You feel the heaviness of it. It’s as if it will never leave you.
What I have come to realize is that we really can’t let go. At least not directly.
There is another step that needs to come first.
We need to let it be.
Isn’t there a song about that?
Yes, John Lennon knew something about trying to let go. It’s impossible to do it by commanding it to be so.
Whatever is must be integrated.
And that’s exactly what we don’t want to do. We want to get rid of what we don’t like—not get closer to it.
As Ashley Brilliant’s phone message says:
“If I’m not at home accepting what I can’t change, then I’m probably out trying to change what I can’t accept.”
How often do we get busy trying to change things rather than sit with them so that things can work out?
Whatever is observable can be worked with.
We do this by sitting with the difficulty, breathing with it (not ignoring it) without running away from it afraid that it will never leave.
How often we try to throw it in the garbage and be done with it.
It’s just uncanny how that doesn’t work. We know because those uncomfortable feelings keep coming back.
Several centuries ago a wise poet wrote about this. It’s called The Guest House by Rumi.
If you haven’t read this poem, please Google The Guest House. It bears re-reading on a daily basis.
Rumi speaks of inviting all our emotions in each day. Sit with them, talk with them. Listen to them, watching closely to see the patterns that each emotion contains.
Treat each emotion as a welcome guest. If a guest is welcome we don’t try to push her or him out!
Rumi tells us to invite them to stay as long as they need to. They will leave on their own when they have completed their mission.
They have come to help us grow—to help us remember that we are a many splendored thing—that we contain worlds within us and this is what allows us to be creative.
By bringing together whatever is at hand we create something new and beautiful.
Through patience we become the guest house.
The new design won’t come by demanding it. It arises when conditions are right, when things have grown and developed through loving attention and listening with an open heart to whatever has been closed away and ignored.
All those little hurt places need our love. They have wanting this for ages.
By developing this practice of letting each emotion be we are engaging in the ancient art of alchemy.
We accept that things are the way they are right now, and our fighting them isn’t going to ease the situation. Resistance makes them stronger.
Fighting or running away from what we don’t like and find difficult is a losing game.
Things are the way they are.
As Katie Byron says, “We lose when we fight reality—but only every time.”
Our work is to sow new seeds—such as “Let me be with and accept whatever emotion is going through my mind and body. Let me pay attention to what my body is doing. Let me hold myself in kindness. Let each emotion and sensation be just what it is.”
As we do this, a sense of calmness will eventually begin to be felt. The racing or mind slows down. The dull mind comes alive.
Patience is being developed through quiet listening.
Difficult emotions are our guests, not enemies!
Here is the fertile place in consciousness in which transformation occurs.
Learning to let be requires trust in something greater than our own thinking nature. Slowly, over time, we develop faith in what we can’t see with our eyes. It can only be intuited.
Developing faith means losing faith in what we formerly believed in—old habits of thinking. In time these old thoughts dissipate as we recognize they were just thoughts. They lose the ground they were rooted in. They don’t have a reality of their own.
Gradually we learn to meet each disappointment and fear as they come.
Life is a lot about meeting loss. With each loss we have a new opportunity to recognize we were trusting something that didn’t have the ability to give us true peace. For everything is impermanent.
Everything arises, only to leave.
It’s not personal. It’s the way the universe works.
Our faith in anything formed was misplaced. Now we can trust the invisible, but very real flow without trying to hang onto to what is moving away from us. We let it go just as we let each breath go.
Everything is impermanent and full of grace.
I am working to integrate this by remembering to be kind to what arises in each small moment.
Small things can grow. Jesus speaks about heaven being small, just like the mustard seed. So tiny. Yet when this seed is planted in fertile soil it grows into a large bush in which birds can nest.
Well, our mind is very fertile. It grows whatever seeds are planted and tended to. We water them each time we think about them. We shine a little light on them through our active imagination.
Something new within us is always trying to be born. Trust the process.
Listen to yourself in a kind and loving way. Open to whatever life brings you. Patiently be with each moment of your day—and your night.
Let it be.
It will change. And be with that as kindly as possible.
As the Dalai Lama says, “When possible, be kind. And it’s always possible.”