You want to know something that has controlled me for years?
I associate “letting go” with accepting defeat and admitting unworthiness.
Raising a white flag never feels like a healthy surrender for mental freedom. It seems like conceding that I’m not worthy of the person who left, of the job I didn’t get – or worse – that I am of the slight from a friend or the terrible, false judgement from an acquaintance or yet another petty yet harrowing transgression. I thought that I must agree with something to accept it. I didn’t realize I was twisting mental images of things I couldn’t control, trying to turn them into something I could be okay with, no matter how delusional they were.
In reality, the things we can’t let go of are the things that still have something to teach us.
I tried to numb the things that were lingering to teach me those very things about myself, and I called that healing. I tried to fight them off, and I called that being strong. Not being able to let go was never the problem – it was not understanding holding on was a symptom of a lesson I was refusing to learn.
Real healing is not moving on, it’s learning to be present. It’s realizing you can’t control what lingers, you can only control the environment of your body and mind and spirit, and whether or not they can and will sustain memory or fear or love. You do not create a thought in place of another one, you create a mindset. Healing is learning how to value every experience and know every experience has value. You learn to place what you’ll learn above who you are. You have faith that you’ll become more. You promise you’re going to try.
When you replace your loss with a new lover or job or idea or distraction and it still lingers, there’s more to be revealed. It means you don’t have to try harder or reach further. It means you have to allow what is and look within.
Because there is no such thing as loss. Nothing is ours forever anyway. Even our bodies aren’t ours eventually. You either acknowledge the impermanence of all things, or you let yourself suffer by your own lapse in awareness. Attachment is an idea, and awareness is the antidote.
The things that are physically gone but still alive in your mind usually remain to teach you acceptance and forgiveness and the ability to experience without attaching. To ‘achieve’ without needing to believe something is yours – that is unconditional love. That is the place from which you access the entire spectrum of emotion and sensation and experience.
Healing is changing your mindset, not your circumstances. Healing is realizing the former must always precede the latter. Numbing is deflecting, it’s holding others responsible for your inability to address the issues that are preventing you from moving on. It’s trying to disprove what you already know. Healing is trying to work with what you realize is inevitable.
The things that come, come with reason. The things that go, go with reason. The things that linger, linger with reason. Numbing is trying to control what comes and goes and lingers. Healing is exploring the reasons. Numbing is trying to figure out answers. Healing is being okay in the questions.