More of Less!
I’ve been an absolute tosser this week! Like a new broom, I have swept through the house passing on anything and everything that is not being used or is no longer needed. One good thing about living in a humid climate is that it puts paid to any urge I might have to keep something for, you know, just in case.
While I don’t have a sentimental bone in my body when it comes to ‘dust-gathering, mildew-forming stuff’, not everyone has the same approach. For those of you reading this and thinking, hrmph, she really doesn’t understand how hard it is for me, I have a confession to make. A pro at tossing ‘things’ I might be, but when it comes to relationships, I hang on like a ship captain going down with the Titanic! Letting go of people is a concept I’m not sure I fully understand.
That said, I’ve been mulling over the whole holding on / letting go dynamic. I don’t think it matters so much WHAT we cling to, the bottom line is that most of us are clinging with all our might to something. If it’s not stuff, or a particular person, it can be our identity, reputation, job or even past hurts that we find impossible to leave be.
Most of us are familiar with the anecdote of catching a monkey where a monkey’s greed is used to trap it. A treat is placed inside a container with an opening big enough for an empty monkey hand to pass through. However, once the monkey clutches the treat, his fist can no longer pass through the opening and volia. By refusing to let go, the monkey is trapped.
So how do we coax ourselves into loosening our grip when we really, really most want to hold on? I got to tell ya, this is one place where I’m a pretty big fan of avoidance! Buy less. Consume less. The earth and your budget will thank you. And yes, it’s a lot easier to let go of something you are not holding on to in the first place. I’m just saying!
When it comes to relationships with others and with ourselves, learning to love with an open hand takes some doing. In a recent article on letting go, Pema Khandro, points out how we keep postponing our acceptance of this moment to pursue reality as we think it should be. It is a powerful question to ask yourself in moments of uncertainty. Am I postponing acceptance of this moment to pursue reality as I think it should be?
This habit of pursuing reality as we think it should be is at the root of what traps us. As we learn to let go, it’s surprising to discover how little we actually need to be happy.
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I'm a Personal Development Life Coach who specialises in L.I.F.E (Living Into your Fullest Expression). Based in Richards Bay, on the East Coast of South Africa, I live with my long-suffering husband, (his description!), two much-loved dogs and care for my elderly father who has Alzheimer's.
Read more about me here.