Letting go is the hardest lesson of any regular human being on this planet. We are born with it. Since our early days we clinch to that which gives us pleasure, joy, comfort. Our first cry was that of separation. We were in total unity and we were pushed or dragged out of it. And that is how we started life.
The moment we realized we were bounded by time, we started worrying. We learnt that we had to let go of what we were enjoying in order to do something else that was required from us. So our life became a routine of things to do in a certain amount of time. As kids we had to stop playing, turn off the tv or stop that conversation with a friend because we were called to eat or shower or sleep. As adults we accepted time as something that moves forward constantly, inexorably. Hours, days, weeks, months, years go by and we linger in the memories of that which has passed. We imagine our future and fill it up with all kinds of dreams and goals. Sometimes we get where we want to go and we find ourselves contempt and yet planning the next thing or thinking that maybe it could have been better. So, When do we actually enjoy the time that has been given to us? When have we really embraced our actual circumstances?
The most common example of our inability of letting go are relationships. We all have been at some point in life miserable because of them. Someone at this very moment is feeling completely lonely or desperate as a result of a relationship ending. The inevitable question comes… Why can’t I be happy ? What is wrong with me? What did I do wrong? Why can’t I have what I want? So the rollercoaster begins and we believe that we lost what we had and that we will never have happiness again. We lose perspective and we lose ourselves. We become blinded by the illusion that we are separated and that time passes by and we have less time to have and get what we once imagined would be happiness. We become obsessed with time! We become this racing dogs chasing the never stopping bone! There is no race! There is no bone!
I would ask one question ..While you were in that relationship did you realized you were happy? or Were you planning the next step, the next goal and thinking that after moving in together or getting married you would then be completely and utterly happy? So after 3 months or 2 years or 10 years, the relationship ends and instead of being thankful for what you lived, the lessons you learnt, the experiences you acquired… you moan and you cry and you ask Why? Why me? Why this? Why now? I wanted it to last forever!
The same applies to the dream job or the perfect house or your current state of health.
The news is that as time goes by we all have to learn to let go. We realize that nothing lasts forever…a very simple yet painful truth. But if you had known that the relationship or the job or the experience that made you so happy was going to last the amount of time it lasted, would you have still chosen to live it? Think about it. I´m sure you would have. You would still choose to be happy even for a short period of time. ..because time is an illusion remember? There is only one big eternal NOW…time is not moving or going anywhere…it is you who is moving through time, you are dividing your life into hours and days and years and planning and scheduling and organizing. You may argue that day and night exist as proof of time but they are only ever-changing cycles. There are no days and nights exactly the same!
I´ve heard once that in life, you cannot have everything you want. And while there is truth in it, it is not completely true. I think is a matter of time…
We cannot have everything we want at the same time. Or to put it differently, at one time. But if we think that our life is the time that we’ve got to get what we want, then it is possible that we will! And we may realize that there is time for everything, like the seasons earth goes trough so swiftly. A time to play, a time to rebel, a time to travel, a time to love, a time to create, a time to change, a time to build and a time to relax…. and in between we have to let go of people and places and possibilities, even beliefs and sometimes dreams.
The sooner you grasp this basic, yet powerful truth, the sooner you will start to enjoy whatever you are doing, wherever you are, with someone or with yourself and the past and the future will merge into one perfect moment: This moment. The only one. Enjoy it. And if at this instant you happen to be crying or angry or without hope, enjoy it too or at least be in peace with it because this will also pass and chances are you will have a fond memory of this moment also.
I leave you with this:
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh