The Myth of Letting Go
They say that most of what we call personal growth is simply about letting go of what doesn’t serve us to make way for what does. Let go to let come. Let go and let God. Drop the rock. Etc.
Let go of the clinging, or the attachment, to that “person, place or thing” that is weighing us down or holding us back. The toxic relationship, the job that makes us unhappy, the unhealthy addiction, the rigid belief system, flakey friends, etc., etc.
These attachments weigh us down like excess weight on a rocket ship trying to break free of orbit. The more weight we have, the more propulsion we need to reach escape velocity to leave our self-created orbit. We need to minimize our weight to escape our orbits, and all our luggage can’t come on this trip if we want to break free.
Like most things, it sounds simple in theory, but we find it is incredibly hard in practice. So often, when we let go of one of these unhealthy attachments, we immediately feel lighter and freer but then something happens. The same thing finds its way back to us in a slightly different, and often even more malignant, form. We drop one bad relationship only to attract another. We leave a job that makes us unhappy only to end up in a similar situation. We work to fight an addiction only to replace it with another.
I have learned, on my own journey, that it is not these attachments that I needed to let go, because they just find their way back. They are just things outside of myself that my egoic structure is collecting to try and relieve the pain of feeling separate, and satiate the yearning to feel Whole. When I let go of them nothing actually changes, and ultimately, I will only feel more separate and less Whole. I replace it with something even more unhealthy and the vicious cycle repeats. What I needed to let go of was the part of me that didn’t want to let go of these things. What I needed to let go of was inside of me, so in a way, there is no letting go.
To free myself of the suffering brought on by these attachments, that part of me that needed the attachment had to be transformed. It needed to go up on the Cross. Extracting myself from some of these things felt unbearable and in a way it was. Who I was couldn’t bear it so that version of me needed to die to make way for who I became. Only through inner transformation and a never-ending series of ego deaths have I been able to let go of many of my attachments and find the escape velocity. There is nothing simple about it, and it is incredibly hard work, but my God is it worth it.
This is the Way