In the last post, part 4 in this series on letting go, we looked at fear as the underlying cause of our control issues and defined what fear really is. In this post we will explore how to deal with fear, so we can keep letting go and live more fully and with ease.
Letting go implies more than relaxation, it means that we have to become comfortable with the challenges in our own lives and in the environment around us. One of my teachers points out, that as long as we are in this human body with an ego, we will experience loss, because of the nature of impermanence of this physical reality. We will experience fear and suffering as a result of this continuous loss we encounter.
Pema Chodron a Buddhist teacher, calls this place of fear and suffering, a place of groundlessness. It is where you feel shaky, uncertain, with nothing to hold on to. It is the place of the unknown when you encounter change or any form of loss. This is fear and you cannot get rid of it, you meet it and get to know it. It is supportive to have a spiritual practice such as meditation to help you keep your equanimity at these times. The tools of meditation, such as focusing on your breath, and witnessing your thoughts, are allies during this phase of the journey. When you make friends with this place, that is when you begin to learn the art of letting go. This place is so scary, why would you want to make friends with it, when society offers us a myriad of enticing masks to wear and identities to get lost in, so we don’t have to face our fear? If we don’t make friends with these scary places, we will be forever hiding and trying to out run the boogeyman. This is exhausting and cyclical. Aren’t you tired of running? I am. Wouldn’t you rather live your truth, uplift yourself and uplift others?
So what does letting go look like in practice? For me it is when you do whatever you can to help yourself with the challenges you have, to the best of your ability. It does not mean, letting go of your responsibilities and saying, “the universe will take care of it!” It does not mean that you will be living in crisis all the time. It means, knowing that you have done all you can do, you can relax and allow grace to unfold your life as it should. You let go of worrying and indulging in depression about your situation, and trust that your highest good and the good for all, will manifest. When you are not worrying and indulging in negative thoughts, you open to the spaciousness of Being. You experience your inner joy in the midst of all your challenges. You are not wishing for it all to go away, so you can be happy. You are already experiencing your joy from within. You live with what is. Some things can’t be solved. We learn to live with paradox and enjoy the nature of being.