It is not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear…It’s like being in between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.” — Marilyn Ferguson
Looking back over 2017 I see that I was enrolled in one long “class” on letting go. Throughout the year situations would appear to teach a new lesson or re-teach an old one. One thing I have learned this is year is that sometimes we are called to let go of something to make room for something new.
So what are some of the things I have been given the opportunity to let go?
Letting Go of Fear Are you afraid? Many people live in fear. In fact it can be difficult not to when the world seems such a dark,. dangerous place.
Letting go of fear of war, loss of freedoms and loss of health insurance are of the few things I have been called to deal with this year. What fears have you been working on letting go? As I let go of fear it frees up energy to deal with the situation causing me to be afraid.
Letting Go of the Past No one has trouble with this one, right? This is something we all face sooner or later and it can be extremely difficult. I do not intentionally revisit my past because it can to too tempting to pitch a tent and camp out there.
What I have found recently is that when it is time to let go of something circumstances will occur to encourage that. Most of these related to the next point, which is…
Letting Go of Weight Anyone else dealing with this one? There had been times in my past when I didn’t know when to stop with weight loss. So when the pounds started dropping off they were met with a good amount of fear and trepidation. Let’s just say there has been a lot of letting go required of me this year but I am slowly learning to love my new body.
Letting Go of Control Are you a control freak? I just raised my hand in case you didn’t see it. As a “recovering control freak” this is a learning opportunity I am faced with often.
Seeing myself in the behavior of others has been a big motivation for letting go of a few things in this area. It can be difficult to admit there are some things we just can’t control, can’t it?
Letting Go of Expectations of Others Are there relationships in your life that are so problematic you are sure the only solution is to let these people go and get them out of your life? There are times this is necessary. No one should live in fear of violence or emotional abuse. But if this is not the case for you, perhaps what you need to let go of is not the people in your life, but your expectations of them.
Are you expecting people to meet needs in your life, only you can fulfill? Are you expecting people to be someone other than they are? When I started letting go of expectations of people and relationships my relationships began improving.
Letting go of expectations of others can set the stage for creating new relationships and improving existing ones. I can’t promise anything, but one of the those difficult people might end up being one of your best friends. Happened to me.
Letting Go of possessions Do you hold too tightly to things you own? Do the things you own actually own you? Do they take up time, money and attention that could go to your family? Are you missing opportunities to serve others?
This lesson came to me this year in the form of clothing. My clothing has always been mostly functional, but I did have a few nice things I made by hand or purchased on sale. I was not happy when I lost enough weight to need new clothes. I held on for dear life to those big baggy pants.
I’ve never been a big fan of shopping and just the thought of how much it would cost to replace an entire wardrobe scared me. Finally a friend got tired of the whole thing and began giving me things from her closet.
One thing I was determined not to let go of was my coats. But when I reached the sad realization that they could go around me twice and someone else could benefit from them I gave in and admitted to the universe that I needed a new coat. I ended up with 15 coats and jackets given to me by friends. Don’t you love that the Universe has a sense of humor?
By letting go of my old clothing (even reluctantly) I made room for not only fun and fashionable new clothes, but new and deeper friendships by allowing others to bless me and be blessed themselves by giving. I also have the opportunity to pass my blessings on to others by giving my now too large clothes to someone who needs and will welcome them.
Letting go to move forward. There comes a time when we all need to let go of something to be able to move forward and welcome something new. We each have our own possessions, emotions, memories, expectations, fear, habits, beliefs and ideas that might be holding us back.
What are you ready to let go of to make room for something new?
“Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free.” — Shannon L. Alder
“I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?”— Soledad O’Brien
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/soledadob648651.html?src=t_may
“Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.”
Isa Upanishad, Hindu Scripture
There are people who in their fervor to win high political office and (in their minds) control the world who are intentionally spreading fear. It makes perfect sense. People who are afraid are easier to control.
A part of this political tactic is to paint a picture of doom and gloom; a world gone astray with no good left. The only hope is to elect one particular leader. Believe it or not, this political strategy (let’s call it what it is) seems to be working.
There are people who see that there is still good left in our world and in our country. The slogan “Make America Great Again” is meant to reinforce a very negative view of our country and our world. But there are those who believe that America is still great.
Could things be better? Of course. Do we need to learn to put aside our differences and come together to work for good? Absolutely. Do we need to find a way to stop the senseless violence? You bet. But words and actions that only serve to further divide our country are not what we need right now.
If “we the people” really want to “take back our country” it must be done through a “grass roots” movement, not by electing a demagogue who claims to have all the answers. That means we start seeing the real truth about our country and not the negative picture being painted.
The United States has a long history of pulling together to come through dark times. In fact the great strength of our country has been that in spite of our diversity we can come together in difficult circumstance. Now more than ever we need to come together as individuals and communities, across race, gender and party lines to listen to each other and find solutions.
We also remember that our thoughts and our words are creative. What we think and say comes into being. We remind each other that positive words and actions have the power to overcome evil. We think, speak, meditate and act on peace.
We are also grateful for what we have. We recognize that no matter how dark and desperate times may seem there is still good in the world and for this we are so grateful. During this month when Americans celebrate a National Day of Thanksgiving let us focus on gratitude for the good things in the world, our countries (we have readers from around the world) and our own lives.
The internet can be a wonderful tool, but it is just that… a tool. As a tool it is neither good or evil in itself, but can be used for either.
With the advent of the Internet Age, we now have access to more information than ever before. We also have access to that information quicker than ever before. Now it is possible to watch news stories as they are still unfolding. This often results in misinformation going out before all the details have yet to be learned.
It is now also possible for anyone to declare themselves a journalist, writer or online personality and start sharing news or opinions through blogs, podcasts and other online media. With this we find the lines between trustworthy sources and not so trustworthy ones being blurred.
Add to the above the possibility of anonymity online paired with social pressure and things can get out of hand quickly. If you read and believe everything that comes across your screen you find yourself at some time or other experiencing extreme anger or fear.
So how do we protect ourselves online?
Bob and I are quite active online. We use the internet as a tool for communication as well as information and research. Please keep in mind as you are online, the internet is only a tool. Whether you use it for good or evil is up to you.
Meditation is always important, but especially when we find ourselves going up against fear. Many of these tools I will talk about are things we need to grow and cultivate so they will become a natural part of our lives, available when we need them. Fear, desperation and turmoil certainly can drive us to these practices There is never a bad time to start learning, but we cannot expect to have full knowledge of or the ability to use these tools immediately. It all takes time, so be patient. It will be worth it.
Meditation means different things to different people and there are many different methods and techniques available. Perhaps the easiest way to begin is simply by following the breath as it goes in and out. This is sometimes called “mindfulness of breathing” and will slow down and calm both the body and mind.
Meditation is something that can be practiced by people of any or no religious tradition. My meditation practice is a part of my religious practice, where we enter into the silence and experience the presence of God, but yours might be quite different.
There is such a thing as “guided meditation.” This is another tool and it is one that I sometimes use. These are often scripted and read. It is easy to become dependent on these words and the tone and delivery style of the teacher. So, if you use these be sure you are also practicing meditation on your own. The teacher, video or podcast might not be there in time of crisis.
In the crazy world we live in, we all need to stop, be still and remember who we are. Start developing your meditation practice now and it will be there for you when you need it.
For more information on meditation check our 101+ Positive Resources page.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. — Luke 12:32
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? — Mark 4:40