“Release and detach from every person, every circumstance, every condition and every situation that no longer serves a divine purpose in your life. All things have a season, and all seasons must come to an end. Choose a new season, filled with purposeful thoughts and activities.”
As we move through life, people will disappoint us. This is a true fact and sadly isn’t limited to mere acquaintances. People we know, people we love and people we trust will let us down.
Conversely, the more we love the more we open up ourselves to be vulnerable to pain. If we are in close relationships our natural human wish is that those relationships will succeed. So sometimes we accept more than we should, we ignore more than we should, we forgive more than we should. And we are surprised when, time and time again, we are disappointed and let down.
Yet, there is an inner power and strength within each and every one of us that grounds us, calms us and guides us. We do not need to look outwards for this, particularly from those relationships or situations that are proving damaging. We do not need to simply be passive travelers in the journey of our own lives. We do not need to allow people to abuse us or dominate us. Perhaps we have simply disconnected from it, but there is a way to return to our inner strength. We must remember our own charge. We have the ultimate power.
Yet, why is this so hard? If something or someone is proving toxic in our lives and our genuinely positive efforts do not lead to any positive or lasting change, then why do we think it is within our control to change it?
It could be argued that letting go is not valued or practiced in our culture. We tend to overthink and dwell on issues in an attempt to understand or even control a situation that we find uncomfortable or upsetting.
It could also be said we have become so disconnected with ourselves that we have had to learn to place such a significant attachment on outside influences to gain support, a sense of identity and reinforcement.
The ancient scriptures of Yoga, and indeed other great thought movements, remind us of the importance of release and detachment. In the Yoga Sutras, one of the five Yamas (restraints) is Aparigraha, which, in its purest form, resembles vairagya, the sanskrit word for detachment and renunciation. A more general understanding of Aparigraha relates to non-posessiveness (pari means “things,” and graha “to grasp”). We do not need to give up all material goods to operate under this rule. These “things” do not need to refer to material things alone. They extend to more abstract possessions also, such as relationships, attitudes, beliefs and characteristics.
More importantly, “possessions” themselves are not the problem—it is our attitude toward them that we need to be mindful of. We must not be dependent on these possessions for a sense of peace or contentment, and more so, we must acknowledge that some “things” simply outgrow us, and so we must learn to let go of all of those things that no longer serve us.
According to the Yoga Sutras, attachment is grounded in fear and the root of fear is ignorance. We are afraid we will not be loved, we will be alone, we will not have enough… To avoid this, the Yoga Sutras encourage us to root ourselves in our own inner reality and to ground ourselves in a centered way. To release and detach.
True, that this is a very difficult process. To release and detach from a relationship or an attitude or belief we know and trust is extremely hard, when the easiest thing to do is to cling on to what we know.
But change is inevitable, and clinging to relationships or situations, past or present, will not bring us peace. We must listen to the lessons of life and the advice of the Yoga Sutras. If we are to awaken to the fullness of our being, we must learn to let go.
We need to accept that some things simply may not fit anymore. Some things may have run its course. Some people may be on another path that is completely independent and separate to our own one. People make their own choices and sometimes you just have to let go and be free. In a positive way, we must accept those relationships that we cannot change, no matter how much we want to.
We must let go of these “possessions”. We must learn to release and detach ourselves from relationships or circumstances who no longer serve us. We must accept that not all things are within our reach and control.
It has been said that a deep and trustful letting go can be an act of wisdom… relaxing into the natural state of things rather than fighting for what the ego-self thinks is best. Plus it allows us to connect to the so many other positive circumstances, relationships and conditions in our lives. In redirecting our energies away from attempts to influence or change something that has already proved beyond our control, we open ourselves once again to awareness and gratitude for the many true and amazing relationships and situations that are already in our lives – without any manipulation, without any pre-conditions.
We can all find the truth in the statement that inner peace “begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions”. The power is in you. Only you can take control for your own actions and behaviours. Accepting when we need to release is an important self-responsibility.
A simple meditation or Yin yoga practice can help to reconnect and rebalance. To accept what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.
Love and light.