Category: Letting go

Spread Some Joy Today > Letting go

We Are All Enough

“We’re not held back
by the love we didn’t receive in the past,
but by the love,
we’re not extending in the present.” 

— Marianne Williamson

[Classic post from 2-20-17]

I read this quote. Then put it down. Then picked it up again and again. In a short time, I became mesmerized by it. There was a wash of thoughts that came through as if this quote opened a floodgate of sorts.

Yesterday I received an email where a reader expressed some thoughts about yesterday’s post about enlightenment and found it hard to let go because there is still a strong urge to seek approval from others. I love it when people write to me, and I gave a response that came to me that I thought might be helpful.

I shared something I learned early in my study of sales that I learned from someone else about having an air of indifference. Not indifference, but just an air of it. It’s sort of a self-protection device to take a ‘no’ as a choice and not as a personal attack. Having an air of indifference as if I won’t die if they say ‘no’ allows me to keep my wits about me and my personal feelings from running amok.

Then this quote came to me this morning and opened that approval idea wide. All that love we didn’t receive in the past that we live over and over again, even as the past is long gone. It is something we hold onto though it is not necessary to continue to do so. But to paraphrase Marianne’s quote, “we’re not held back by what was, but only what is.” In other words, it is the present moment that is all there really is. We can live in the memory or the moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh said, “to be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” I delight in this statement. At the same time, I can so relate to the reader because the majority of my life I craved approval, sought it all day every day, and I would be unhappy if my attempts to manipulate the approval of others failed, which they did all the time. Yet I persisted in my quest.

Then, I found a book that put me on a path toward change from this quest. It is a short book that is so profound. I have read it so many times over the years and have given away hundreds of copies, especially to young people. The title is, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, by Gerald Jampolsky. This book gave me permission to accept myself, to approve of myself, and not have such a need to have others approving or loving me. It was the first book I ever read about loving myself enough to awaken me to the choices I always have had available to me and yet previously ignored.

No, we’re not held back by the love or the approval or anything else we think we were lacking in the past. . . unless we keep living it over and over again in the present. What really matters right now is what we are thinking and doing right now. That letting-go book encouraged me to make different choices and to let the past be–to let go of it, release it, accept it for what it was–a part of the journey to here and now. For it is in the here and now that all my power resides. Here is where I decide to let go or reach out.

It is not the ________ we didn’t receive in the past, but the ________ we’re not extending in the present. We choose every moment of every part of our lives. If we begin by accepting ourselves, our past, our family, our entire history, and our inherent power to choose, we can let go as we choose, and extend all that we are today in as much joy as we will allow.

We Are All Enough. Exactly As We Are. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by laying down the rope of the need to have others approve of us. We are the deciders and we cannot make others do anything. By letting go, we release ourselves to our own freedom.

Going With The Flow

This is one of those lessons that I've heard a lot of feedback on and so many have said that it really helped them make the changes they wanted to make. I have likened working against things to rowing a boat upstream or swimming upstream. We are working, stressed out because we are pushing against a current of affairs. Sometimes it seems like the harder we work, worry, or fight, the slower our progress. Part of the reason is that our own energy is helping the river to flow, and we then are struggling against it.

So, going with the flow, then, is simply to relax. Stop the struggle. Go with the flow. Put the oars in the boat. Trust the outcome and watch what happens. It's magic.

Sometimes if I am talking with someone and it just feels like a struggle, I remind myself of this and just shut up and listen, pay attention to them without judgment, and let it flow as it will. Every time it works better. It amazes me how much of a relationship you can create by just listening as much as possible and encouraging them to talk more. Plus, it keeps my foot out of my mouth more often too.

Life Lesson #7: Forgiveness

“It’s not just other people we need to forgive.
We also need to forgive ourselves.
For all the things we didn’t do.
All the things we should have done.”

— Mitch Albom

[Classic post from 3-16-14]

My Life Lessons

This is a series of revelations about my life that I am sharing with others for what it may be worth. These come from a lifetime of study and experience of others and myself, and I now translate them into words. These will be numbered; however, they are not in order of importance as all are equally important. It is just a way for me to keep track of them in this series. I hope you find value in them.

Life Lesson #7

Forgiveness is sublime, and it is not for others, but ourselves.

I might add to Mitch Albom’s quote above, all the things we did, and all the things we shouldn’t have done. It’s great to forgive ourselves for things we should have done but didn’t do, yet is taken to a whole new level when we forgive ourselves for things we have actually done, yet have always regretted by feeling we shouldn’t have done them.

I think that if we are human, we err. If we are acting on impulse, eventually we will act in a way that in a time of more clarity, we would have made another choice. Maybe someone else was affected in the process, and that can add to the burden that we continually add to ourselves over time for these errors in judgment and/or action.

Probably of all the things that I have learned to help me through life, the action of forgiveness of myself is high on the list of importance to me, and I have also been very successful in changing the way I have viewed past so-called errors or mistakes.

The thing that has helped me the most has been to put into a picture in my head what forgiving is. To me, regret and self-judgment is exactly like a game of tug-o-war where I am pulling with all my might against a foe or foes on the other side of the pit. It seems that the harder I pulled, the harder it was held firm. I could never seem to move the opponent enough to matter. The reason is that the opponent was me and is of equal strength. Essentially, I was fighting myself without any success.

