I think almost everyone has heard or seen the old saying, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.” Most people will assume that means another person, but, in truth, it can mean anything – an animal, home, job, car, ..anything. The real question is, why do we have such a hard time letting go or, better still, why do we hold on so tightly?
We all want to live comfortable lives with people around us who care about us, a steady income, a decent place to live, and as little stress and worry in our lives as possible. We want to feel safe and secure. For many of us Life is a struggle. We don’t understand why we aren’t loved and cared about by the people we love. We don’t understand why there’s not enough money to cover all the bills and buy food as well or why we seem to have to settle for less than we feel we deserve. We worry, fret, feel anxious, and, often, can’t seem to find a solution to these situations.
The answer lies, most often, in our reaction to the world outside ourselves and our beliefs about it. These reactions and beliefs are not just from the teachings/programming of our parents and teachers, but from Life experiences when interacting with people in the world around us. It is here I have often asked myself, “Did the things that happened in my life happen because of the teachings/programming I received or did they happen so that I could learn more about Life?” The answer is very subtle because you then have to ask if those things you were taught created beliefs and emotions that brought the people and events into your life. That can be difficult to see clearly and understand.
The truth is that much of what we were taught or programmed with was based on getting approval and the fear of not getting that very same approval. We began to fear rejection, punishment, abandonment. Those fears began to dictate our response to people and situations that happened in our lives. We began to believe that if it happened once, it could happen again. As a result, we began to hold on tightly to people, things, and situations for fear of being alone (abandonment), of not being liked or accepted (rejection), of losing what we had (punishment) and then having less than we did before.
Because of this we can, and often do, hang on for dear Life to people, things, and situations, even when they aren’t to our liking. We settle for less for fear of having nothing at all. We have lost our ability to trust, to have faith, that everything will work out for the better. So we hold on, sometimes with a death-grip that even we can’t seem to break, even when we are miserable with the person or situation we have.
“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.” Even when that person you’re with is someone you believe to be the love of your life, holding on won’t make them respond to you the way you want. It won’t cause them to love you more or treat you better. You can’t remake another person into the image you hold in your mind or heart. If there really is love there – if it is really meant to be – the only way you will ever know is to let go. Have faith, take a breath, step back and let go.
Whether the hold we have on something or someone is physical or metaphorical, we have closed ourselves off to the possibility of receiving something better…and yet many of us fervently pray for relief, for something or someone better, from the Universe/Creator. How extremely silly and illogical of us. You can’t receive anything, if your hand (physical or metaphorical) is closed and it is, if you are tightly holding on to something else.
To receive, we must be willing to let go. We must learn to have faith and hope again. We must once again believe in infinite possibilities and have no doubt that something or someone better is out there waiting for us – if we just let go and trust. I know it can be difficult. After all, we’ve taken years to be well indoctrinated into the realms of fear and doubt, but there was a time when we trusted without doubt and believed in infinite possibilities. We were younger then. New to this world. That person is still inside us, waiting for us to reconnect with them.
There’s a new year approaching and it’s filled with 365 days of infinite possibilities. What are the chances that we can open ourselves up to them? Can we muster our courage to let go of all the things that are holding us back? Will we allow ourselves to be open to the gifts the Universe has waiting for us? Will we unclench our hands, freeing ourselves to easily receive what we truly want from Life? If you take a few moments and think about the stress and worry you live through as you hold tightly to whatever it is you fear losing, I think you might find that letting go is less fearful than you once believed.
I hope you take a deep breath and just let go. May your New Year be filled with wonderful adventures and discoveries!