Holding on to that which is unnecessary clutters one’s mind and space. When the mind and space is cluttered it is easy to view the world through a lens of scarcity. It is as if we hope that by clinging onto something, whatever it is, we will never need. Yet what we cling to can become our prison.
As a spiritual practice, try to let go of something daily. Is there something broken that you mean to repair someday, but have not gotten to? Put it in the trash. Let it go. Experience the freedom of letting go of that which is junk; do not donate it. Acknowledge that things break. Things wear out. Things lose usefulness. Why pass along something whose day is done? If you cannot repurpose or recycle it, let it go.
If you wish to donate things, do it while they are still useful and in good repair. Be responsible enough to own the fact, when an item is no longer useful. Dispose of it appropriately. It is not an act of charity to donate garbage, if in fact what you donate will end up in the garbage anyway.
If you have two items and need only one, give the extra away. Do not worry whether you might need it later or not. Enjoy the pleasure of sharing your excess. Trust that more will come your way if ever you truly lack.
Let your practice of letting go of tangible things become the pathway for teaching you how to let go of the intangible. Practice on what is easy so that you may release yourself of what is difficult.
Let go of old wounds. Experience the freedom of forgiving yourself and others. Be generous about this.
Some years ago, when I was about 12, my friend’s father screamed at me in the middle of dinner at their house because I was using a spoon rather than a fork. I remember vividly the sense of injustice and shame I felt in that moment. But over time I realized the event said more about him and his view of the world than it did about me or my habits. I let it go.
What is your “spoon” moment? Reflect on it and let it go. Experience the freedom of choosing to no longer need to be right or to be a victim. Choose to let that person be imperfect and love him or her anyway. Be liberal and generous about letting go of deep wounds.
Let go of fears. Experience the freedom of taking risks. Allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes and to have a learning curve. Step outside of your comfort zone. Discover your strengths. Discover who may step in to help you. Discover the joy of having a larger world than you thought possible.
Let go of your excuses and the need to be perfect. Start those unfinished projects or tasks. Experience the joy of making progress. Allow yourself to do things less than perfectly.
With time and daily practice, letting go can become easier, and as a benefit, you will be to discover that nothing is that permanent. Neither joy, nor pain will last forever. Things are relative. There is much freedom awaiting you.
Letting go of something you have loved is an act of courage. It takes courage to let go of what you have loved because there are no guarantees that something new to love will come in. Yet, if you cling to what needs to go, you have not made room for the new.
A favorite image of mine is that of a monkey who has both hands in jars. Each hand is full of a treat the monkey can have, but to get that treat the monkey has to let go of some of the treats. I have heard that a monkey will not let go and will remain there with its hands stuck in the jars. Whether this is true of not, I do not know, but the image fits human nature. How often do we cling to what we know we need to let go!
Holding onto something becomes a prison; it traps the one who is clinging.
Anxiety is worrying on steroids. Worry may be specific and for a reason. Anxiety is generalized and global. Anxiety is expecting the worst to happen in any or most things.
Anxiety is a mindset that grips a person when they allow their thoughts to run amok. To counter anxiety, one must stay in the present moment, breathe in, and tell him or herself, “I am okay at this time. I do not know how things will work out, but I will anticipate the best.”
Anxiety involves a lack of trust in one’s self, one’s family, one’s friends, or one’s god. Anxiety refuses to accept comfort or help. Anxiety is lonely.
The solution for anxiety is contentment, and acceptance, and the practice of seeing all things as temporary. One can learn to say, “This too shall pass.” All things change and soon the thing that has caused anxiety will have come and gone, and you will wonder at all the wasted time and energy.
A far better practice will have been to reassure yourself that the way will open up. Ask for help. Identify solutions. Make and follow an action plan. You will find the strength and courage needed.
Get on with enjoying the beauty and joy that is available in every present moment.
Contentment is the absence of wanting. Contentment is appreciation for what one has, not what one lacks. The opposite of contentment is longing, dissatisfaction, greed, avarice, and lust. Contentment is being satisfied with one’s present condition. Its mantra may well be, “This too shall pass.” Contentment knows that life is full of seasons, changes, and good things. The difficult or bad times never last.
When one is content, one can endure, with grace, nearly every circumstance. Contentment takes the good and the bad, judging neither. Contentment comes from an attitude of gratefulness; what I have is all I need. Contentment comes from a place of appreciation for all the bounty one has in the present moment.
“I have what I need” is an acknowledgment of what we have. Most of the time we have people who love us, sunshine, beauty, and health, and much more. They don’t all go away on the same day, so whatever challenge there is, there is still much to be satisfied with. Contentment on some level is possible in all circumstances. Are you looking at what you lack, or are you looking at what you have?