The change in me came when I realized that all I needed to do was let go of the rope. At first, I thought that was quitting, and in a short time, I realized that it was a success instead. As soon as I let go, the opponent didn’t fall down, but disappeared entirely, along with the rope and the pit.

Now I use this strategy purposefully in many ways in my life, and mainly to forgive myself for those things I should have done, shouldn’t have done, failed to do, and did. Once I get some time as perspective, I often see that these things weren’t mistakes at all, but an essential part of my journey.

Forgiving others is a piece of cake to me. I just let go of the rope. As long as I am not forgiving them, I am at war with myself, and that war is no fun, and I find pain at every turn and negative thoughts that run in a circle over and over again. So, I’ve learned to just let go of the rope in my mind and the act of forgiveness has been achieved. I have released the issue, and I have at the same time, released myself from the self-imposed burden.

Forgiving myself was not a piece of cake to me, but as I learned to let go of the rope and practiced it, felt it, I began forgiving myself more and more. Now it is easier. Sometimes one of those issues comes back from an old memory tape, and it is easier still because I have dealt with it before and know what to do.

I have often found that letting go is the most powerful thing I can do.

“Sometimes You Don’t Realize Your Own Strength Until You Come Face To Face With Your Greatest Weakness.” — Susan Gale

Expiration Dates

Whatever is in the back of the fridge is guaranteed to get old. All the new stuff goes in front, and pretty soon those important things that were in there are forgotten. I just pulled out something from the fridge this morning with an expiration date of three years ago. Hmm. What do you think? Is it good? They say that ‘your chewing gum loses flavor on the bedpost overnight,’ but three years? It’s outta here! So, I began going through the 15 salad dressing bottles with various amounts left inside, and end up chucking all but three. Outta here! Who knows what grows in the cold and dark!
Now, let’s look at this from a different perspective. The refrigerator is your brain and things are constantly in motion and yet there are things we hold on to that are way past their expiration date. We don’t give that much thought because of the constant motion, but who knows what grows in the cold and dark of the mind? Some of those things are no longer valid if they ever were, and some of those things are things we used to believe in but no longer believe that and yet, there they are in the back of the fridge. It’s time to let some of that old stuff go. Let it go. Get rid of it. It is no longer useful. It is taking up space and creating conflicts within.
Of course, the best way is to let go regularly. Keep those shelves fresh and helpful to our well-being. Maybe we can even learn to simply let things flow through without holding on to them. Seems like a peaceful idea!

Defeating Terrorism

The only way to defeat terrorism is to not be terrified. They talk as if terrorism is a thing. It is not a thing. It is a fearful thought and a resultant negative feeling. The only way to defeat it is to not think of being terrified. In other words, let go of it. Stop thinking and talking about it. Stop pushing against it. Focus on something that causes a good feeling when you think of it. Terrorism will never be defeated by fighting against it. That will only make it more prevalent. And, getting rid of terrorism will never restore world peace. That is impossible. Pushing against anything is the opposite of peace. However, mutual respect is a really good place to begin a grand relationship. Nothing is ever all bad or all good. These are labels we choose to use. A terrorist is a human being who is living in fear, expressing fear, promoting fear, and as we are pushing against that fear, we are engaged in fear, and now we are both in fear.

Now, let us change the word terror to love. Terror equals love. Terrorism equals Loving. The terrorist equals the lover. As we see love, we become more loving, and as we love we become the lover or the one who loves. As we promote love, we fill the world with love. In love there is no fear.

Consequences? Way Too Harsh!

What we think, say, and do all have consequences. I’m not a fan of the word consequences because it is more often thought of as negative, or even as punishment whether just or unjust, always depending on who is viewing the consequences. I prefer to use the more simple and even more accurate word results. Everything we think, say, or do, has results. Those results may seem to be either positive or negative, but I would rather think of them as neutral. They simply are. An action causes a result. A spoken word, phrase, or communication causes a result. Any and all thoughts cause a result and the more focused the thought, the more focused the result.

When we are open to looking at results as being neutral, we also avoid judgment. It is the judgment of results that can cause a lot of issues that may have to be dealt with. Whether right or wrong, good or bad, pretty or ugly, poor or rich, criminal or model citizen, and all manner of other labels including attached emotions, judgment is what names results to make them something they are not. They are simply results until those results are named and tainted by the idea of judgment and it’s corresponding activity, justice. And, to be sure, judgment and justice are simply ideas.

Our Focus Is Our Vibration

“Fear is an uncaring driver who’s only destination is in the direction of more fear.

Fear, as it is spread, is like a magnet attracting and attaching itself to more fear, even exponentially or virally. 

This applies as much to those spreading it purposely to promote fear as to those, who with the best intentions, who feel it is their duty to shine a light on it and expose it. It is spread nonetheless.”

— Paul Selig
The Book of Love and Creation

Now the great news about this concept is that the same exact thing happens with love or joy or peace of mind… Whatever we focus on is expanded and we cannot push against anything and not have it in our vibrational countenance.

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Mesa, AZ