“In the end only three things matter; how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you”
Admit it or not, it is not easily to let go of the things or people especially when you’ve become attached to it or to them.
No matter who you are and what you have become, you can lose everything in just a snap of a finger. You can lose your job, your business, your properties, your investments, your properties and even your friends, family and health.
The reason we become attached to certain things in life is because most of us seek stability in every area in our life. We seek stability beyond our existence.
We become easily attached to a person that we cannot even let them go because of the fear of not seeing them anymore when they leave. Some people cannot let go because they are still hoping and expecting that somehow they will end up with them in the end.
The same thing to our job, most people cannot leave their job even they don’t like it is because they’ve become attached on what they can take from it. That if they let it go, they might not even get another good job that can sustain their financial responsibilities.
That’s why it takes courage to let go. It is not easy and it requires faith. Having the faith in the process and believing that even it is painful, it will going to be worth it in the end. Jesus never became attached to anything or anyone. In fact after his ministry on the earth, he never failed to encourage his followers to keep his commandments and to follow God with all of their hearts. We can see also Jesus willfully surrendered to the will of the Father even it will cost his life, he was not attached to the world because he had the faith on the one who have sent him.
Therefore, letting go is a courageous act of surrender. It is a powerful act when we let go of the things we are hanging onto. Remember the first time you surrender your life to Christ?, it is not an act of fear, it is a courageous act of telling God that you are willing to surrender everything that you have to his lordship.
It’s when you let go of something you are holding onto, you are leaving the things of the past, you are leaving the people behind that have caused pain to you, the people who broke your heart and the things that is not going to help you to reach your goals and aspirations in life.
The reason we cannot move on because we are not making decision to let go. I have experiences in the past that I am having the struggle to let go because I was hoping, I was expecting but in turn, it has no benefit on me. I just let myself to retold the story of pain again and again to myself. I realized that when we are holding on to something that is not meant for us, it is also known as attachment.
And many of us get confuse love with attachment. Yasmin Mogahed said; “Love without attachment is the purest love because it is not about what others can give you because you are empty, it is about what you can give to others because you are already full”.
We get attached because we think selfishly. We become attached to people because we fear that they are going to leave us, that one day we will be left alone. You can love all the way, but don’t get attached. Let yourself to love and let go, be grateful for everything, cherish every moment you have. Never regret, if it’s good then it’s wonderful, if it’s bad then it’s experience. Don’t allow negativity to hinder you from letting go.
Whatever is causing pain to you right now, remind yourself that it is only temporary. Don’t allow yourself to suffer because suffering only comes from retelling yourself again and again about the pain.
There was an old zen parable that has been retold in children’s book Zen Shorts by Jon Muth that I want to share with you that speaks to the ways we hold on to the things we get attached.
Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn’t step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn’t have the chance to help her.
The younger monk noticed the woman and just passed by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back and transported her across the water and put her down on the other side but the woman didn’t thank the older monk. She just shoved him out of the way and departed.
As the younger monk and older monk continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. He said to older monk “that woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn’t even thank you!”
“I set the woman down hours ago and you are still carrying her?” the older monk replied.
Sometimes we are just the younger monk, we are preoccupied with the things in the past, that we couldn’t even let go of it and we still want to talk about it over and over again. While the older monk displayed great wisdom and gratefulness in life as he chose to let go of the woman instead.
We can think that the author of the parable might not have the idea what the culture they have because in Buddhist nations, it is unlawful for a woman to talk to a monk because they will become unclean but regardless of the culture, we can learn a lot of lessons from it.
What are the things are you still carrying that you should have laid down a long ago?
Sometimes the things that we should have laid down ago are the things that prevent us from becoming a channel of blessings. Let go, laid it down and let good things flow to you and through you as you live.
Before I end this blog, I would like to leave you with a poem written by Charles Swindoll in his book The Grace Awakening:
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.
To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective,
but to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.
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