In the previous post we discovered that the first step in Letting Go is understanding why you’re Holding On. There are two other points I’d like to discuss that makes things harder to let go of.
Fear of what you think will happen
Hanging from the ledge of the burning building, you look down and are instantly filled with fear, a fear of what you think will happen that causes you to tighten your grip on The Ledge evermore.
Faced with the long drop from the vertigo inducing height, the idea of free falling to certain death terrifies your soul. You can’t help but imagine all the horrible things that can happen to you, that you believe will happen to you if you Let Go. The mind, your mind, when unknown and out of control, will betray itself, it will betray you, at every offered chance, coaxing you and then later forcing you to do things against your best interest.
As I am writing this, my youngest son is but three years old and when faced with going down a dark hallway or entering a dark room he often freezes then turns back exclaiming that he is afraid of the dark. In analyzing this, as if I were never a child myself, I suddenly realized that he is not afraid of the dark, he has no real reason to be. The dark itself has never done anything to him. It has never harmed him. Darkness is just the absence of light, of illumination. What really frightens him is what he thinks is within the darkness because he cannot clearly see what is or is not there. In fact, it is his imagination, his very own untamed mind, whispering to him, ever fearfully, telling him that something in the darkness is waiting to get him.
To a great degree, that is how we behave when fearing to lose or Let Go of something. We think the worst will happen. It, the mind, as if it is not you, but a separate thing, another entity beside you, will fight for self preservation and will let harm come to you, your physical form, before it will let anything happen to it in its formlessness. After all, what is the body without the mind? The body just traverses and interacts with the world moving from one place to another. The mind perceives the world, bestows meaning upon it, dictates what is real, What is not, what causes pleasure, and what causes pain.
Though much like the body, the mind abhors discomfort, pain, suffering, and will do all that this necessary to avoid it. This is a major reason why a person can hold onto people, places, and things even though they are toxic and harmful to them. One believes the psychological pain of losing it, Letting Go, will be the worst pain they have ever felt or will ever feel.
Fear of not knowing what will happen
Looking down from the ledge and seeing the bottom, another fear grips you, an even greater fear than the first. This is the Fear of not knowing what will happen to you after you hit the bottom.
Will you survive the landing? Will you break an arm or a leg and become crippled? Will you break your spine and become paralyzed? Will you lay there a broken mess and bleed out? Or will you just die, on impact? The problem is you don’t know what will happen, and that proves to be a far greater fear, a far greater truth, than what you think will happen.
Hanging on the ledge, all of these things go through your mind some faster than you can recognize, others agonizingly slow like wicked torture. This is no different when you apply it to the people, places, and things in your life as a whole.
The idea of letting go of someone or something you want desperately to hold on to swells up the same kind of thoughts, emotions, and actions as holding on to the ledge of a building does. Especially when the object of your desire so truthfully compares to a burning building in that it is something that harms or threatens to harm you so long as you hold on to it, and at the same time, it appears to be the closest secure thing, sometimes the only secure thing, you can hold on to for dear life.
What are your thoughts on this? Any truth to my theories?
Next week, the discuss continues.