Well, as mentioned in the opening post for this week’s ‘He Says, She Says…‘, our topic for this week is “Letting Go”. It was several years ago now that I first had an inspiration to ‘Relax and let go and let Spirit carry me‘. I’ve played with that phrase (and a few variants of it) a lot over the years, and every time I come back to it I seem to approach it from a slightly different perspective. You’d think I’d pretty well have gotten the hang of it by now… Well?
I remember one moment, a couple of years ago when I was living in Kelowna: I was walking along the water when I saw a woman out of the corner of my eye. She was a street person and she had a small bundle of clothing in her arms. That’s unfortunately not unusual these days, but it was the way she was clinging to that small parcel. She was holding it tightly to her chest as if it was her only lifeline, the only anchor that she had that kept her from spinning off into space. From her perspective, maybe it was.
In my own writings (some are available here: Mike’s Writings) I’ve written out my own discoveries on topics such as health, wealth, happiness, joy, success, creativity, abundance and more. One of the topics I’ve come back to over and over again is the idea of simply letting go. I mean, one would think it would be easy to let go of things we don’t want, so let’s start there.
If you don’t want something in your life, or if you have something you don’t want, letting go of it should be easy, right? Maybe. In his book ‘Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah‘, Richard Bach wrote, “In order to live completely free and happy, one must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.” I think one could remove the word boredom and insert something else like busyness or weight or poverty or… and come up with the same idea. We tell ourselves that we can be free and happy, when _____. So why not simply shuffle it off and move on? “It is not always an easy sacrifice.” Hmmm…
Unfortunately, we can become so wound up with our ideas of whatever it is we want to leave behind because we feel that if we do, we will stop being who we are. We will lose our sense of identity. Like that woman in the park, whatever it is we have that we are holding tight to our chests, the very thought of releasing it is terrifying to us because without _____ who will we become?
Seth talks about the three aspects of the Self – the body consciousness, the conscious mind and the inner self – in some ways this is very similar to the religious trilogy of body, mind and spirit. Seth also talks about the outer ego as being that portion of the Self that is most oriented toward outer physical reality. Some writers make a point of picking on the ego; I’m not among them. However, I wanted to mention it here because of something that came to me last week. I was sick for several days; from a physical perspective I was the unwilling host for a rather persistent bacteria, but I know myself well enough to know that this ‘dis-ease’ was the result of some rather core beliefs I was dealing with. One thought that floated up near the beginning of all of this was ‘disposable’. To make a long story short, my own ego, that most exterior part of my inner self was caught up in a belief that that part of me was disposable. I was immediately aware of where those ideas came from – a product of earlier teachings in religion and meditation among other things.
Once I became consciously aware of those feelings I was able to let them go, but they also opened the door to more deeply held beliefs about the nature of my Self, and who I believed myself to be (an on-going process). Letting go of those was more difficult, and I’ve had years of experience uncovering and releasing beliefs. Since I was going to be wandering through a fever-induced delerium anyway, I thought I may as well put it to some good use. In short, I found myself asking what would happen if I was willing to let go of everything I have, everything I believe myself to be. A part of the answer I uncovered was that I felt that if I let go of things they would leave and I would be left with nothing. Not so different from the woman in the park. I believe even some people who have material wealth face their world with the same perspective of holding tight to what they have because otherwise it will simply all go away… Is that the correct answer? Not necessarily. Once I dragged all of these feeling out into the open, I was able to lay them all out before me and look at them differently. Acknowledging myself as a creator means that I need not tie myself to anything – not to objects, to ideas, feelings or beliefs. I can simply choose what I want to be, do and have, and allow the magnetic attraction of that to lead me forward.
