"By letting go, we
we let life flow, By letting go,
we can let Love grow"
(A New Beginning Haiku)
Today is a day of new beginnings. Over the next few months, talk shows will be all about the resolution and how to work a new plan to improve your quality of life. Truth is, there are no quick fixes. The full embrace of change is an active choice and process. It means working a plan, but then what? If you have a few half-baked New Year's resolutions on your plate but want something that sticks to the ribs, I invite you read on, and to cook your plan a little longer.
One of my clients is excited about her New Year resolution - she's set a goal to lose weight, and has even joined a weight loss plan to ensure her success. Since she has spent many years substituting food for faith, she does one-on-one counseling with me and plans to apply her attention to deeper issues so the weight stays off this time, which will break a family cycle. If she resists unlearning this habit, even the best weight loss plan will fail her. Treating the symptom (weight) is always easier than addressing the 'why' behind her abuse of food, but if she can't let it all go, she will continue to use her earthly attachment to food for comfort, which is the very behavior blocking her freedom from excess weight. Together, we are looking at 'What Really Sucks' so she can let it go and break the cycle.
Recently, a friend called saying that after months of agonizing effort, they've both decided it's best they end their 13 year marriage. They are devastated that things couldn't work out differently, and say despite the dysfunction, that their decision to let it go feels like a death. I'm very sad that their life together is ending, but I also know that couples do grow apart, and that sometimes moving forward means letting go. I had to remind myself of this when my son left for college this year.
As parents, we discipline our children with love, and encourage babies to walk and talk and grow into little people, then collapse like wet rags on their first day of school. It's hard to let go of the baby they once were. My youngest son has moved on from the nest, is now in college and we couldn't be prouder, but I never imagined that it would be so difficult for me. In times of change we want to hold on to what's familiar. We resist letting go because we're attached to that little boy we raised, or that spouse we loved for so long. I underestimated how hard letting go would be. Logically, I know that in order to make a man, you have to let the boy go... Right. Tell my heart that.
When a loved one passes away, we feel the devastation of loss then like no other. We want to hold on to them in any way we can, and it feels unspeakably cruel to even suggest letting them go - but that's exactly what we have to do. We gradually have to let go and find a way to be grateful for having had such a wonderful person in our lives. We have to refuse to be tainted and owned by the darkness of loss. It's more than interesting that while we give the greatest Love to people closest to us, it's our superglue grip on those earthly attachments that blocks such love. Most of us cannot even imagine letting who we love go - just the thought of watching what we love float away, down the river and into the inevitable flow of life is beyond sadness. Breathe, I told myself, and keep your mind on where it goes from here. If you have also experienced a recent loss, stay with me on this. I too am learning to hold on loosely. I've found that in truth, Love makes it easier when I breathe and go with the flow. Here's why:
Love never dies. Relationships change, marriages end and loved ones pass on, but Love never dies. It comforts me to know that though he is physically gone, the love and wisdom of my Grindaddy is always with me, swirling and richly available. Breathe, I tell myself. I learn to let go and let Love flow.
Letting go propels us forward and into the flow of life. Letting go brings us to a new beginning; to grow onward and upward with Love as the engine. If you've made some New Year's resolutions, be sure to pay careful attention to the problem as you treat the symptom. Is there someone you're 'not speaking to?' Work on letting go of those negative attachments. Forgive yourself and refuse to be enslaved by bitterness and complaint. Meditate and imagine letting it all go, away from you and down the river. Relax your brain and open your heart to let the pure cosmic energy of God's love flow through you. Breathe and let it flow. Own your peace time, that you may meditate on higher things, embrace change and welcome yourself to a new beginning.
© 2010 arkay evans