For many of us, letting go can be easier said than done. There are many things that we collect along this path of life. We collect possessions for many reasons. Often because they hold meaning for us in some way, remind of someone or we hold on to them out of obligation. We collect stories too. These stories can come in the form of beliefs about ourselves that may or may not be true and beliefs about others that were formed by what we have heard or through our own experience. These stories amass into an enormous collection. Some of them can make us smile or bring us peace. These stories and possessions can also bring us pain.
We collect other things too: pride associated with accomplishments, love associated with the dearest of people in our lives, knowledge, anger and shame, to name just a few. We also collect wishes that come in the form of hope that things will be different in some way than they are right now.
While wishes can be helpful to make from time to time, when we are holding on to the desire for things to be different, it can be hard to meet the moments of our lives with clarity. Sometimes to make room for this type of acceptance, we need to let go of the stories or things that might be clouding our vision. It’s important to recognize that many of the things that we are holding on to made sense at one time in our lives. Maybe we have held on to anger toward someone that hurt us as a reminder to keep our distance so they wouldn’t hurt us again. We may have created a story that we need to be the one that says yes all of the time when we were younger and questioned our worth in our friend group. We may have learned that we needed to create hard and fast rules to have some control of our world when the people around us couldn’t help us feel safe.
Despite the origins of the things that we have collected over time, we have the ability to check in to see if they still serve us. Anger, if held for too long, can turn on us and weigh us down. Always saying yes can exhaust us and the same can be said for holding on to all of the rules. When we start to let go we can make room for other things that serve us better. Perhaps we could let in more self-compassion, compassion toward others, acceptance, flexibility, the ability to say no, peace and maybe even a little joy.
The Letting Go Practice in the Guided Meditation section is designed to facilitate the exploration of the idea of letting go of what we no longer need and welcoming in more of what we do. It is helpful to establish grounding skills with the Finding the Soles of Your Feet practice and some experience with either the Affectionate Breathing or Awareness of Breath practices before exploring this more advanced meditation.