When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
I was talking to a friend the other day who is suffering from an old malady of mine, obligation overload. My friend is faced with the fact that there are not enough hours in a day to do all that people expect her to do. It often is not easy to do the right thing and say no, yet if we don’t we end up either not doing what needs to be done or we do it badly.
In my friends case it is time to let go of some of her obligations. A few times in the past I had to let go of my relationships and involvement in organizations I supported. It was never easy but it was much better than agonizing over my failures. The secret of course is not getting overloaded in the first place. I wonder sometimes if we don’t fool ourselves into believing that we are so good that something will fail if we don’t do it when in reality if we try to walk on water we will soon drown. In my experience whenever I left a task there was someone there to pick it up.
I have copied some thoughts from an article by Charu Chandra and added them below. I wish I had had his advice many years ago rather than only learning through the mistakes I made by saying yes more than I should have. I have also learned the hard way that what I have does not define me, it is the quality of what I do that does.
Lessons On Letting Go
Letting Go Of Attachment To People Doesn’t Mean You Have To Become A Recluse
My self-identity used to be dependent on the people around me. Most of my actions were aimed at pleasing people and maintaining my social image. I learned that letting go of attachment to people means that you don’t let your sense of identity be affected by the actions and words of anyone, including your loved ones. This way, you are not running away from your loved ones but you are also not saying things like, “Without this person I wouldn’t survive.”
I learned that it is possible to love a person without being attached to that person.
Having Fewer Possessions Makes You Happier
Attachment to material possessions can get dangerously toxic. I used to have a tendency to accumulate more and more. But recently I have moved towards living a minimalistic lifestyle. Things I used to dream of as a boy, such as owning a big mansion no longer excites me (unless I have a big enough family to fill that mansion). I have realized that I feel much happier living with fewer, high quality items which fulfil my needs and not more.
The Past Doesn’t Matter, Nor Does The Future
It is important to realize that yes, we have a say on what happens in the future depending on the actions we take in the present. So it is okay to think about the future when you make decisions right now. But to worry about it is nothing more than a big distraction.
What about the past? Events that occurred in the past are meant to stay exactly there, in the past. However, it is important to learn the lessons that the past teaches us. Other than that, dwelling on the past has no use to us.
It is Easy to Become a Slave to Your Emotions
Just like with attachment to people, letting go of attachment to emotions doesn’t mean you should stop feeling emotions. All it means is that it is OK to feel emotions but it becomes a problem when you let them change your self-identity. For example, if you just suffered a bad break up, you feel pain. And that is OK — it’s part of life. But you shouldn’t let that change the way you think about yourself.
Just like the saying goes, “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.” Accept the pain and move on.
Another example, when things are going great, you feel very happy. It is okay to feel this too. But the minute you let it turn into pride and start thinking of yourself as superior to others, it’s bad.
Letting go helps us to to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.
** Update your Thesaurus**
coffee (n.), person who is coughed upon.
flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
abdicate (v.), to give up hope of having a flat stomach.
esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
negligent (adj.), condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your underwear.
lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up when run over by a steamroller.
balderdash (n.), rapidly receding hairline.
testicle (n.), humorous question on an exam.
rectitude (n.), formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist before examining you.
oyster (n.), person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
circumvent (n.), opening in the front of boxer shorts.
pokemon (n), Jamaican proctologist.
She said: I’m a Libra. They say I’m indecisive . . . I’m not indecisive! . . Am I indecisive?
Now then,” said the warden addressing the three instigators of a failed prison riot. “I would like to know two things. First: Why did you revolt? Second: How did you get out of your cell?”
One of the three men stepped forward, “Warden, we rebelled because the food is awful.”
“I see. And the cell? What did you use to break the bars?”
Replied the spokesman, “Toast….”
A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong.
Two elderly women were in a beauty parlor getting their hair done, when in walks a young chick with a low cut blouse that revealed a rose tattooed on one breast. One lady leaned over to the other and said, “She don’t know it, but in 50 years she’ll be wearing a long stemmed rose in a hanging basket.”
If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?
I find it helpful during this political season, as I am inundated with vindictive massages, to remember this quote from Bertrand Russell:
“The degree of one’s emotion varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts—the less you know the hotter you get.”
Never having learned to ride a bicycle as a child, I finally decided to do it in my late twenties. My boyfriend, William, offered to teach me, and we headed to the park for my first lesson. He held on to the seat as I wobbled down a path. My self consciousness was just beginning to disappear when I saw a father, teaching his little daughter to ride a bike, approaching.
As we passed, I was mortified when William said to the dad, “They grow up so fast, don’t they?”
“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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