The Wisdom in Letting Go

Personal Growth

(Mar. 22, 2014) I let go of something this week. It was something that I needed to let go of very badly. It was something I desired for a long time, a dream, if you will. Unfortunately, no matter how strongly I've desired to make it a reality, the timing is simply not right. Rather than be continually subjected to the awful feelings associated with wanting something I cannot have, I realized the only thing I could do was let it go and stop torturing myself. I have a life to live after all. So I decided that it was time to stop feeling that way, and accept things as they are now. I let go of trying to control things, and I let go of hoping and wishing things could be different. I let go of the rationalizations of how this dream could be so great, and I let go of questioning why it wasn't happening. I let go of justifying how much I deserved it, and victimizing myself for not receiving it. But what I thought I was letting go of, and what I actually let go of, are two different things. And what I ended up learning in the process was the best gift of all.

Instead of letting go of the actual dream, I let go of my attachment to the outcome of the current situation. I surrendered to the fact that there was nothing more I could do for now. I accepted that it may or may not happen despite my strong desire. Sometimes things that seem so wonderful and perfect, simply aren't meant to be for reasons I don't know. Immediately following this "letting go," I knew that I had done the right thing. I felt lighter, freer, and more open to possibility. Though it was difficult because my feelings toward the desire were strong, and letting go of it felt somehow wrong to my rational mind, my gut resonated that this was the right thing to do. Later in the day, I felt some strong emotions and released those feelings by sitting with them, and lamenting how much "it sucked" that things had to be this way. The important thing is that I didn't resist it and I didn't turn back.

The following day and night, I was blessed with much needed insight. I felt my desire for this dream returning, but with a much deeper knowing that it is, in fact, right for me. I was able to feel the strength of my desire in my heart and gut, but with peaceful detachment, and a knowing that it will happen when the time is right. And because it is meant for me, I don't need to do anything else at this time. I can focus on other areas in my life, and when the time to act arises, I can move forward towards this dream with more clarity than I had before letting my attachment go. I can feel the good feelings of my desire without the torture that comes with an attachment to the outcome.

Even more profound, is that my faith has deepened in this process. Sometimes I feel so desperate for answers. I pray, and don't seem to find clarity. I long for a connection to spirit, and want to feel so badly that I'm on the right path. So often, I want to feel something in my heart and gut, and feel numb instead. The connection to spirit that I'm feeling in this moment is so inspiring. Again and again, I am learning that confusion, control, obsession, and frustration are all signs that I am trying to force an outcome and what I really need to do is surrender. Letting go doesn't have to mean letting go of the dream, but letting go of the torture of trying to get there in a way that feels miserable. When I take the time to admit that I don't have all of the answers, and that despite my efforts it's still not working, I get in touch with my truth and stop struggling so hard. I can exhale, sit with the disappointment, and surrender. And following that action, is where I see grace step in with insight, peace, clarity of mind, and a different call to action. Sometimes it's that I was chasing a dream that didn't belong to me. And in this case I got to see that the dream, in fact, does.

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