This is probably one of the most paradoxical and challenging aspects of being a human being; letting go.
How can one embrace life and also let it go? This question used to haunt me and grew painfully loud when I became a mother.
Life and death are a single point in our existence. For anything to be born, something else dies, which then makes the “thing that died”, part of the living thing.
It has taken me many years to fully understand that letting go is both a spiritual and practical practice; one that is critical to my overall health, productivity, and well-being. There are countless teachers and books to guide one through the process, but the best “teacher” is your own life.
Letting go is one of the biggest “advancers” of consciousness– it can literally transform your human experience from one of chronic suffering (mental, emotional, and physical), to one of personal freedom and peace.
Father Richard Rohr has a passage in one of his books about “the colonized, the marginalized, the recovered, etc.” as a sub-set of our human family who are intimately aware of the necessity of forgiveness and the letting go of the distortions that block personal reconciliation and healing.
How do you reconcile (literally) the injustices, crimes, and ongoing abuses of fellow human beings? For anyone who has ever “done me wrong” (harassed, abused, threatened me), I see that I have two options:
Option A (my ego): engage with “my attacker” and fight back
Option B (my soul): understand their pain and suffering (their distortion) and let go
From the words of Jesus, near the moments of his own death, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:24), there are few more poignant reminders of the power of understanding and forgiveness.
Letting go is not a sign of weakness. To yield and release has been one of the most profound practices of my life. This is true in everyone’s life. Yes, your ego (Option A) will always tell you otherwise. Fact is, however, that letting go is a conscious and awakened choice and the quickest route to the birth of something new.