knowing when to let go

September 19, 2019

A few years ago a guy I had fallen for sent me a quote, supposedly from Buddha reading "In the end, only three things matter : how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go the things not meant for you". 

 

I struggled with this idea. These words don't resonate.

 

To me, it ought to read more like "three things matter deeply; how much you loved, how fiercely you lived and loved, and how you chased your dreams and stopped 'shoulding' on yourself". 

 

But, I recognise that letting go is a necessary part of life.

 

Of all the Astanga (8 petals of Yoga), one of the most difficult tenets is aparagraha; non-attachment.

 

I'm attached to all sorts of things; I could lie and say that decades of practice has changed this, but actually it's only made my awareness of them stronger. They stand out amongst the crowd of self-analysis so much more now.

 

I'm attached to those I love, to the ideas I have about me, to the things I desire, to some of my material gains, to my dreams, I'm attached to Yoga and cling to it like a lifeline.

 

Really, something I've come to observe, is that former addicts make the most studious yogis out there. Because we just swap one addiction for another; Yoga becomes an addiction in itself. 

 

Knowing when to let go.

 

Understanding when something is not meant for us.

 

That is one of the most tricky things.

 

Over the years, we've come to see that the body knows. The breath tells us the truth.

 

All the answers lie within. Another quote that gets thrown around like leaves from a tree. 

 

But there's truth there.

 

Often, the body tells us that something is not meant for us.

 

We can turn our gaze and choose not to see it. 

 

But the breath restricts, or the arms cross, or a tear falls from eye. Because, deep down, in the archaic parts; the ones that evolved over millions of years; the ones that know how to 'be' without any guide book or tutorial; these parts tell us the truth. That this is not the path meant for us.

 

Yogi/nis are gifted. Because the entire practice; every single part, whether it's rooting the feet deeper, lengthening breath, aligning energetic channels or quietening chatter of the mind. All of this. Is for one thing. 

 

To remember how to listen.

 

Not to what we were taught.

 

But to who we are.

 

And to recognise that if it's a not a whole-body 'yes'. 

 

Then it is a 'no'.

 

We wouldn't encourage you to give up on dreams. Or to run from the scary stuff. 

 

But what we would encourage you to do, is to listen to the parts that are deep. 

 

To see what lies there.

 

And to recognise that some things, some ideas, some thoughts, need to be released. To be walked away from. 

 

New paths exist on the other side of letting go. 

 

Doorways will open, where you believed there were none.

 

And heartache only opens us up to let more light escape. To shine brighter. To be more.

 

More than we thought possible. 

 

Feel more.

 

Play light.

 

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