Monday Musings Part Three: Let it Go

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Let it Go


When we hold onto things, we suffer. This includes our beliefs and wants. Sometimes, the way things are match the way we want things to be. Most of the time, though, that doesn’t happen. It’s when we wish for things to be other than reality that we suffer.

In life, we can only depend upon two things: change and death. Nothing else comes with a guarantee. There isn’t a way out of this. No quick cheat that will save us. The only thing that works for sure is to give up.

I don’t mean give up in the sense of no longer caring. I mean it in the sense of offering it up. To just let it go.

Clinging brings suffering.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

This does have its positive side, too. It implies that the bad stuff will change as surely as the good. So, if you’re in the deep dark depths of despair, take heart—it will change eventually. Nothing lasts forever.

What does this tell us? The way to a happy life is to live in the moment with what is. To wish ourselves someplace or some time else is pointless and only brings pain, or at the very least, discomfort. Whatever is going on, let it go.

Only when we stop wasting energy on wishing things were different, or holding onto a bit of our life that we don’t want to lose, can we more effectively channel that energy into changing the things we can change.

One of the seven stages of grief is denial. This is something we each bring to our everyday existence. When we desperately wish something wasn’t, we all (in one way or another) go through some form of denial. The same too with all the other stages, which includes anger and despair.

The good news is that, actually, we don’t have to go through all those stages before we reach acceptance. We do have a choice. All we have to do at any point is to accept it and let it go. Any time we suffer, we make the choice to suffer.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that we have to like everything that we meet. For sure, I didn’t like losing my leg. If I’d had the choice, I would have changed things. What happens when we don’t have the ability to change things, though? My choice wasn’t between keeping the leg and my old life and losing both. Rather, I had the choice to go with the flow, accept the changes, and make the best of it. Had I resisted, I would have suffered more.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘This too will change.’

If you missed the first two Monday Musings, you can find the links below: