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 one gains in continuing. Here is an inspiring video by Emily Levine on just this subject. Her insights into living and dying are moving. I will save my thoughts on our modern medical model and it’s deficiency in helping us decide to let go of life in another article.
Loss can bring great pain: mastering attachment healing
How to let go:
Many things are not easily surrendered to letting go and releasing attachment. 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. Allow the pure emotion for about 3-15 seconds. Then move on as best you can. Easier said than done? Yes. Without a doubt. However, science tells us our pure emotions last about that long. Beyond that, it becomes what our mind does with it.
- If you meditate. Give it a go. It can be difficult sometimes 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!