The ultimate aging skill: The art of letting go.
About mastery in releasing attachment
Anything we become attached to becomes a part or extension of ourself and not just emotionally but physically as well. Getting upset to the point of becoming ill over a scratch on the car, a lost wallet, a missed appointment, etc. (maybe you can think of more examples) shows us how we have made these things a part of ourself and a part of our physiology.
We have choices.
The attachment/loss cycle
Life goes on
Releasing and letting go. Not the same as forgetting.
The BIG letting go
After a lifetime of working hard to keep our attachments in place, when do we know it is time to let go? Some things are easy to let go of and some are not. And then there is the BIG letting go, The ultimate
letting go. To let go and allow our life slip away from our body and not fight anymore. After a lifetime of falling down and getting back up, when is the time to stay down and surrender our life to the cycle of give and take? Some of us have a choice in matters like this. Some do not. We read all the time about people who just stop taking the chemo or stop taking the pills and give in to the inevitably inevitable reality that fighting is only going to take away one’s spirit more than is gained in continuing. Here is an inspiring video by Emily Levine on just this subject. Her insights into living and dying are moving.
Loss can bring great pain: mastering attachment healing
The pain of loss is always in proportion to the degree of our attachment and our skill or ability to release and heal the attachment. Read that one again. Sometimes this healing can take months or years. For the mother who loses a child for example, a lifetime. What are some things or people you are attached to? Can you think of anything or anyone that if “they” or “it” went away you would feel pain? What have you had to let go of in the last year or decade or two? What degree was the pain? How quickly were you able to release your attachment and “let go.” What will you be letting go of in the next few months or year that you know of already? I would love to hear about your process of observing your attachments and letting go of things you can no longer hold onto anymore. As we go along, and in the end, we must become masters of releasing attachment. I wish I had some great advice for you here. Have you heard any inspiring stories about this? Have you had a loss you can’t let go of?
How to let go:
Many things are not easily surrendered. Letting go and releasing attachment can be difficult. Here are a few skills that some people find helpful in healing attachment.
- Gratitude. Maybe this doesn’t need to be explained but I’m going to assume most of us have things in life we can be grateful for. Focusing on those things, even for just a moment can help.
- Forgiveness. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Forgiveness or healing? I’ve heard it described both ways. Forgiveness is for the forgiver. It will help. Work on this.
- Live in the present moment. Projecting hurtful or worst case scenario thoughts and emotions is harmful, plain and simple. Allow the pure emotion to fully express for about 3-60 seconds then move on as best you can. Easier said than done? Yes. Without a doubt. However, science tells us our pure emotions last only that long. Really, they only last a few seconds to a few minutes. Beyond that, it becomes what our mind does with it.
- If you meditate give it a go. Sometimes it can be difficult s to meditate when anxiety is elevated. If so, repeat steps 1-3.
Now I have to release my attachments to making this article any longer than I already have. Feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comments section. Thanks!