How are you with letting go and allowing? Letting go of habits, people, and things that no longer serve you? Letting go of control? Allowing new opportunities, behaviors, and people come into your life and take up residence?
It seems most of us struggle with doing either or both. Seasoned monks may be pros. Me? Not so much. Right now, I am struggling deeply with dual acts of letting go and allowing. More accurately, I am struggling with the grief of letting go and the faith in allowing that which not yet is. My struggle stems from significant health challenges impacting almost every aspect of my life. My symptoms include fatigue, sensory overload, cognition challenges, and difficulty maintaining conversations for an extended period without consequence. I speak with a newly developed stammer that is made worse by any of the above. I do not yet know the reason for what I am experiencing. I have a strong, caring team helping us find answers. That is not the point of this post.
The point is that as a result of my current challenges, I no longer enjoy loud restaurants, public settings, tv, or movies. Music is no longer my primary source of release and retreat. I am learning to limit my conversations and engagements. I need to release these things to keep from feeling worse, but I don’t want to. I struggle with letting go and allowing. Rather, as a full-fledge extrovert who thrives on bringing people together and being in meaningful conversation, I feel like I am losing who I am. Quite literally it feels like a death without dying.
When the doctors first started talking about the possible causes, I grieved the future. I was briefly swallowed by the fear for myself and my family. That was months ago and I bounced back. More recently, I’ve shed many more tears mourning what feels like very real current losses. My fear is these challenges are permanent. My hope is that they are not.
So, as I work through this deep sadness, I am now choosing the language of hope. “Loss” suggests someone or something else is taking these things. “Letting go” reflects a choice. I am replacing “no longer” with “for now” and “stopping” with “pausing.”
Thinking of those things in our life that we hold dear, we tend to clench tighter when we fear losing them. Our hands and hearts become clenched fists that refuse to release what may, in fact, already be gone. If we keep our hands and hearts in these tight fists, nothing can come into our lives to replace that which has been lost. Instead, with the very act of opening your hands to let go, positions yourself to receive. As you hold your palm up and your heart open, you are allowing new opportunities for creating peace and happiness; love and hope, to come into your life.
So, what will you let go of and allow?