If you’re like most people, you will resist letting go in one way or another.
You might see the value of it right away. Perhaps you read about it here or you know about the Sedona Method or M2method or Byron Katie or EFT or through some sort of meditation.
If you’re like me, you probably, said, well there’s probably something to this, but I don’t understand it. I’ll think about it later. I need to know more.
Some people even feel anger when they first encounter a release method.
Our egos are generally invested in struggle and effort, and so it’s hard for us to see in any value in something so simple as letting go. We make it hard. Notice that if something requires effort and separation and advancement, we accept it easily. People have no trouble accepting organized religion and spirituality, because much of it is about advancement and accumulation and jumping through hoops. Or self-improvement or the ten commandments or morality or Buddhist precepts or asceticism or celibacy—the ego loves these things.
If that’s the way you are inclined, that’s fine, go that way, but know that ultimately none of that has anything to do with you. You come to this party as you are.
Ah but people can’t stand to have their journeys taken away. They need struggle and effort and practice and spirituality. They need to hang to other people’s words and memorize complicated spiritual concepts. They need to be systematic and accumulate and integrate—because all of this doing makes them feel like it’s taking them some place.
What if there was no place to go? What if everything is right here and right now?
Who is this person who doesn’t understand? Who is this person who is flailing about, looking for answers, chasing her own tail? Who is suffering? Who are you, and don’t answer with clever words or quotations. This isn’t a mind trick. Don’t look for results. Don’t look for spiritual revelations.
Awakening makes no demands. You don’t have to be strong or spiritual. I’ve found that it helps if you’re gently honest with yourself, but even that develops naturally. We are pretty good at fooling ourselves—it can be helpful if you don’t forget that.
The way releasing works, in my experience, is that first you’ll resist, then you’ll try it. Maybe when life gets painful or boring or absurd enough, you will try it.
You might try it for a specific thing, like anxiety, as I did.
And then you see it works for many things. You might see that releasing is really all about awareness. When you allow an emotion, let it be, make space for it, see that an emotion is just body-sensations connected to thought stories, and see that it’s as easy to let go as it is to open a fisted hand–all of that is simply just being aware without thinking about it.
Then, you see that letting go is really about just deciding not to hold on, without thinking about it. You see that there are not two of you, one who wants to hold on to pain and one who wants to let go. There is just one who never really wanted to resist, so it hits you like slap in the face, why was I holding on? Why was I accumulating all this time?
And then perhaps releasing expands. You release not just the hard emotions, but also thoughts and ideas and beliefs. You see that beliefs are unreal. You can let go of even beautiful beliefs, spiritual beliefs, and you see that beliefs were always just other people’s words, just conditioning.
And it feels just so much lighter not to carry these heavy beliefs. Life is already fully wise.
And you release and you release, and it gets easier and easier, and you release and release until there is sweet surrender.