Updated: Jan 31, 2020
When thinking about letting go, the words above are perfect. It's about being present in each moment, and getting as close to a full life experience as we can. To begin this, we can take steps to learn how to let go of what is not ours to hold on to forever.
Here are three tips that can support this learning.
Let's start at the very beginning -
letting go of the fact that we need to let go of something in the first place.
1. Acceptance before anything else.
Perhaps the most challenging is the acceptance of any emotional or physical issue we know exists within us. We continue to fuel our negative bonds to these, because we are constantly longing for those thoughts and feelings not to be our truth. This creates within us a resistance to the reality of our mental, emotional state, making it very hard to let go. How can we start to make positive change if we cannot acknowledge what needs changing in the first place?
You may long for change, or long for something to be different, but to take the first step, you need to meet yourself where you are at and respect the reality for what it is.
Push away what is, and what is will continue to push back. Rushing the healing process, or glossing over the reality, rather than meeting it with curiosity, will prevent you from really letting go and moving forward. The art and practice of acceptance is a valuable learning, it is one of self exploration, self enquiry, and being able to explore the present moment with curiosity, courage, and without expectation or self judgement.
As Shunryu Susuki suggests, letting go doesn't mean you resist or avoid, just that you don't serve tea to every passing thought or emotion.
2. Making space.
Meditation, even in small amounts, provides the opportunity to pay attention to the present moment and creates 'space' to allow the thoughts and feelings that are in your conscious awareness come and go. There is no need for you to clear them, control them, or even feel them, you just want to be able to be your own observer of them, while using a focused breathing technique or repeating a simple mantra. You can learn to let go of negative attachments by simply refocusing and bringing yourself back to the present moment. Meditation is a perfect and peaceful way to gain awareness of how attached you are to your negative thoughts, feelings or worries.
3. Self Compassion
Learning to have compassion for yourself and everything about yourself can take time because you may feel uncomfortable with this concept, you may feel not good enough, or feel you are not deserving of it. This is a barrier to any willingness to let things go. Learn to experience and embrace every attachment, every thought that comes and goes, as an opportunity for compassion and awareness. Add a little extra minute to the end of your meditation to release all attachment and invite love into your heart in it's place. Let this request for love extend outwards and send it to others who are also in need.
Slowly but surely, the more you practice, the more learn. The more you learn, the more your awareness will grow. The more you grow, the more space you will create to allow your thoughts to come and go. From your heart centre, you will shift your focus from the feelings of attachment to feelings of love.
Even though you may still have attachments and things to let go of, you are starting to accept and love yourself anyway, and what you see in others, helps you understand that your own challenges are not so impossible.
Wishing you Love and Light.
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