Topic: More on Letting go
I have written on this topic before but it continues to come up. Not as a reminder of the concept but because it is an ongoing process. As we grow and change, there is always a need to continue to let go of the various things in our lives to make space for the new. This has been written about in various spiritual and religious texts. In Christian faith Jesus said to the disciples as they joined him that they needed to follow him empty handed. There are various other spiritual and religious beliefs that say we can only truly receive God when we are empty handed. Throughout my own journey I have heard people talk about this concept. Generally there is this idea that it refers to the material. The idea that we can not be too attached to material things if we want to connect to the Divine. We have to be willing to give up the physical comforts and material excess to follow a spiritual path. The understanding I was given this morning (actually it was being shown to me for the past few years- I just finally “got it”) was that it is not only money , and material items we are asked to not cling tightly too, we are asked to not cling tightly to anything of the physical world. Lately for me and for a few others I know this has meant relationships of all kinds.
I have heard people talking about how as they have begun to get to know themselves and begun to follow their truth, to follow their spiritual path, that they have begun to feel like they are “outgrowing” certain people or things in their lives. I have heard others say “ I just do not seem to fit with those people or this job, or this idea anymore”. This feeling begins long before we are ready to let go. We fight it because honestly we fear that if we let go of these people or things that there will be no one or nothing else there for us. In a sense we keep ourselves stuck out of fear that there will be nothing new coming to us.
In my own life this manifest in friendships the past few years. I had a sense as I began to discover my truth and began walking my spiritual path that many of the friends I had for nearly my whole life were not coming with me. I tried to reason with myself and say I could keep them as friends, I could just keep the relationship superficial and be able to still have my friends. As time went on it became more and more apparent that this could not be. As long as they were there- even in a superficial way I was not allowing myself to move forward. Every interaction was pained. I felt like I was around people who would not accept the “me” I truly was. They wanted me to be the version of myself I had created, a false shell that I struggled to let go of when I began to walk a spiritual path. What started as a vague feeling, the feeling that they did not want me to change, became blatant. I realized that these friends of mine did not know the real me, and what was worse is that they had no interest in trying to get to know that me, in fact they were fighting to keep me stuck as the person I had been before.
I am not judging or blaming my friends. It was my doing alone that created the issue. I, like so many others of us had created a false self based on my ego needs. I wanted to be liked so I became the things that the people I wanted to be around wanted me to be. I created an image of perfection and pretended that it was who I was. Then when I began to long to be who I really was, I had a long road of searching and then of letting go of things that were not authentic to who I was. I struggled to let go of ideas, ways of living, habits and finally through letting go of all of those false pieces was faced with the relationships that were based on all those things. In the end when I let go of those false pieces there was nothing to form the foundation of many of my relationships. That was a hard and sad realization that caused many tears. I fought and held tight to those friendships. I had been asked to give up so much the past two years, I bargained with the Creator that I should be able to at least keep my friendships- I could not go through the loss of everything I had presented myself to be and then be alone as well.
There was a sense with everything that I had been asked to give up that a promise was being made that new things, more in line with who I really am would come in to take the place. I was not being asked to be alone forever- but to be alone for a period of time to allow the new to be drawn to me. I am in that place now. Not totally alone like I had feared would happened- but I have let go of the relationships I was clinging to and it has created a gap, a space that is already being filled with new people and things. It’s beginning to be filled with people who appreciate and want to know me for who I really am. People who are not expecting things from me besides for me to be who I really am. I can see clearly that the people I let go of were trying to hold me to an old version of me- one that I had outgrown long ago.
This is the letting go that is happening now for many people. We are not asked to drop everyone and everything from our past. I still have some great friends that have grown with me and are still a fit with who I have become. There are some people who support me from my past. There are some people who I know still have a role in challenging me. This is not about us turning our backs on people or things because they are not the way we would like them to be, or because they do not fit our ideas and thoughts. We are being asked to search deeper within ourselves and to be honest about the reasons we are clinging to certain things or people. If they are there to challenge us, to help us grow then they should remain. If they are there to support us and give us those much needed boosts up, then they should remain. If there are things holding us to a version of ourselves that we have outgrown then we need to ask why we are staying connected to those things and people. It can be a job, relationships, ideas we hold about ourselves, obligations, anything that keeps us from evolving and changing. When I let go of the friends I needed to let go of- it was not done with anger or resentment, it was done with deep love and appreciation for what those people gave me and for what I had learned from them. I let go in order for me to go where I needed to go and to allow them to go where they needed to go. I hold gratitude and good intentions in my heart as I think about them. It took some ugly experiences that were full of hurt for me to see things clearly but in the place I am right now- I can see it was all from love and all part of God’s plan for me and for them. I see bright things for me and I can feel it for them as well. That feeling brings me peace and happiness and keeps me open to the fact that someday we may be led back together, but for now it really is time to let go.
As we continue down our paths we change and grow. As a part of that change and growth we need to be able to let go of things that try to keep us stuck. That is the way that we must come to the Creator empty handed. We can not cling to anything and must be ready to let go for our own highest good and for the highest good of others- even when we are afraid. There is freedom and joy in that kind of letting go.
With Love and Truth