) can feel like throwing away or abandoning all our hopes and dreams. But by practicing the art of letting go, we later learn that rather than destroying our identity or what we believe is important to us, letting go is more like simply letting go of our attachment to the outcomes. We still have dreams. We still ambitions. We still have desires. And we should.
But after a while, we come to understand that the process of “letting go” isn’t something we just “do.” It’s something we experience and apply daily in all aspects of our life. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard. It can’t be rushed, pushed, or forced. But it can, for certain, begin, after we take that first step. And then the second. And then the third. And keep walking forward. Step by step. Day by day. We move forward courageously as we are not used to letting go of our perceived control over life.
It meant trusting. Just like knowing the feeling of warmth by experiencing cold, we must learn trust by experiencing deceit. Sometimes life’s greatest blessings are life’s toughest lessons and without them we would not be where we are, who we are, or have what we have.
“Letting go” to me, meant trusting that life isn’t happening to me, but for me, and that it’s ok to let go of the desire to only feel “warm”, and just allow it to be cold sometimes.
We come to trust and believe in something bigger than ourselves and that whatever that is, it knows exactly what we need in order to get to where we need to be, and we acknowledge and accept that even though sometimes we think we know better, the fact is that we don’t. We make mistakes. We are all human.
We come to understand that our strongest moments are not when we are fighting against that which simply is, but when we learn to find peace in the midst of it all. Looking back, we see courage and resiliency.
When we are able to find peace in the moment, it gives us clarity into the situation, the people we are dealing with, and who we are and how we want to respond. It gives us strength to hold off on impulsive reactions that we may later regret, and guides us into making decisions we know we can live with. Sometimes “to let go” is something big like entirely letting go of the situation or relationship, and sometimes it is simply putting ourselves in a “time out” while we calm down and open ourselves up to a higher power or “divine guidance” or “intuition” or whatever you want to call it.
When we are able to calm our mind, body, and spirit, it helps us “see” what is going on without any of our default filters (e.g., anger, sadness, insecurity, etc.). By letting go of our need to control things and people, we find something we never expected: that we are in good hands- always have been and always will be. We are surrounded by supporting, loving people. We have the tools and resources we need to get through this.
We reconnect with ourselves and our heart. We come to understand that our heart, like any muscle, can only get stronger through exercise. It is normal to find ourselves tired of exercising our minds, hearts, and bodies, because it requires quite a bit of effort, consciousness/mindfulness, and a little bit of being uncomfortable. It’s ok to rest sometimes. But exercise, we know, is the only way to get the results we want (a better body, a better mind, or a better heart). So we bravely continue exercising our heart, which can sometimes feel like tension. We know tension all the time is not good, but no tension at all is also bad for us. In order to have strong hearts and minds and bodies, a good balance is all we need. When we start to understand that (and don’t let ourselves fall into one extreme or another) in a sense we are beginning the process of “letting go.”
When we let go, we find a sense of calmness, which in turn makes us better prepared to make decisions that will positively help us through sticky spots, rather than “shoot from the hip”. When we make well-informed and aware decisions, disappointments affect our inner peace much less. But when we get ourselves to this place of calm, we begin to truly feel like the captain of our own ship again.