by Lillian Csernica on May 30, 2013
Day 30: React to this term: Letting Go
When I contemplate the phrase “letting go,” I see my hand opening and something drifting away, the same way a balloon will float up into the sky. Whatever it is that I’m letting go of moves away from me. That seems too passive to me. I want to be the one doing the moving.
I have some trouble with ambivalence. I’m not sure if this is a side effect of all that practice I did for the Debate team, or if my compulsion toward fairness keeps me stuck sitting on the fence. My therapist often asks me, “How do you feel about that?” or “How does that make you feel?” or “What are the feelings?” Sometimes it can be really hard to get past all the thinking and reach that basic, primal level. The feeling waiting down there is often sorrow or anger.
Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to, and, as they say, your mileage may vary, so take it for what it’s worth. I think letting go can be about more than just releasing whatever or whoever it is by standing there and watching that bus drive away. My therapist taught me that attachments arise from investing emotions into situations or people. The greater our emotional investment, the stronger our attachment. Given that, I believe it’s important to take the proactive stance of withdrawing our emotional investment, just like withdrawing money from the bank. Take it back! Once it’s all mine again, I can re-invest it anywhere I like.
See what I’m getting at? Instead of thinking of letting go in terms of loss, take back that emotional investment and regain that energy and strength! Don’t just sit there and mourn the loss of something that might well have been causing you some kind of harm. Make it a positive act of liberation!