Friday, July 24, 2009

Letting Go To Grow

There is tremendous freedom in letting go.

Letting go of a situation frees ourselves of things that clutter our lives; too many possessions, unhealthy habits, old beliefs ... even emotions that drain our energy. All of these things and more can weigh us down. So, every once in awhile it's good to "clean out our closets" literally, figuratively, and emotionally, allowing change to take place and bring us to new life elsewhere.

When we suffer a loss, we tend to concentrate our energy on regretting moments lost to the passing of time, and moments that will never be as they are lost to our evolving life.

Like pruning dead branches from a tree or weeding a garden, we need to let go of the what no longer exists, so that there is room for something new, alive, and what is needed at this time in our life.

We are a possessive society.

We often hold on to posessions, feelings, and relationships out of habit, fear of being without, or sorrow for a loss.

So much of learning to let go is about learning to trust. We have to be able to trust that, indeed, new budding branches will grow, and that there is a beautiful garden waiting for us beyond the weeds. We must also learn that, to the degree that we are willing to let go, we are able to receive.

In reality, we own nothing. Certainly, we don't own people. Our spouses, families, and friends are not really "ours." Even if we own the title to our house or car, such possessions can be gone in a moment, taken by a natural disaster, an accident, or financial circumstances.

I recall, from a ceremony at which we asked Mother Earth for blessings in constructing a Labyrinth, that Native Americans could not grasp the European concept of "owning" land, anymore than one can own the sky. Everything belongs to the universe, as even we do.

When we allow ourselves to rethink our sense of "ownership" of posessions, people, and moments lost to circumstance, we find it easier to be thankful for what we had, when we had it, and it is easier to let go. We no longer need to feel burdened by the responsibility of having to hold on to something. We can rethink the value of a prized book collection, a coveted job, or feelings for an old flame.

Allowing ourselves to accept a loss, letting go of the power that a person, ideology, or material object possesses, and embrace the memories associated with it is truly freeing.

With love & light,


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