The Absurdity of Not Letting Go
There are many universal laws yet underlining all of them is the law of “change.”
You cannot imagine anything that you will not have to say goodbye to because everything will change. The philosophy of yoga is rooted in the statement that all human suffering comes from one place and that place is called “attachment.” The more attached you are to anything the more you will suffer, as that which you are attached will change. Our medical community, including the American Medical Association, is stating that most all disease is emanating from mental stress. Is there a greater foundation to this type of stress than “not being ok with what is?” In other words, “not being able to let go of what was or what you want.”
This is not a complicated or complex philosophy. This law of change is easily explained and witnessed everywhere one looks. This law is in that attraction that is no longer there, it is in those new clothes that are now out of style, it is in that fresh fruit that is now rotting or the bud that then blooms and then wilts, droops, decays and on and on and on. It is in your height as you grow taller and then shorter, and in your hair as you go from bald to bushy to gray and back to bald, and your face as it goes from smooth to wrinkled. I have heard that within a year’s period every cell in your body has died and regenerated. I have also heard a scientist once measured the number of changes happening in your body at any given moment and the answer was the number one with thirty-two zeros after it. Everything is always changing.
Disease is not letting go (this equals stress!) Health is letting go (this equals peace!) Letting go means trusting your process. The foundation of stress is “not being ok with what is.” Trusting your process means being ok with what is. If you are ok with what is, your situation will produce less stress and tension. Similarly, the practices and teachings that we have developed imitate life -- as yoga and self awareness go hand-in-hand. Being ok with what is does not mean you like it. It means you trust it! An analogy would be parents, teachers, and coaches who challenge kids purposely. They see the mental (and physical) benefits of being challenged. Kids are not necessarily liking the challenge, yet the parents, teachers and coaches understand the importance of being challenged. Eventually the kids will also be able to understand why they were being challenged and recognize the benefits. The challenge produces strength, resiliency, confidence, creativity, and growth. Can you imagine this is why you are being challenged by the situations in your life? Yet in your life you are the kid, and your experiences are your parent, teacher, or coach. Understanding this allows you to “let go” of what you desire and embrace what is happening, producing peace.
So, you let go of your ideas of how things should be not because you stop wanting those things, instead because you understand that in not having those things in this moment you are strangely benefiting. In the struggles of not having what you want you learn, grow, strengthen, and evolve! You develop acceptance, compassion, and empathy as you soften and deepen. Letting go is just simply trusting what is; it is accepting the importance of your process and then your experience does not poison you with negativity. It does not mean you have to stop wanting what you want. It does not mean you have to stop trying to acquire what you want. It just means you become okay with what is, and in being ok with what is there is less stress and more peace. Not only is there less stress, but you will also embrace the situation knowing that your struggles are benefiting you. This is very important as it is difficult to learn from an experience (teacher) that you are hating, rejecting and pushing away. If you do not learn from it, you will not be able to move past it. This is why it is absurd to not let go, and all this is just the tip of the iceberg.