|Letting go is a process|
Letting go is a practice. When difficulties arise and we are able to do so, we can simply let them go. But beware! This is not as easy as it sounds. Often we find ourselves too attached and entangled with the story or feeling to do so. Other times we may try to 'let it go' because we don't like something. But this is not letting go -- it is aversion. In the early phase of spiritual practice, many of our attempts to let go of difficulties are misguided in this way. They are actually gestures of judgement and avoidance. ONLY when there is balance in the mind and compassion in the heart can true letting go happen. As skill in meditation develops, it then becomes possible to simply let go of difficult states as soon as they arise. This has no aversion in it - it is a directed choice to abandon one state of mind and calmly focus our concentration in a more skillful way in the next moment.
Life is a mystery. The problem? Most of us are not open to all that can happen to us in this life, but instead we believe we know what is going to happen, we try to control others and our reality, and in the process we lose all playfulness; we become rigid and in this lack of fluidity, nothing comes our way. We hold onto to grudges, anger, and resentment, oftentimes without even realizing it UNTIL we are ready to let it go. Then once we let go, it's like you lose 10 emotional pounds! A student recently said that when she had a realization about an ex-boyfriend and their relationship, she felt the burden drop off of her. When a friend finally forgave her father after so many years, she felt spacious and open. That is what happens when we let go: a space is created and our energy becomes cleaner. When I recently made amends with a friend whom I haven't talked to in 15 years, I too, felt lighter. The grudge that was buried in my sub-conscious was holding my energy down in a way I was not aware. It was not until it was released did I notice the difference. What a liberating feeling it was! Forgiveness and letting go is for all parties involved, but the person it has the strongest effect on is YOU. If you are afraid to let go of a grudge because it makes you feel in control, you are mistaken. Holding on to negative emotions is what we call, emotional baggage. It makes us suffer, more fearful, and the OPPOSITE of what we want to do, which is: take down the barriers between us and others, remain open and compassionate, and purified in a karmic sense.
For such an intelligence species, we are masters at aggravating our troubles, and creating more suffering for ourselves. I know this is not easy - letting go - but rather than blaming the outer thing or person, see if this week you can go inward and release something- a feeling or a grudge - see how much lighter you feel after doing so. Practice this, please don't force it. The more healthy you become in body and mind, the easier this process become. The mind is workable - it is not the outer things that are the problem.