Today I found myself reflecting on the idea of letting go and what it means in the world as we know it. Does it mean that I let go of hope or caring or action? Does it mean that I renounce life and this world as I experience it? Is it some isolated place of detachment?
Letting go for me has meant many things and has evolved and grown more subtle with time. In daily life, it has helped me to watch my girls fighting rather than jumping in with aversion immediately. At times it has helped me to hear the reactivity of my own words even though they may continue to emerge. It has meant being less drawn to immediately fixing or alleviating a situation or an argument and instead feeling the intensity of it. Letting go does not always look peaceful, nor volatile. It can be either and anywhere in between. Maybe letting go is feeling the volatility of grief or anger, but not getting stuck it in.
The deeper essence of letting go is far more subtle than it is dramatic or drastic. It is an internal shift in attitude and energy. Letting go is just letting things be, leaving things alone, for a moment even, whether it is heart-ache, pain, sadness, joy or ease. This does not mean that we do not care or take action. In fact, when we take time to witness and feel life without being bound to our desires, our aversions, our stories, life becomes that much more intimate and vivid. This deeply intimate and vivid space can ultimately evoke heartfelt and skillful action.
Instead of incessantly controlling the way things are or the way we hope they will be, we can just pause and feel how it truly is in this moment. Allowing things to be in their natural flow can feel like freedom; freedom to accept the life that is here. When we come to know and FEEL life in all of its myriad facets, we can begin to live life with a sense of clarity, purpose, skill and heart. We allow both pain and joy to touch us, and, in fact, to open us to the condition of all beings everywhere.
Perhaps pause, stillness, even what may appear to be inaction can be the seed of a greater unfolding and response to the world within and the world at large. Perhaps taking time to step apart from things allows us to become a meaningful part of things as they are. We each play an important role. We each make an impact. How that role and impact unfolds can look and feel so different, but the seeds of our humanity are so, so much the same.