A corollary of that, something I shared with a friend recently, is that while I was looking through these layers and layers of thoughts, feelings and ideas – the house of beliefs I had built for myself. I wondered if it would be possible for me to simply abandon the entire structure entire and build a new house of beliefs instead. This new one would be contained of thoughts, ideas and feelings that are more in line with who I see myself being and becoming. Rather than dismantling the existing belief structures that I’ve been carrying around, I thought maybe I could simply let it all go, let time and the elements take their course so that it would eventually collapse in on itself and be done. At first I wasn’t sure I could live in a new ‘house’ while overlooking the old one, but it seemed easier to me than my habit of searching for, uncovering, dealing with and releasing belief structures that no longer served me. I felt confident that in a little time the old one would be buried under the detritus of time anyway. I was getting more and more comfortable with the idea but by that afternoon I had a new realization wash over me. Even this was unnecessary. As I mentioned, I’ve invested a lot of time and energy over the years dealing with beliefs that I thought were negative or limiting. I saw them as being like structures unto themselves, entire, and the only way I could release them was to discover and then remove them. But at the heart of all of this was a premise that I was holding onto these beliefs to begin with. Beliefs are simply ideas that we hold about the nature of existence. Some of them may seem more in line with who we truly ARE, but All That Is is infinitely variant. Beliefs don’t have structure in the way I was creating them, and that was what I needed to let go. In doing so, in shifting my focus toward creating what I desire and away from discovering what was hindering or preventing me from becoming that which I desire, those old beliefs simply cease to be.
So, that covered the areas of my life I didn’t want, but what about those things I do want in my life? There are things I have, aspects of my Self, relationships and more that I am quite happy with. Could I let go of those as well? In a way this was even scarier than the idea of being able to release what I didn’t want. It took some time and considered thought, but I realized that those things that are positive in my life aren’t here because of my holding onto them. They’re built out of mutual attraction. My relationship with Marcia is about as perfect an example as I can find. We fill each other’s needs and desires, we’re there for each other, we accent each other in ways that we couldn’t do alone, we share laughter and anger and fears and tears and joy and love and so much more… but what we don’t do is cling to each other. We each provide a loving framework for the other and for ‘Us’ to grow and evolve.
There was a time I used to think that if I wanted to create something tangible, something specific, then ‘I’ had to arrange to draw together the energy required for its manifestation. In an infinite reality the amount of energy available is of course infinite, and so the ability to do that seemed to me to be based more on knowledge and practice than possibility. I’ve evolved long beyond those once thoughts, but some threads of them have still remained within me. I’ve looked to what objects, events and experiences I would like to have in my life and felt that I had to dedicate my focus to them – not that ‘I’ was responsible for their eventual creation, but simply that my intention was required to direct the universal forces at work. I was still hanging on to things. As I’ve been recovering this past week I’ve been looking at letting those dreams go as well. Not that I’m giving up on them, telling myself that they can’t be. Rather I’m giving them the freedom to grow and become themselves, learning to develop relationships with my dreams and desires the way I’m developing relationships with the things, tangible and intangible, that are already a part of my life. Using my relationship I have with my Self and my relationship with Marcia as examples, I’m extending these ideas outward, taking those next uncomfortable steps, learning a new dance. I believe it holds promise.
So ask yourself, “What am I holding onto in my life? What would happen if I suddenly let go?” Are you sure of your answers?
I’m going to give the last word here to Seth:
“The inner ego …always identifies with its source-identity as a beloved, individualized portion of the universe. It is aware of the universal love that is its heritage.
“It is also aware of the infinite power and strength that composes the very fabric of its being. Through being made aware of these facts, the exterior ego can begin to feel a quicker sense of support and nourishment. The knowledge can let it relax, let go, so that it feels its life couched and safe, and know itself to be indeed a beloved child of the universe, both ancient and young at once, with an identity far beyond the annals of time.
“It is of great value, then, that each person remember this universal affiliation. Such a reminder can often allow the inner self to send needed messages of strength and love through various levels, appearing as inspiration, dreams, or simply bursts of feeling. The inner ego draws intent and continuous support from the universal consciousness, and the more the exterior ego keeps that fact in mind, the greater its own sense of stability, safety and self-esteem.” ~ The Way Toward Health, March 19, 1984.
Follow this link to read Marcia’s View.