It's All a Mindset: The Logic of Letting Go
When we are children, and someone tells us to ‘let go,’ it is usually in reference to something material, and when we let go, we can either feel empty, as if we are being deprived of something, or we can feel full, knowing that we have allowed someone to have that something, and s/he must really need it.
As adults, letting go can still leave us feeling empty or full. Both feelings may occur simultaneously. Ultimately , letting go will allow us to feel free, unburdened, healed, happy, even joyous . I intend to address how we can reach these ultimate feelings.
The concept of letting go is very complex. For the sake of this discussion, i will divide the various aspects of letting go into three categories: 1) physical, 2) psychological, and 3) spiritual.
When i discuss the physical realm, i am talking about anything tangible, whether it is our bodies or our environment. Our environment can often be cluttered, so purging of much of this stuff can be truly liberating.
Our bodies may not please us, so we can choose to let go of extra weight. We can choose to let go of bad habits and addictions. We can choose to free ourselves of the indiscriminate materialism and consumerism that requires constantly acquiring more and more of anything.
Moving from the physical to the psychological, we move to the why of those items that we could let go of physically. For example, why do we have all of the stuff that needs to be purged? What has caused the rampant materialism that has allowed us to fill up our lives with objects and beings? I almost wrote ‘inanimate,’ but there are those who fill up their lives with pets and children and casual acquaintances rather than real relationships.
All such acquisitional behaviour is symptomatic of a psychological need that longs to be filled, but which should be purged. The same is true of other unpleasant emotions, like anger, fear, jealousy /envy, even hate; when a psychological need exists, it causes these emotions to manifest in an attempt to satisfy that need. Guess what?
The very same is true for any bad habits and addictions we want to let go of; while there may be a biochemical component to these, they also are indicative of some sort of need or self-perceived deficiency or pain that, in turn, is symptomatic of needing to spiritually let go.
Truthfully, one could argue that if one lets go and purges at the physical and psychological levels, spiritual level purges and progress will automatically follow. Instead of dealing with those two arguments, i am going to run to one common expression: Let Go; Let God.
When we consider the spiritual level, by definition we are dealing with the Divine by whatever name we wish to call Him. Also, by definition, we are exiting the scientific arena that forms the foundation of most of my work, and moving into the realm of faith, which happens to form the foundation for the remainder of my work.
Most spiritual advisors argue that happiness and joy are the natural state of our souls. Therefore, if these are not what we feel, what must be purged from the spiritual realm?
Because every single major faith has reincarnation as one of its major tenets, and the purpose of reincarnation is for the spirit to achieve a higher state. Ridding ourselves of karma is the ultimate purge!
Now that we have seen the different levels of letting go and purging, how do we begin the process? Try beginning with just one small step in one aspect of your everyday life. Identify something that you don't need, and let go of it. Perhaps it will be your décor?
Even though i embrace much of Mies van der Rohe’s ‘Less is More’ philosophy, one does not have let go of an overall personal style that you might enjoy more in order to simplify and streamline your life. However, it may help to examine “Why” you have a particular décor, and whether it might merit letting go in order to have a more lifeenhancing physical environment. Mostly, this is about just getting rid of accumulated material items that aren’t needed any more.
Think about the motivations you have for selecting a career, a hobby, a car, a house, even a spouse. Are those motivations from your own internal dreams and drive, or are there some external pressures? This is moving beyond the realm of everyday activity , and into the realm of special activity ; these special events are most often psychological in nature.
Remember, though, that there are many ways to get an education, so temper all external pressures with your internal dream. Loosen the influence of external pressures, learn what your choices are, listen to your own internal dream, and then let go of what isn’t part of that internal dream.
Now that you have identified your internal dream, what is holding you back from achieving your greatness? Money? Fear? Inhibitions? Overwhelming anger? Frustration? Laziness? Whatever it is, you must start to let go of what is holding you back.
For instance, i have a beautiful relative who is very intelligent and artistically talented; she once told me that her dream was to write children’s books. When i asked her why she didn’t ‘just do it,’ she said she was afraid of failing. I urged her to let go of her fear of failure, but that fear had its hooks in too deep.
Once you start letting go of what you don’t need, and loving all, you will have fewer blocks in your spiritual Path! As you begin to ‘Let go,’ you automatically begin ‘Letting In.’ Both are processes, so please don’t expect overnight success. Start small, and change will occur incrementally.
Let go of the need for perfection and the physical, psychological and spiritual baggage that embodies . Let in the goal of self-improvement throughout your life. Let in Love. We are all works in progress. Make a pact with yourself to show just a little more love every day. Let in the Divine.