In the end what matters most is:
How well did you live
How well did you love
How well did you learn to let go
Last week, out of the blue, my left hand started hurting. It was really painful. It felt like every bone in my hand was broken. Just touching it hurt. I lasted a couple of days before I remembered to look up hand problems in one my favorite books, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hayes. She said that problems in your hand have to do with grasping and letting go.
I remember when I was first introduced to the healing concept of “letting go.” I was twenty six years old, and once again, trying to control the behavior of another person. They were in pain and I wanted them to do what I was seeing as the obvious solution. They ignored me and I continued to try to control them.
What drove my controlling behavior were three basic tenants of belief. The first was that I honestly believed that I knew what was best for them. The second was that I was terrified of what might happen and believed I could prevent it and the third was that I believed pain was bad. When someone suggested that I “let go” I honestly thought they were stark raving mad.
Today I have learned that those three belief systems were summarily wrong. I do not know what’s best for someone else because I have no idea what their journey in life is to be. I also have learned that I am not powerful enough, though I continue to try sometimes, to prevent people from experiencing the consequences of their actions. Third, and most importantly, I do not believe today that pain is bad. My greatest growth has come from being in terrible emotional pain.
After looking at the book, I thought about what I was wrestling with grasping and letting go of in my life. The battle I seem to usually have is one of wanting to let go and then picking up the worry and fretting again and then work on letting go again. It wasn’t hard for me to identify some things I was indeed struggling to let go. I spent the day really working on letting them go. Figuratively and literally opening my hand up and releasing them to the flow of the universe. As I sit writing this, my hand no longer hurts.
What in your life are you holding on to that really is out of your control? What are you afraid of? What have been your experiences in using the powerful tool of “letting go?”