"When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be.
When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need."
-The Tao Te ChingIt always seems funny to me how life has a way of forcing us to be honest with ourselves even when we try, unsuccessfully, to convince ourselves we are not holding onto something from our past. For example, running into an old friend unexpectedly and after the meeting becoming overwhelmed with emotions thought to have been long ago discarded and dealt with. To me this is a sign that we haven’t put it in the past, we haven’t really come to terms with it and moved on in a way that would be beneficial.
I remember quite some time ago on Oprah’s talk show when she discussed how lessons repeat themselves again and again until they are learned. First they begin as a whisper, with regards to how they will present themselves in our lives, but if we continually refuse to listen or learn from the lesson, they become louder and louder, eventually becoming obstacles we cannot ignore anymore. Feeling these unexpected emotions is, I believe, a whisper, a way of saying, I think you need to examine why you are still attached in some way, get to the bottom of it, so that you can move past it.
Sometimes I do believe we hang on to things, more so in our subconscious, because we are fearful of what we will be grasping for when we let go. A perfect example comes from a quote by an anonymous author which states that hanging on to something in our past “ . . . is much like crossing monkey bars. [We] have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” And the fact is we don’t know what we will discover or learn unless we reach out with the hand we have freed from being held so long in the past.
Not knowing what we will be reaching out for, or find within our grasp, is frightening. Becoming our best self takes courage, but we cannot achieve a unique and different life for ourselves if we continually hold on to the life we had.
While I believe letting go is a perfect analogy for letting go of past feelings and relationships, I also think it can be tied to letting go of mediocrity and the following of others. And that is why I’m going to leave you with one more quote for today that deals with creativity. Those that have achieved great success in the world of art, design, fashion, music and even business to some extent, have gathered up the courage and let go of the certainties they knew and stepped into an otherwise unchartered path. In doing so, they began going down a path that no one may have ever taken before, but that is what caused them to be recognized and valued in their field.
"Creativity can be described
as letting go of certainties."
Today, value yourself enough to let go of feelings that are holding you back from becoming who you might have been and proceed forward with courage. The universe has a funny way of providing for us if at first we have the courage to step forward to show that we want it badly enough.
Have a courageous and beautiful start to the week. Out of curiosity, what have you let go of that, in retrospect, you now realize was holding you back from who you were meant to become? I would love to hear.