Children are so free. They speak freely. They move freely. They think freely. They are naturals. They do as they wish, when they wish, and how they wish without thinking twice about what you and I think of them. They could care less about rules, regulations, etiquette, pretenses, and responsibilities that aren’t their own. They don’t carry burdens of the past. Things happen, they throw a fit, and they let it go. It’s like nothing happened to begin with. It’s amazing watching them. They laugh more than they cry. If they do cry, they make the most of it. They make it really dramatic, loud, and fussy. They add in lots of foot stomping and object throwing. However, when they are done. It’s over. They get it out of their systems and move on.
Adults aren’t like that. They may step it up and move on, but how many people really learn the art of letting go? Most people stuff the past away and keep it from coming up by distracting themselves with anything that keeps them from facing these situations head on. This is how people tend to close up. The old bitter man syndrome? Always a half empty cup? Imagining the worst case scenario? This is how it happens.
As we go through life, our mind captures impressions from situations and scenarios that happen to us. These impressions are composed of images, emotions, and thoughts. This is similar to a movie. As the reel spins, these impressions are glued together to make our very own life story. This is well and dandy if you are living a life that has been absolutely sheltered, carefree, and without a single trial or tribulation. In this case, your life would be extremely boring as well. Your movie would be a flop.
No one truly has lived a life without a few punches, jabs, and kicks to the face. Trials and hurdles are a part of life. Without these challenges we might as well be walking dead. It’s these challenges that make life interesting. Remember the movie? These little dramas are what give the movie a reason for being.
Letting go is probably the most difficult of all the tasks we are asked to do in our lives. We as people are so strongly determined to hold on to everything. We want to latch on to people, places, things, situations, pets, careers, foods, routines, habits and especially old impressions. This is the tendency of the mind. It’s the mind’s job to believe that what has already happened is the truth. It continues it’s job by making us believe what happens next should rely on what has already happened. Remember, it wants to glue all your experiences together. However, if you REALLY think about it. The past is gone. It’s an illusion to believe that it has any right to impact our tomorrow. It’s over. It’s gone. It is no more. The residual impressions of the past are what we use to create our identities and our futures. We forget that we have the power to change both at any given moment REGARDLESS of what has already happened. We truly are not chained by our pasts. It is our mind that makes us believe we are.
If today I wanted to drop all ties with my family, dye my hair red, get my name changed, and move to a different city or country who is really to stop me? In this moment, I can do anything I want. If I wanted to, I could drive to Canada to buy doughnuts in the middle of the night in my sleep gear. Who and what is really stopping me from doing this? Deadlines, school work, and responsibilities right? Sure, I may get fired from my job. I might get kicked out of school. I may lose all the friends and family connections I have. Still, I am able to physically do these things. The only thing stopping me is my illusionary attachment to these responsibilities. Fear of letting go of these attachments stop us, because as we let go we start to lose the identity we created for ourselves. We start to let go of what we believed ourselves to be. Scary thought, huh? Realizing you aren’t what you thought you were. Want an even scarier thought – try you can be ANYTHING you want to be?
The art of letting go consists of removing past impressions that are stored in our minds and bodies. When you hold on to the past, you limit your future. You may believe you are being cautious, but that word is actually just an excuse for you to be afraid of the past repeating itself. No doubt, be careful. A fool would blindly make the same mistake twice. However, don’t allow it to close you up. Don’t allow caution to narrow your vision and limit your potential.
They say time heals all wounds. I agree. However, if you’re going to wait on time do all the work you might be REALLY old before you get to feel the type of freedom you once had as a child again. This is probably why most people give up and start to accept the bitter old man syndrome as a part of life. They have seen others wait on time to heal them, but it never quite happens fast enough. Most of the time, new impressions are added to the old ones until you are full of random impressions floating around inside your mind and your body. If you wait on time, you never truly get to experience the clean slate feeling most children carry around with them. The clean slate feeling is what allows you to start fresh, dream big, and move forward quickly. The clean slate feeling is ultimate freedom.
A quicker way to remove these impressions is to face them head on. We all have shadows! Deal with your shadows. Deal with your past. Stop resisting them. Be brave and acknowledge them. Accept them. Then, make a conscious choice to let go. Next, start inner work. Bring things into your life that give you insight on why the things that happened have had such an impact on you. You know, we don’t hold on to EVERY impression. We hold on to the ones that have impacted us the most. There is always a reason for holding on to the exact impressions and memories that we do. Breathing techniques, yoga, prayer and meditation are all ways to release these stored impressions. They physically remove them out of you so you have a lighter load to carry around. Your slate is that much cleaner. You are that much more free to create what you want. You won’t have such a “stuck” feeling anymore, because you won’t be as afraid to move.
In fact, Jennifer Aniston used yoga as her weapon of choice to help her move forward after her break up with Brad Pitt.
Apparently, miracles do happen!
All funnies aside, for more serious circumstances like deaths, abuse, divorce, and traumas these are excellent tools to help one remove past impressions. They work like magic – the same kind of magic children seem to use. They are masterminds at letting go.
This being said, I would like to leave you with a scenario. If you could sit in a chair across from a 5 yr. old version of yourself, what would the little one want you to know? Mine would remind me how much I love to dance and that I should make more time for it. She would insist that I look great in pink and that dreams are real. The best advice she would give me is to remember that even if my outer world has everything I have ever wanted, inner peace is what I’m really after.