Surrendering is not a weakness. On the contrary it is a strength. The surrender stops living in boiling water and starts living in a secure place. – Shams Tabrizi
I’ve been reflecting on conversations I’ve been having, provoking and overhearing this past week. A Facebook comment by my former Newfield coach Jim Smith helped put these into perspective. He says, “If you want to grow, learn how to let go…”
So it got me wondering about why it’s so hard to do. Letting go of expectations of behaviour, habitual ways of reacting, rigid beliefs, deeply buried emotions, toxic or stuck relationships…it’s a long list – what makes us hold on to these so tightly? I often think it’s because we believe it defines us in some complicated way – it becomes our identity. As in “this is who I am, how I am and what I am!” And if we let go, then who do we become?
Last week, I noticed how much so many of the women in my family so tightly hold on to control as a way of life, and believe it to be a strength and virtue. Does this sound familiar? Letting go of always being in control seems to be neither an option nor a choice for them. Embodied in their indignant reactions to my question were clues to deeper reasons for being stuck in their stories. It might be harder to deal with what that letting go might throw up. I know, I’ve been there. All those messy emotions, blurry memories…no, can’t handle that right now.
In another conversation, a close friend who is a coach shared something she was letting go of. As she spoke, I sensed her tears and felt some of her sadness. We both knew that she needed to stay with that pain to move through it and to just let herself be vulnerable in the moment. Brushing away the emotion only serves to bury it further, perhaps surfacing in a different avatar – anger, resentment, maybe frustration?
So, two very different conversations, both with a depth of emotion and a suitcase of stories. Letting go always unleashes something powerfully felt in us – it’s not always about sadness and pain though. You might find yourself feeling relief, joy, and even euphoria, as I did, at finally creating this blog. Of course, I had to let go of a ton of fear first. And it didn’t happen overnight.
My son Kartik wanted me to call this blog The Silver Pencil, which was the name of my freelance editorial consultancy years ago. For him, it’s a cool name and a warm reminder of the time I struggled to make ends meet. For me, it’s the past, which was synonymous with anxiety, fear and survival. Wisdom Tree symbolizes space, creativity and flow. I’m discovering that letting go lets me experience the world with a lot more curiosity, wonder and compassion. And it lets me hold on to life more gently than I’ve ever done before.
Letting go means you’re ready for something new and fresh in your life. Renewal and healing will flow into that space you’ve cleared of cobwebs and dry bits of deadwood. It’s worth knowing that as you let go, you integrate your heart and soul a little bit more each time. It’s called being whole.