The trouble with ‘letting go’ of things is that, however hard we try, we usually don’t; we keep hold.
When something is plaguing us in some way, we’re sometimes encouraged to ‘just let go’…and it sounds both easy and sensible.
But letting go of an issue is not like letting go of a balloon which floats away into the sky and out of sight.
If we attempt to let go of something that is unresolved in us, the balloon we let go of will soon return; it must return, because it’s still attached to us.
So ‘letting go’ as a self-help practice is generally doomed to frustrating failure.
And it may worsen things, leading to self-punishment and the cry into the darkness, ‘Why can’t I just let go as I should do!?’
Better than letting go is allowing…allowing what is.
Perhaps our brilliant career ended in a manner that still grates.
Perhaps a relationship is difficult or has ended, leaving bitterness or sadness.
Perhaps we can’t have what we want, and others around us do get what they want, and it’s so unfair.
And we take three deep breaths and allow it to be so. We allow people to be so, allow the situation to be just as it is.
We don’t have to collude with it; but inwardly, we do allow it.
What’s the difference now?
We’re no longer resisting change, but working with change. Change is the stuff of life. We need to be working with it.
We’re not now fighting reality, which is always a waste of emotional time; nor are we trying to be rid of it: ‘I must let go!’
Instead, we’re allowing reality to be just as it is.
And strangely, as soon as we allow this, the enemy leaves; it no longer has power over us. It only has power in the fear and the fight.
If we allow something, it becomes powerless to trouble; it no longer holds us in its thrall.
So we don’t ‘let go’ of painful things; quite the opposite. We greet the psychic pain with all its depressing ferocity, and allow it to be just as it is.
Each day that we allow reality, (always helped by a few deep breaths and a good walk) internal pain structures dissolve a little, their power diminished.
So we don’t let go of things; it’s not a good path, for we cannot let go of the unresolved. But if we allow them, and then allow them again, resolution arrives, and we might find that…
...they let go of us.