Saying no and letting go

The reading at the end of two-hour workshop on bereavement resonated with me. I finally understood the meaning of letting go. And with that, the need to say no.

She let go.

She let go.

Without a thought or a word, she let go. [More….]

Years ago, when I was first introduced to the concept of detachment, my sister described letting go as akin to holding sand loosely instead of tightly in the palm. It didn’t make any sense at all. How can I let go of all the experiences, qualifications, assets, relationships, and memories that I’ve acquired through hard work?

Now I see that I had misinterpreted “let it go.”

Even after my project was over, I was still operating as though it wasn’t. My colleague said, “You need to let it go, just like the song.”  How could I? I spent two years working on it, developing the partnerships, the content, and spreading the word. I can’t just let go. I can’t stop caring.

That’s not what she meant.

“To let go” does not mean to forget it or give it up. It means to let go of your attachment to it. Don’t hold on to it.  Let it pass. Don’t try to own it or keep it.

In the reading, “She let go of fear.”  This translates to “don’t hang onto fear. Don’t live in fear. Let it pass.”

“She let go of the judgments.”  Don’t be quick to judge. If you feel instinctively judgmental, step back. Let it pass.

Perhaps a better phrase would be “let it pass.”   To let go means to not hold on.

Another way of thinking about it is to say no to it. “No, I don’t want to hold on to you or own you.”

What about saying no? When you have to decline, do so. Otherwise, you will burden yourself with reluctant yeses and you’d feel resentful, guilty and eventually angry.

I look forward to a reading on “saying no.”

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