Cleaning up clutter, organizing files and disposing of obsolete folders are done quite regularly within computer systems in order to maintain an efficient and overall healthy state. Similar to a spring cleaning and letting go of unwanted stuff to freshen up the house or a detailing to clean up your car. Unfortunately, we far too often forget that it is just as important to re-evaluate, re-organize and sometimes delete the clutter and obsolete aspects of our own personal lives. It can be a process so easily overlooked and brushed aside, because while it is easy to click, drag and delete files on a computer, the same can’t be said for one’s personal soul care or relationships. One may neglect this difficult process due to a variety of reasons, fear, guilt, loyalty, commitment and the list goes on. However, whether it be from a single event or a combination of issues that have accumulated to a breaking point, there will come a time when we will be forced to ask ourselves the tough questions, the ones that we have been pushing aside for later and really reevaluate the relationships in our lives. This is why I’m writing today, to share my story of letting go, not only to help others but to help myself as well, because if there is one thing I want you to take in from this blog, it’s that it is important to take care of yourself, your happiness, and your soul and you shouldn't feel guilty about that.
I am currently facing the dissolution of a 40 year relationship with one of my closest friends. I won’t get into the details of how this came about as they are irrelevant to the outcome, what I can tell you is that sad cannot begin to encompass the whirlwind of emotions I’ve been experiencing. Anger, hurt, frustration, the need to control… and, I BREATHE deeply.
Letting go of any long term relationship is not easy but staying in a bad one is not healthy. You may feel guilt for wanting to let go and it’s okay to have doubt if what you’re doing is the right thing. You need to make the choice to do what is going to make you healthy, happy and holy.
Don’t feel guilty though….you can take a strong stance and break the ties out of compassion or a sense of concern for the other person rather than out of anger.
As I move through the process of letting go I realize it’s okay to be sad as I reflect on the situation but not allow anger and frustration to control my thoughts. I’m allowing compassion to filter in as I resolve to lose the need to control the situation. I strive not to harbour anger but rather use the situation as an opportunity to enhance my practice of patience and tolerance – which is a critical factor in offsetting negative emotions.
Be prepared though – it is not easy. As you are in the process of practicing patience and tolerance, many things will arise from the past. Try not to dwell in that drama but gain strength to leave it behind. The past is the past so there is no use in continuing to feel anger or frustration. These feelings cannot change the situation and will only cause you to be unhappy. Of course I will always remember……. The Dali Lama says; “there’s nothing wrong with remembering but with the development of patience and tolerance, it’s possible to let go of the negative feelings associated with the event.”
So yes I’m still sad when I reflect however I don’t have anger in my heart towards my friend and I don’t have the need to control. I am simply letting go…..free of guilt and continuing to practice, tolerance, compassion and gratitude.
“In your life there will be good days and bad days, normal days and abnormal days, right days and wrong days, but you must understand that every day has to be followed by a night and every life has to end. Don't waste your life in reactions. ” Yogi Bhajan