by Sandra Lee Schubert
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar” --Thich Nhat Hanh.
People stay in dead end jobs, loveless marriages never leaving the boundaries of their hometowns.
Why is it so hard to let go of things that no longer work?
The devil you know is better then the one you don’t know.
People are willing to live a mediocre life for the safety it provides.
But what if you were guaranteed a positive outcome; how would you live your life differently?
What kind of choices would you make knowing each one would turn out OK?
If you can imagine this different life then envision another a life where you are still free to make choices but are unsure of the outcome.
Except now you accept the consequences of your choices knowing they could be either bad or good.
In this life you feel fear but take chances anyway.
Every day we make a choice.
You want to lose weight but eat ice cream.
You buy a new sweater knowing the money could go towards paying off a painful debt.
Today’s choices may seem wrong but tomorrow is the opportunity for new ones.
Choosing means letting go of the other possibility and what it could bring.
"The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions, the more likely there's gold in letting go of them. "--John Seely Brown, Fast Company
We have assumptions about everything.
We live and die by them.
Challenge your assumptions.
We go through life and never reevaluate what we believe.
The great spiritual leaders ask us to leave the life we are living behind and enter into a new one.
Our modern leaders such as Gandhi or Mother Theresa did just that and devoted themselves to living a new and much more expansive existence.
They were able to increase the circumference of what they previously knew to include the world
and in doing so changed the lives of many, many people.
Give up your old ways and take on new experiences.
Reconsider your values and find out if they support you morally and soulfully.
"Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go. "--Sylvia Robinson
I have been thinking a lot about letting go. In fact it has been forced upon me.
In the past months I have broken many of my treasured and sentimental possessions.
My wallet was stolen, money, ID and photos all gone into the hands of stranger.
Projects I had hoped to initiate evaporated overnight.
I asked a trusted friend and medium what was going on.
He told me I wanted to change my life.
But my frustration was in my own inability to make these changes.
I was literally breaking my ties with the past in dramatic fashion.
This string of little losses has added up to a big rethink about how I am living my life.
Loss tears something loose.
It breaks us open in excruciating ways.
Yet it allows for new things to rush in.
HOW DO WE LET GO?
First, acknowledge the pain of letting go.
Loss of any kind can hurt and there is no getting around it.
Allow time to adjust to the change.
In most situations we cannot control losses.
I cannot will my wallet back into my hands.
But how we react to change is in our control.
My small losses pointed to larger issues of loss in my life.
What is holding you back?
Are there areas in your life that you want to change but may be resisting?
List the pros and cons of each change.
Acknowledge any feelings you may have around letting go.
Though some losses are thrust upon us letting go can be something we choose to do.
What kind of life do you want to live?
Every minute we make small choices.
Reconsider how you interact with people on a daily basis.
Instead of ignoring the person who hands you the newspaper each day say hello and thank you.
When faced with the choice between potato chips or salad consider what has the most value for your life.
WHAT COMES AFTER LETTING GO?
Loss affords us the opportunity for new choices.
We can mourn the past and celebrate the future.
Letting go is the gateway to new experiences.
Medical breakthroughs, new thoughts, ideals and art could not be made if we all hung on to our past behavior and beliefs.
Dare to live your life just a tenth larger then you are living it now.
Be brave enough to let go of a bad habit, an old resentment or your old self.
We can honor that which brought us to this point and still create a new future.
Celebrate possibility and let go into a new world.
© Copyright 2004 Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert. All Rights Reserved.