Letting Go of That Which No Longer Serves You

I think I’ve written a couple of posts by now about “letting go.” Some things, it would appear, are more difficult to let go of than others. But life isn’t a race and neither is maturity – we arrive precisely when we are meant to arrive.

To be sure, there are many things I’ve let go of and many still I’ve stubbornly held onto. But this past weekend proved it was time to let go of something else.

I suppose there are times in our lives when letting go is simple. But as often is the case, the pain of holding on to those things seems worth it because we believe that no matter how much they may hurt us, the benefit of holding on to that thing – a relationship, a friendship, an addiction, or any attachment somehow serves us, saves us, or otherwise, help us in some way. But when we perceive more benefit from holding on than letting go, we cause ourselves pain.

When a wasp delivers it’s sting, we’re very quick to learn that wasps hurt. The pain is physical, visceral, and for having experienced it, we learn its lesson, and stop playing with wasps.

But when that pain is emotional, we’re often far less quick to the lesson because we foolishly believe that maybe it was a “one and done” or perhaps that the wasp has changed so it won’t hurt me anymore.

Now, we call this “denial” and in its most extreme form, it is often exhibited by people suffering traumatic, abusive relationships. It’s easy to tell someone who’s abused that they must leave the relationship to save themselves. But actually doing so isn’t easy at all – a fact that many abusers exploit. But after the abused has had enough or for having realized that a wasp is and will always be a wasp, they eventually leave the wasp behind.

However, far far more difficult a situation is it when that wasp is a wasp of our own making.

Of course, the wasp always will sting if given the opportunity. It is in its nature. And this is the nature of any attachment.

As we go through our lives we tend to rely on our perceptions of life. After all, our perception is typically based on our own subjective experiences of life or those we extol and we cannot live our lives based on any other perception other than our own. After all, we believe what we believe based on what we know and understand until a new understanding is available to us.

And our perceptions are based on a series of assumptions we make about “how things are” because they [our assumptions] have (mostly) proven to be true based upon our prior experiences.

But as a friend of mine is often fond of reminding me, “Assumption is a book written by the devil.”

It’s his way of saying that when we make assumptions, they’re always built upon our purely subjective understanding and are typically not based on how things may actually be. Or perhaps deeper still, sometimes our assumption isn’t in alignment with group consensus. The problem with assumption is that it is a prejudiced perception. It’s a perception with a judgment attached to it. And while these assumptions we hold aren’t necessarily “bad” they can be false and thus, unhelpful to us.

And it’s these very assumptions that often become “wasps” of our own making and rest assured, they sting us just as sure as real ones do.

In fact, these “wasps of our own making” often hurt far more than any true sting because the pain lasts as long as we hold onto our false understanding that things are as we believe they are. … … … The pain lasts as long as we continue to believe that what caused it is right for us or meant for us. In other words, we continue to endure the pain as long as we fail to recognize the truth.

This is what it means to, “let go of what no longer serves you.”

Those assumptions we hold that seem to constantly sting us – let them go and assume nothing even when your assumptions have served you well, let them go. Let go of your perceptions. Let go of your attachments. Let go of your need for inclusion. Let go of your need for validation because only you can validate yourself. Let go of everything you expect of others and instead expect those things only from yourself but if those things don’t serve you – let them go.

Om, Baby. Om!

Joshua T.

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