Tis Holiday Season Give Yourself The Gift of Letting Go

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
— Alan W. Watts

Cliché or no, the phrase “letting go” has a potently inward maneuver that it is worth looking into. Albeit being the most overused concept in this New Age century, there is something vitally important that we can all learn from the practice of letting go.

Letting go means just what it says. It’s an act to cease clinging to anything- whether it is a concept, a person, a thing, an event, a particular time, or desire. It’s a conscious decision to surrender with full acceptance into the flow of present moments as they occur. To let go means to stop coercing or resisting, in exchange for something more wholesome and beneficial which is created from allowing things to be just they are without casting a judgment of liking or disliking of them. It’s like walking with your palm open to unhand something you have been clinging onto. There is something so satisfying about it, yet it is the step to unravel our ever-clutched hand that is preventing us from feeling it.

When we take an honest look inward, we soon realize that not only we cling on with our desires to outer events. We also hold on with our minds. We hold on ourselves, so often desperately, to narrow views, to self-serving hopes and wishes. The trade-off is insurmountable. We trade our inner equanimity for the very thing that will never satisfy us fully. We get let down by our ideas of that perfect partner or a better job. Like fish in water, without awareness, we go unnoticed in this sea of sorrow and disappointment through life.

Letting go is only possible if we can be completely transparent to our strong pull of likes and dislikes and of the unawareness that draws us to cling to them. As human, we’re always tethering between sukha (pleasure) and duhkha (pain). While pleasure lasts, pain inevitably follows. For some people, this is a depressing thought. The practice here is to neither see it as positive or negative, but rather just is. As the saying goes, one’s man’s pleasure is another’s pain. We must accept that there is no definite right, wrong, perfect, imperfect, good or bad. It’s just a matter of perspective. And by allowing ourselves to gain this perspective is the gateway to ultimate happiness. 

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of stillness, insight and wisdom by settling into being complete in this moment, without having to seek or hold onto or rejecting anything. Give it a try and see for yourself whether letting go of something you’re holding onto doesn’t bring a deeper satisfaction than clinging.

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