In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself. It will be a permanent self, rooted in awareness and creativity. Once you have captured this, you have captured the world. -Deepak Chopra
The first sentence of Deepak’s quote brings up all sorts of feelings in me; here’s why: He speaks to the idea of liberation; I am fond of this idea. I don’t find myself to be attached to many things anymore. I say this generally because there are still things I do have deep attachments to, and there are days when I tend to hold on to things I normally wouldn’t due to my current life situation on that given day. Still, overall I have released many of the attachments I used to hold onto in my life, say 7+ years ago. I have people in my life that have even told me I have an unhealthy detachment to certain things; I disagree of course, but I understand their reality. I started evaluating my attachments back when I read The Four Agreements; the tag line of the book, “a practical guide to personal freedom” became reality for me. My yoga practice carried it a step further, giving me tools to release past events that were holding on to me. I think this is one of the reasons the first line of his quote strikes me the way it does; because I know it to be true. Another reason it strikes me is because knowing it to be true doesn’t always make it any easier to accomplish.
When you let go of things, you lose things. You may lose relationships. You may lose belief systems. You may lose opportunities. You may lose lots of things, some life changing, some on a much smaller scale. But, these things you’ve started thinking about while you read this, are they flowing with you as you move through life? If they were flowing with you would they have popped into your head while reading about letting go? And if they aren’t flowing with you then that means you are carrying them, or worse dragging them… Man, you are strong! Just look at all of that stuff you carry with you. Carrying an extra load sure takes stamina. You’ve built so much of an endurance around it you may not even notice the extra weight. You may not even remember a time when you weren’t carrying it; it feels like part of you now.
Let’s try something, do this step by step, give yourself time to experience each answer.
Allow yourself to feel the weight of those things you carry.
What is the weight of each one?
How much of your energy do you spend holding them?
Do you notice that mass of these things makes you feel weak?
Under this weight, are you able to feel your strength?
Are you able to express your desires and aspirations?
Take a moment to ponder on how you feel about your answers.
You are strong enough to keep holding on to anything you choose to. You are. You will adapt. You will juggle. You will figure it out until it kills you. You are human; that’s what humans do. You will reiterate to yourself all of the reasons, obligations, perks, and responsibilities you have, over and over. And you may choose to listen to those stories.
You may choose to reevaluate those stories. You many choose to lose those things, or set them down. You may choose liberation. You may choose to take all of that energy and strength you’ve built from carrying those things and use it in a new way. You may reclaim that power of choice. Because you do have a choice… Liberation or stamina?
I’m going to paraphrase Jack Kornfield here… The knowledge and memories of your past stay with you. Letting go does not mean you lose the experience. When you let go you release the images and emotions, the story, of the experience. You release the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind your spirit.
This is liberation.