The Art of Letting Go
I’m looking out my window at the snow falling outside (it’s been coming down all day) and thinking about the concept of Letting Go. It’s something I’ve been learning to do for the last several years of my life, but never more than recently.
What is it, exactly, this letting go? At first it is a difficult concept to understand, and then once it is understood it is still a difficult thing to do sometimes. This is because it is a subtle and delicate inner shift that happens only when the soul is truly ready. It is subtle and delicate, but extremely powerful, because it is the shift that opens us up wide to allow the Universe to take over. Most people associate the idea of letting go with surrender, and oftentimes that word has negative connotations, the idea of “giving up.” But as Kathy and I were actually discussing over the phone last weekend, I have come to recognize that when I let go, I am not letting go of myself, or the things that are important to me. I am not surrendering my needs and desires, as though I no longer have them. Instead, I am letting go of control, of trying to force and manipulate the fulfillment of those needs and desires. When I let go and surrender control over my life and the situations and people in it to the Universe and its capable, unconditionally loving and wise flow, I feel the opposite of helpless. Instead, I have learned that it is the only way to experience being truly powerful.
There has been one relationship in particular recently that has been a real challenge in the area of letting go. It’s revealed many things about myself to me, and helped me to understand some of the deep inner workings that go on inside me and everyone else in life and relationships. I began to understand that, in an effort to get the love and validation we all need, we tend to try to control the people and situations in our lives. This is the only reason we ever feel the need to control anything: because we want to feel safe, secure, and have our needs met. Unfortunately, it is only an illusion that we can control other people, or even the situations in our lives. There is a much bigger process going on, and once we realize that, it makes it easier to stop trying to run the show (which is the source of stress and anxiety in our lives). It also allows us to put our focus on getting our needs met in the appropriate way: by Source, and our own strong, bright inner Spirit. When we give over our control and put our trust in Spirit/God/the Universe, we will never be disappointed.
And yet, as the title of this post alludes to, letting go is a learned art. It is a process. We gradually learn to soften, to open ourselves, to loosen our grip and surrender. We learn how to relax into the loving support of Spirit. It is something that is not easy at first, but gradually becomes second nature. It is once you experience letting go that you realize its profound sensibility. The feelings of peace and well-being that result from this humble and trusting act, and the ways things begin to fall into their proper place naturally, make you realize that this is the easier way to live. It allows you to be more present, more open, more alive.
As we come to the end of this old year and prepare to embrace the new, I hope you think about what letting go means to you and what it could mean in your life. What are some ways you can surrender control, or let go of what no longer serves you? Practice allowing the Universe to take over. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Love and Light, Jessica Eve