‘Letting go’ seems to be a buzz phrase in any sort of spiritual and self-development community. Although, as Jai mentioned whilst we were talking about this topic, sometimes when people tell you to ‘just let go’, you actually want to reply with, well, to put it in a less crude way, ‘jump off a cliff’. On top of this, the term can elicit feelings of uneasiness, as people associate it with not really caring or putting no effort in. This could not be further from the truth.
The idea that surrendering your suffering in terms of a problem you are facing is a sign of weakness is perhaps a very westernized idea where anything that is not about control and ‘try try again’ is seen as giving up.
As Jai reminded me, life is a constant balance between holding on and letting go. Both of these can be conducive if used in the correct way at the correct time and neither is permanent.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference”
You do not need to release your grip on a situation forever and always. Sometimes it is just the wiser choice to set the problem aside and focus on what you are certain you can control right now. What’s funny about this is that in some cases, by allowing yourself to unhinge your focus on that specific area of your life, a solution to whatever is bothering you might just pop up!
If you have ever had trouble with a maths sum, gone to sleep and woken up knowing the answer, you will know this to be true. Sometimes holding onto a problem actually worsens it.
In fact then, letting go or surrendering your suffering is actually an act of care as well as strength. You are allowing yourself to exercise power over what you can as well as not overcomplicating your current issue with overthinking. The entire obsession with what you can’t seem to change is just going to deepen your suffering.
It is simply the conscious decision that you have suffered enough, and you’re now ready to let go of that suffering.
So next time a friend or colleague with good intention utters the words ‘just let it go’, maybe try and resist your violent urges. There is, after all, something to be said for doing just that.