Let it go

Day 113 of #LiveWell2017

Day 113 let it go.png

This is my daily mantra. Let it go. It’s probably the most important idea that has shaped my life during the past five or so years and continues to be a driving force for me. I have let go of a lot of things – personal possessions, old ideas, guilt, unproductive relationships, to name a few. But I still have much to work on, more to let go.

Have you ever had your laptop computer greet you with the blue screen of death? That happened to my husband this morning. It’s an example of one of those defining moments when you can choose to get angry, frustrated, and shout at the world or you can choose to let go of what was and move on. Sure, maybe you lost a lot of important work files or sentimental photos, but getting angry and upset about it isn’t going to change what happened. Suffering (out loud or in silence) is what we do when we are hanging on to something, to what was.

Letting go is very liberating. For me, letting go of physical objects gives me a sense of freedom that is unparalleled. For one thing, when I don’t own much, it’s easy to locate what I do have. My things are not hidden in boxes or closets or rooms somewhere waiting to be found and used. They are easy to access, and I know that what I have is what I enjoy the most – things that add value to my life.

It’s the non-physical things that are harder to let go of, though. Ideas and feelings and relationships. Have you ever gone back to the place you grew up or went to college and were disappointed at how much it had changed? That’s attachment. We want things to be the same, even as we know change is the only constant.

I’m just beginning to understand that I can let go of ideas and feelings and other non-physical things – especially if I am aware of them. Meditation helps me to be more aware of the comings and goings of all the ideas and feelings that clutter my mind. It helps me let go. It gives me space to breathe and pay attention.

Sometimes I am amazed at the things people hold on to, and I feel sorry for them in their suffering. Then I realize that we each have to come to terms with our attachments in our own ways. Letting go isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

The more I let go, the happier I become. The more I let go, the calmer I feel. The more I let go, the more I can give to others. I’m still a work in progress.

What are you holding on to? How do you let go?

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