The idea of “letting go” is present in most religions, philosophies, spiritual activities, mental and physical disciplines, and stories from galaxies far, far away. It can be expressed as “dying to self,” “slipping away into water,” “doing not trying,” and many other phrases that can come off to me as somewhat naive and trite in a hostile and imposing world. But, that doesn’t make them wrong. Trading one form of suffering for another doesn’t sound like a winning formula, unless perhaps it’s truly helping someone else. It doesn’t work out that way very often.
The opposite of letting go is to hold on. On an emotional level, it makes sense to hold on to things that provide comfort, like a security blanket. On a logical level, it’s idiotic, since nothing will last forever. I tend to prefer not being an idiot.
I’m making good progress in this area, but it’s not yet complete. It never will be complete for anyone, and I need to let go of worrying about my progress! I will be the fool who makes a progress chart about how well I’m doing “letting go” of my worrying about my progress! Really, I just was imaging doing that. Yeah, I’m not quite there yet.
I don’t think I can consciously be aware of when I’m successful anyway. It’s only when I fail that I know, and I am learning to readjust my focus on positive activities and thoughts. I have an excellent partner who is now helping with that. It won’t be a perfect progression. I can get thrown off quickly and unexpectedly, often by other people. But, I am learning to defend myself from this as well, namely through understanding the boundaries I have to set with them, no matter how much they don’t like them, especially during the holidays.
You can’t literally hold on to the past, so it ultimately becomes a matter of how much do you want to pretend it’s still there while ignoring what’s right in front of you.