Let Go… and Grow…

We all are very fond of our possessions – our body, house, car, relations – family, friends and relatives, money and other riches, ideas, thoughts and belief systems. We generally tend to control them and ensure that they remain with us.

What does this attitude of clinging to our possessions mean? Are we really very possessive about our possessions, that we find it difficult to let go of them? Do we really love our possessions so much, that we find it difficult to live without them?

Irrespective of the nature of possession, anything that we identify with “My family, My car, My friend, My …” gives us a sense of comfort. A feeling of security. It puts us in a comfort zone. We like that comfort and hence we cling on to that.

Clinging on to something also means stopping growth. We will look into that shortly…

It definitely does not mean that we love it so dearly that we cannot live without them. The moment we find something else which can give us more comfort, we easily let go of the earlier comfort (possessions). Let us take a look at somethings where we did this or rather continuing to do…

The moment you moved from class 1 to class 2, you had let gone your old books and even your favourite pencil box for new books and your new favourite pencil box

A newly designed garment will make us let go of the older garment.

When we find a new gadget, we can easily let go of the earlier one.

We always love to have bigger and better vehicles.

You may be loving your present job to the maximum… but, the moment you find a better one you will fly

We always like to move into a bigger and better home. Finding someone who is absolutely comfortable and happy with their present home is a rarity.

The moment our best friend or family member or relative does not act as per our comfort zone, we move away from them at least… psychologically

However, we cry foul if any of the above comforts are taken away from us forcibly.

What happens if we can learn to let go… ? rather why should we learn to let go?

When we cling on to something very close, it blinds us to everything else in the world… even those that can give us more comfort… meaning growth…
When the cup is full, you cannot pour more tea into that.
You need to unlearn before you learn new things.
You need to empty your cup board before you can fill it with new clothes.
You need to let go of your mom’s hand-grip to learn walking.
You need to let go of old ideas to give a chance to break through ideas.
You need to let go of your old ways to get dynamically different results – both personally and professionally.
You need to let go of your current responsibilities and position to move to a higher position in your career.

 

Letting Go means Growth… Clinging on means Stagnation, rather degeneration… You may study the life history of great achievers to realise this truth.

Edison could let go of 999 ideas easily to find the 1000th idea to make a bulb work.

 

A mother lets go of her needs to raise a wonderful child.

A caterpillar lets go of her complete identity to become a beautiful butterfly.

 

When we cling to something too long… being in a comfort zone for long… it’s the nature’s way to push us up to a higher plane through growth, by taking away the existing comfort.

 

Instead of cursing or hating someone who had caused you trouble, we should learn to Thank people for helping us to let go and grow…

Why do we find it difficult to let go? How can we let go… ?

Sometimes we feel routine is boring and get a feeling of being in comfortable rut… We want to get out of that, but are unable to do that.  As we have understood above, our possessions give us comfort and security. This sense of security will not let us move away from the comfortable feeling even though we feel it as rut.

When we want to grow in life, we need to simply find something that is more comfortable than what we have now. This will help us to overlook temporary discomfort for a better position tomorrow.

 

An intelligent person is one who do not let that comfort feeling last so long till it becomes boring. He would rather try and find the next step / goal in life once he has achieved a previous one. He is one who has mastered the art of letting go… and continually move towards greatness in life. This mastery is stemmed out of his Self-Confidence… No one can take anything away from such person. 

 

This attitude of letting go is described in our scriptures as Detachment or Vairagya. Contrary to popular understanding, vairagya is not about giving away all your possessions and rescinding to forest life or something of that sort. It is rather the ability to let go of anything you have at a moment’s notice. It is the ability to enjoy the comfort of your possessions clearly knowing that you can still be comfortable without that.  This can be developed by enhancing your Self-confidence to the extent where you firmly believe that what you have WITHIN YOU IS and hence, has the ability to get much more than what you have let gone. This can be developed by putting into practice the habit of letting go, with small things in life and slowly moving on to bigger things.

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3 Comments

  1. Balaji, thoughtful post. I have been writing on a similar topic with focus on ultimate truth. I had been unable to make any comment so far as I was busy volunteering for our presidential election.
    I am in total agreement with your comments. We do define our existence with what we havecand not who we are. Old Calvinist notion is that wealth accrues to people who are deserving. This notion puts our modern society on a path to acquire more and more stuff as thay say in western world. In this throwaway society, no one is ever satisfied with what they have and get in rat race to acquire more and better stuff. Why do we define ourselves with our material possessions or even our achievements. Do we feel so small in our thinking that we define our self-worth with what we have and not who we are. I suppose we are fearful to let go because we feel lonely without possessions.
    Buddhism acknowledges that attachment is the root cause of all our sufferings. It is unenlightend and unaware mind that attaches importance to what we possess and mistake it for symbol of happiness and success. Attachment is self deception and delusional and mind is afraid to let go for the fear of feeling lost and lonely. On the contrary, when we abandon attachment to material world and develop our inner self, then we have a inborn understanding. This inner higher knowledge gives us sense of security and everlasting joy and bliss in everyday life.

    Reply
    • It’s nice to see you back and appreciate your comments. To add… I feel even in material world, if one has to achieve and grow their possessions, letting go is necessary. Once we let go in material world to let go and reach higher levels, we can easily extend the same to our inner world by letting go of the entire material world at a later stage… when we become ready for that… What are your thoughts on this?

      Reply
      • You and I are of the same mind and thinking. Letting go is not that hard if we begin to understand the ultimate truth. What is ultimate truth is a question that has been asked from earliest time by Greeks or Hindus or all thinkers. Once we understand what the ultimate truth, it becomes easy to differentiate between what is real and what is not. As we Hindus believe this world is Maya or as some physicists postulate the universe is a phantasm. A true seeker of knowledge understands to not associate any value to all our object of attachments wethere outside world or our inner world. All our joys and happiness are within not outside. J Krishnamurty wrote that do not have any thought of past, have a empty mind. Live in the moment without remembering yesterday and thinking of tomorrow. It was a concept foreign to me until one day it dawned on me what he meant by that. If we shed all our biases and prejudices and become nonjudgmental, we find the world a very peaceful place. All we need to do is shed all our outer layers of ignorance and start moving towards inward light.

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