January 10th, 2022
When I think of the words letting go, I conjure up thoughts of past losses. Whether it is a cat or dog that passed away, friends from a stage of life, past hurts, lost human loved ones, failed endeavors and so much more, we all have loss and have or should have let go of the pain and suffering that holds back our growth. Letting go can also be as simple as relinquishing the desire for today's plans when something unexpected requires your attention. It can also be very complicated as in releasing the hurt of a trauma or loss. However, letting go is just that, letting it go. So let it go and be free.
I remember the hyped up reality of high school. 4 years of incredibly deep and formative relationships. In the inevitable reality of one summer, these years of growth end into the new reality of work or college depending on your aligned path. However, the memories and feelings remain in you like a life-force of future renewals. However, you soon realize that this is mostly not to be. Your new world is different with new characters and experiences. The past is strong but diminishing as new feelings and memories supplant the old. You are consciously and unconsciously letting go. This is the way of things in almost all cases. And that is a good thing.
What happens if you hold too tightly to the past? You hold onto a grandiose version of yourself. Or worse, a shameful version of yourself. Or an anger based relationship experience. Or a feeling of not being good enough. What you are doing in effect is becoming a stagnant force. A rock not moving or growing. The new world that you exist in must change and adapt to the new characters and experiences that flux through lest you struggle with what could have beens. Even when the players remain the same, the story must evolve.
I think of the examples of friendships that did not serve or frankly caused harm. To hold a level of pain and hurt will only sully future relationships with fear and skepticism around repeated patterns. Old hurts drive depressive feelings of what could have been or what haunts you. If thoughts do create, you will recreate the pain. You will draw towards yourself that which was a learning experience that did not sink in. Life is about new opportunities with new actors and new norms. This is a fact if you let it. To be free is to let the past go no matter how ugly, hard, painful or dysfunctional. Think of yourself as a caterpillar shedding your cocoon each time becoming a prettier and more grounded butterfly.
I recently watched the Alpinist. It is the story of the life of Marc Andre Leclerc, a young and some would say obsessed alpine mountain climber. The documentary on netflix is excellent. You soon realize that Marc has a gift. He can let go of everything. He exists to climb and love. He loves everything that is around him in the moment. Whether it is Brett his girlfriend or the local people he meets or the mountain that he is scaling, there is an amazing beauty to his simplicity. This is not to say he is a simple person, far from it. He is as complex as they come, but he has found out the true joy of a mission, a passion and a love. He let's go of everything every day in every way. he starts fresh with each experience. He truly lives and loves with full spirit.
I was a bit jealous of his passion and singular happiness and focus. I yearn a bit for that wanton freedom of being one with nature. Alas, I let that go as it doesn't serve me. I am me and I am changing constantly based on my path. I am grateful for where I am rest today .
Philosophically, Jesus Christ taught us to turn the other cheek in the face of aggression and frustration. To not hold grudges and anger. To let go. The Stoics discussed at length the benefit of not letting anything in the past corrupt your view of the present or future. Buddha was espousing the release of all attachment and desires to find true happiness. There is no lack of knowledge from those that have tried to educate us on that which does not serve.
Dr. Seuss said: Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
Here is to letting go! From now on, practicing letting go and as always teach those around you to do the same.
Ps: Every time I release this newsletter, I realize that I am letting it go out to a lot of people and I used to worry about people's reactions and feelings towards my thoughts and ideals. Somewhere along the way, I stopped worrying and just did my best each and every week. I offer that same gift. Do your best and don't worry about the rest. Teach this to your kids.
Pss: I am still a massive work in progress of letting go as my brother in law Graham reminds me. It is good to find those in your life that feel the truth of life and are willing to call you on your BS. I have a few of them and I am grateful. They are helping me on this journey.
Pss: Remember that we are all in this together. Life is challenging. Life is beautiful. When you fall down, stand up. Just always hug your kids!
See section three for a follow up on forgiveness