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There are times when I still struggle with letting go.
No matter how many spiritual books I read or realizations I have, I can’t deny that holding on sometimes feel good.
It makes me feel safe and in control. It makes me feel good. The more I cling to my object of attachment, the happier I feel. However, deep inside, I know that I can’t hold on for long. I know that at some point I need to release my attachment and let everything be.
But it’s difficult.
We all know how hard and scary it is to release something or someone we love—especially if we’re not ready to do it. Looking back, there were people, places, emotions, and situations that I refused to leave. There were things I refused to throw away. There were smells I wished I could save in jars and flavors I didn’t want to forget. But it didn’t matter. I couldn’t change the outcome and it hurt like hell.
At some point, we need to let go of what no longer serves us. We need to understand that the pain of grasping is worse than the pain of loving the wrong way. We realize that holding on is futile and we can never enjoy a fresh beginning with the past looming out of the darkness.
Choosing to let go will never be easy, but it will teach us how to cope with our pain and love without attachment. It will teach us the true meaning of love. It will teach us how to move forward, empty-handed. It will show us the way, even if we don’t see it right away.
Today I read a quote by Sogyal Rinpoche on letting go, and honestly it should be required reading for anyone who wants to unburden themselves and accept things as they are.
“Let’s try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object at which you are grasping. Hold it tightly clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging onto. That’s why you hold on. But there’s another possibility: You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it. So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.”
May it be of benefit.