The “inaction” of letting go

A couple of days ago I went to a talk led by Rodolfo Young where he shared some insights after his second year in silence and among the many interesting subjects that were discussed, the one I want to share with you is the idea of ‘letting go’.

I was very drawn to this matter in particular because it seems to be a recurring theme this year for me and also because we hear and read about it everywhere nowadays.
Well, it has been an essential part of spiritual teachings for ages but now it seems to be popping up all over social media, yoga classes, guided meditations and so on… 

It is a very useful teaching, in the end there is no happiness in attachments of any sort and there is no reason to hold on to persons, feelings, things, and/or places that are no longer meant for us.

But… how do we let go? Is letting go something we have to do? Are we supposed to make an effort to let go? Is it that we must sit down and convince ourselves that we are ready to let go and just work towards it every day?

Well here is the problem — letting go is not an action. If we try and try to let go then we are holding on to this esoteric idea of letting go. We are focusing so much on whatever it is we want to detach from that we are making it impossible to do so because all of our attention is set on that uncomfortable feeling, loss, person, or whatever it might be. “To heal a wound you need to stop touching it.

Rodolfo pointed out that letting go is bound to happen always. – This too shall pass – Why? Because in nature nothing lasts forever so it is only natural that whatever is happening will pass by itself. So all we have to do is be present with whatever we are feeling and let it be. We are only vehicles of energy that flows in and flows out.

If we accept the place where we are even if it’s dark, scary and painful we will be out of it faster than if we try to convince ourselves that we have to let it go and fast.

 Photo: Ivan Blasser / Digital Grain Studios

Photo: Ivan Blasser / Digital Grain Studios

When you cage those feelings and try to “throw them away” in an attempt to release yourself from them you are only creating more energy around it and it will prevail.

For example, imagine a bonfire. It is burning very strongly but if you don’t continue to add logs to it, it will eventually stop burning. But if you keep on adding logs and dry leaves to it, it will continue to burn until you stop feeding it. So imagine yourself sitting in this bonfire watching how it slowly (sometimes even fast) but surely it perishes.

BUT there is also the other side of the coin to this. After thinking about all of this during and after the talk I can to realize that sometimes or many times the opposite happens, things have already come and gone. We might have outgrown people, places, and situations but we are trying to convince ourselves otherwise and thus we create unnecessary pain and suffering; for ourselves and others. Once again we are acting instead of accepting and letting be.

A good example of this is when we fall out of love. This is the opposite of a sudden breakup where for some reason the relationship abruptly ends are we are left with a broken heart that we must, in this case, accept and wait for it to heal.

When we fall out of love, the love has already come and gone naturally. The thing here is that we tend to hold on to good memories and feelings that don’t exist anymore. At this point we are trying to do everything to save something that is long gone instead of not doing anything and letting it be.

Yes, sometimes we need to work through things I am not saying the contrary but when the energy (love) is not there anymore we can’t force it back in…it’s not natural. The biggest problem here is that we end up with so much unnecessary turmoil and then with a whole lot of baggage to “let go”.

You don’t have to let anything go just wait until it lets go of you and when it does don’t resist.  

Honestly, the less we do the easier it is.

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