Once these few steps are achieved, it’s time to let go. Let go of all the self-generated, unwanted thoughts about that which had happened — or whatever else you may consider ‘negative’. We simply snap out of it by cultivating more positive thoughts and insisting on doing so. If we don’t, the negative will start to remanifest itself in our minds and has the potential of getting worse. As the Zen proverb reminds us: “Let go or be dragged.”
To be able to grow to our Higher Self ― as opposed to our ego self ― throughout this mystical journey called Life and reach the Light, letting go becomes an essential part. We let go of all that is not us; all that weighs us down like conditioning, attachments, expectations, prejudices, judgments, stereotypes, and emotional fixations ― the things which stopped serving the growth and evolution of our soul.
If we really want to spread our wings and fly high, we must drop those crippling burdens overboard. The heaviest part of us is our ego ― always asking us to be someone or something, never sacrificing itself. This dead weight makes our excursion through life much slower, as it makes us less mobile. But there is no moving forward as long as we're clinging to the past, or to our ego. And certainly, there is no freedom.
People get attached to a wide variety of things. It could be a lost dream, a hope, a substance, a lifestyle, a thought pattern, a relationship, or a person. Essentially, all kinds of attachments drain us. Thus we have no energy left for the positive, or for any novelty. They make it hard to embrace new things because the mind is filled with the ‘negative’, so there is no space or energy left for the otherness. To travel light throughout our journey, throwing those burdens away becomes an existential choice.
This is an earlier article of mine about our attachment to others: Codependency: What Being Addicted to Someone Means. The Parable of the Cow: You Are Not Your Thoughts is another more philosophical one, discussing our attachment to thoughts in particular and the process of letting go of them.
The truth is, the hardship we experience makes us stronger. It's actually a healthy human experience. Because the pain and suffering add us with a new, and usually deeper, perspective on life, and on our overall existence. However, when the lesson is learned, it's time to move on. Much like overthinking the future, dwelling on the past ― or on a specific incident ― never helps. Letting go, on the other hand, does.
Remember, how much weight we give each thought is our choice and our choice alone. This is how we become in control of our state of mind. It goes to the extent of persisting in the positive so intensely that letting go of any depressing or unkind thoughts that may arise comes naturally, without thinking about it. They are simply filtered out, almost unconsciously. This is why letting go means letting go of suffering. This is how we mature and grow thicker skin. This is how we set ourselves free.
It's worth noting that letting go can only happen if we get to the root of the problem — this Aha-moment. Medications, alcohol, or time may numb you for a while, but they will not completely heal you. Those are temporary getaways.
To Forgive Is Not To Reconcile is one more article of mine discussing what Buddhism and psychoanalysis say about letting go when it comes to forgiveness and reconciliation.
On thing remains for sure, there is no healing without letting go. We when let go, we grow. Because with letting go come novelty and rejuvenation. This self-mastery and self-conquest introduce us to our true Higher Selves. This is the secret of the art of living; the secret to a happy and simple life, which, with practice, anyone is able to reach. Simply, because happiness and peace of mind rely solely on what we think — or not think. They rely on our very own mental state and not on outside factors.
Peace of mind does not mean that life around us is rosy. But rather, we find happiness and inner peace amidst the storm. We surround ourselves with what we love and let go of what does not serve us. The less baggage we carry, the simpler life becomes. The process is an inside job in its purest form. For The Kingdom of Heaven is truly within us, my Dear Ones.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
Piece published on Conscious Life News