I've held tight to the story, 'When I let go, someone or something gets hurt'. That story was my way of collecting the evidence that I needed to keep control. That I was needed. If i didn't have tabs on everyone and everything, life as we knew it, would fall apart. That certainly made me feel that I was needed. I never really thought about the enormous amount of pressure that put me under or in. Oddly enough, I also have lived with the thought - 'I don't do well under pressure' - interesting, to say the least.
To hear people say, 'Let it GO!' was infuriating, I hadn't a clue what it meant. To me, I thought it meant to give up, to lose, to feel loss and ultimately fail due to being weak. So I spent most of my life griping tightly to what I knew to be true through my own experiences. I griped tightly to definitions, rules and beliefs that weren't even mine, but that I learned to believe.
Have you ever heard the expression "Let go, or be dragged?' I read it somewhere, and remember thinking deeply about that. To add feeling to my contemplations, I had the opportunity to witness a woman, gripping tightly to a large horse's lead that became excited to get to his food. I watched (in horror) as she was dragged several yards until she released her grip on the rope. Boy did that hit home! What was she thinking? Why didn't she just let go? And then I realized, she was me. Except the rope I held was on life itself, and I was getting dragged, bumped, slammed and broken. Why won't I let GO? So afraid to fail, to lose ~ to feel guilty, ashamed or a deep loss we call grief.
I never put 2 and 2 together until recently. I learned that if I let go, I'd feel like a failure. I learned, if iI let go , I wasn't valuable, I learned if I let go, I was weak. I learned if I let go, someone or something would get hurt and (another layer to that was), it was all my fault - I was to blame! I began to feel compassion for that woman - realizing if she let go, and that horse hurt someone, it was her fault, and that was a verdict of guilt she spent her life time avoiding by holding on, or thinking she was in control. That she'd rather take the beating, then have it lash out to anyone else. She was me. If anyone in my life got hurt, physically, emotionally or mentally it was my fault. This belief kept me in a vicious cycle of doing my very best to hold on to a raging dragon that I was never meant to hold in the 1st place, yet, somehow this was the message I was taught, along with so many other people.
We don't actually have that kind of control, we are NOT God, we are simply instruments of a Higher Will. So to keep us thinking we do have that kind of control, keeps us playing small and living in a fear.
One of my first experiences of letting go and having something wonderful happen, was when it was time to resign from my 5th grade public school teaching position. It took an entire year of being dragged, knocked down, and bludgeoned to finally resign or let go. That year, something would drag me and knock me down, I wouldn't think about it, I'd just get right back up. As the year progressed - my job felt like a ballon and I held then string. I'd get knocked down, I'd lose my grip on the string and scramble to get up to grab it. Eventually, I got to the point where I watched it float away, tears streaming down my face and asking "What do You want from me? It's gone, are You happy?' (sarcasm was how i used to communicate with Spirit, or the Divine or the Universe - however you choose to name it - something Higher and Wiser than myself) I surrendered - or let go.
As I am now aware, the Universe is always communicating with us. So the answers to my questions came quickly. This time, because I finally let my grip go, I was able to sense the answers the Universe was giving me. I wasn't aware I was listening at the time, or that i was letting go, i just felt that something had shifted and the result of resigning didn't stop the world from turning, no-one got hurt, and I suddenly had reprieve (that I call nothing less than mercy now) so I was (and still am) amazed.
As I look back, it still amazes me that I held on for as long as I did considering how banged up I was. As i look back, i am only now beginning to recognize my own strength.
Eight years later, I continue to contemplate, consciously letting go. Then I let go because i felt like i didn't have a choice. Now, I am acutely aware that it is a choice. And fear says, 'now you know what you're doing, if something bad happens, you now know it is your fault.' and I say back, 'I don't have that kind of control -thank GOD!'
And, I can only say that courageously, when I am aware that in making a choice - I asked for God, or the Universe or Spirit to take the reins. I literally say, this is the choice I feel like I'm supposed to be making, but I really don't know because I can see how it can 'go wrong' too - so- if this is the choice that You want me to make, that will serve You, than allow all involved to be safe and protected, however, if this is a self-serving choice, catch me please. And then. . . . . I listen and watch and feel for the answers to come, for the directions to be given, for the path to open up.
Letting go isn't weak, it takes an inner strength of faith and trust that most are unaware we can tap into. Letting go is success, giving up is failure. Letting go feels frightening when we don't know what's going happen. That fear creates an uncomfortable sensation that our mind would like to make comfortable. It develops a story to explain the sensation, in essence, grasping for control. That grasping for control, the tight grip of the story, restricts the flow of an infinite supply of miraculous solutions.
Learning to let go is a spiritual muscle that needs a daily workout. Where or what, in this moment in time, can you let go of knowing, doing or answering? You got this - Let Go!