I believe one of the hardest things we humans can do is the seemingly simple task of letting go. Whether we are the toddler with our hands in the death grip on "my" toy and refusing to share it or we are ‘mature’ adults who pretend to not see our hands/minds/souls grasping tightly to what we have decided is ours, letting go is not a task we humans do with neither ease nor grace.
There are so many metaphors of the need for letting go but a favorite is that often what we grasp tightly is like a hot coal burning our hands and the more we feel the pain the harder we squeeze. Our physical/emotional/neuorological instinct kicks on and tells us to hang on tighter. Our muscles strain and our breath becomes more shallow as we fight to defend our right to possess what inevitably brings us suffering.
As always we have choice, we can squeeze tighter, and sometimes we humans need to suffer more, to become sick and tired of being sick and tired, until purely out of fatigue our fingers fall open. If this is what is takes we can learn to lean in and find our limit, trusting that the edge of our limits will push us to do what we may not be ready to do from a place of 'comfortable enough". Alternatively we can muster up the courageous equivalent of jumping off the high dive. We give one last squeeze, say our goodbyes, lean into our faith, get a long slow breath in and on the exhale, one trembling hesitant finger at a time expand our palms-holding them open while we breathe. Breathing through the adrenlyn rush that calls for us to squeeze shut again.
We often see this as a one time act of bold bravery but the truth is we more often than not need to repeat this process. Keep in mind we are often forging a new neural pathway that needs to be breathed into and given the gift of repetition.
There are two ways to be. One is at war with reality and the other is at peace. Byron Katie
Life moves on and so should we. Spencer Johnson
Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. Epictetus
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Henry Havelock Ellis
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. E. M. Forster