This morning I picked up my worn out copy of The Language of Letting Go. I was so touched by the reading that I wanted to re-type it verbatim in this blog. But, alas, when I got to my copy of the original book that I have at work, it didn’t have the same reading for today. It must be a different version of the book. I’m pretty ticked about it, too. I can’t “let go” of wanting what I want. I walked out of my meeting this morning, and it’s cold and cloudy. I want some sunshine. I have to let go of that, too.
I think Melody chose that title for these astounding, profound meditation books because the art of letting go is one that none of us really ever “get”. I read somewhere that this life is all about learning how to let go of things. That’s the core lesson we all have to learn. In childhood, we have to learn to let go of being able to meet our own needs and let someone else take care of us. As teenagers, we learn to let go of the fact that we will be loved by our peers for who we are. As adults, we begin the arduous process of letting go of the fact that we are not GOD, and we don’t get everything we want. As we age, we let go of our influence, our faculties, our independence, and, finally, our life itself. It is a practice that never ends …… this letting go business.
I’ve learned that there are two extreme ways to avoid letting go … both described by codependency. There are the individuals who are so squeamish about letting go that they never connect. They’d rather not fully commit to love or let themselves fall into relationship at all so they never feel the pain of letting go. On the other extreme, there are those of us who just refuse to let go of anything …. anything ….until we have no other choice. I fall more into the second camp, but I can see that I’ve been doing a dance for the last couple of years on the other end of the spectrum. I generally won’t let go of a belief … a relationship … a dream … until my cold dead hands are pulled off, and I have no life left in me to resist. As the pendulum swings, I’m now afraid. I don’t do it gracefully, so why go there at all? Ugh …. I hate it … this letting go process.
We often refer to the grieving process when we have a significant loss, but, really, we have to go through the grieving process for every single little loss in our lives. And, there are so many losses that we don’t even acknowledge. We sometimes approach the letting go process by not even acknowledging that a loss has occurred. We inevitably have to deal with the loss. If we numb out or otherwise ignore that we need to let go, we end up carrying that loss around in our guts and have to feed it constantly with food, depression, bitterness and anger or any number of addictions and compulsions. We HAVE to learn to let go. I wish I could do it with more grace.
- We have to let go of relationships and our dream of the way they should look. We fight to keep them the same, and relationships are living … they change constantly.
- We have to let go of our dreams in order to accept the life we have.
- We have to let go of loved ones who die or move on.
- We have to let go of core beliefs that don’t work for us anymore. Those can go down really hard because we don’t usually even know they are there … tripping us up … tearing us apart.
- We have to let go of pets that adore us.
- We have to let go of financial security. Money comes and goes …. it always has and always will. Job security is the same way. There is no such thing. In fact, there is no security of any kind. It’s all a cruel fallacy designed to keep us from facing the fact that we have to let that go.
- We have to let go of the belief that life will be fair. The good guys don’t always win, and the bad guys sometimes get the girl. And, just because we always have our heart in the right place, it doesn’t mean we’ll get what we want.
- We have to let go of the belief that we know what we need. We may know what we want but we’re not in charge of that either.
- We have to let go of the belief that God chooses to be in control of everything. Yes, He has the capability, but He gives us free will, and sh*t happens. He doesn’t always intervene, and, when He does, it may have nothing to do with how good you are.
- We have to let go of addictions, compulsions and coping mechanisms that keep us stuck.
- We have to let go of our health … either when we’re young … or when we’re sick …. or when we’re about to die.
- We have to let go of whether or not our boss, our spouse, our kids, our friends or strangers like us. We also have no control of what they think of us or what they say about us.
- We have to let go of race entry fees when we’re injured … and the fear that we’ll never be able to run again.
- We have to let go of the weather, too. Today it is cloudy out, and I so want the sunshine. But, I have to let go of that, too. Maybe the world needs the rain.
OR … if we choose, we don’t have to let go of anything at all. With that choice, your life will basically suck. You will spend your life stuck, hurt, numbed out, angry, bitter and sick. I’ve never seen or heard of one person who never learned to let go of anything who is happy. Mother Theresa let go of the fact that she didn’t feel God for over 30 years of her lifetime and did what she needed to do anyway. Even Jesus had to let go of the way His people behaved … he could only offer relationship … and, if they didn’t take it, He let go of it.
I will leave you with a reading about Letting Go from Melody Beattie’s book The Language of Letting Go. It’s not the one I wanted to give you, but I have to let go of that. It’s the one I have….
Letting Go (December 4th Meditation)
“How much do we need to let go of?” a friend asked me one day.
“I’m not certain,” I replied, “but maybe everything.”
Letting go is a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical process, a sometimes mysterious metaphysical process of releasing to God and the Universe that which we are clinging to so tightly.
We let go of our grasp on people, outcomes, ideas, feelings, wants, needs, desires – everything. We let go of trying to control our progress in recovery. Yes, it’s important to acknowledge and accept what we want and what we want to happen. But it’s equally important to follow through by letting go.
Letting go is the action part of faith. It is a behavior that gives God and the Universe permission to send us what we’re meant to have. Letting go means we acknowledge that hanging on so tightly isn’t helping to solve the problem, change the person, or get the outcome we desire. It isn’t helping us. In fact, we learn that hanging on often blocks us from getting what we want and need.
Who are we to say that things aren’t happening exactly as they need to happen?
There is magic in letting go. Sometimes we get what we want soon after we let go. Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes the specific outcome we desire doesn’t happen. Something better does.
Letting go sets us free and connects us to our Sourc.e.
Letting go creates the optimum environment for the best possible outcomes and solutions.
Today, I will relax. I will let go of that which is upsetting me the most. I will trust that by letting go, I have started the wheels in motion for things to work out in the best possible way.