Letting go is a term that can be interpreted from many points of view, and new meanings could always be discovered which are useful to our “living” in this world – useful to find the so desired and much pursued “inner peace”, which is another term that is usually subjected to many interpretations, which do not always match with its true meaning.
The term “letting go”, in etymological terms, could have the meaning of “releasing an object from our grasp”. It would not be difficult when speaking about releasing an object that we physically keep in our hand; but what about something that is not material – an emotion, a compulsive desire, a habit? This is precisely one of the “secrets” a seeker has to discover and conquer – The Art of Letting Go.
Why is this so important? Because one of the main reasons and causes of human suffering lies in the attachment (identification) to things, objects, ideas, emotions, situations and people. Since we, as humans, have the habit to identify-attach ourselves with all and everything, we become targets of the process of suffering.
Life, by its own nature, is all but static – it’s in perpetual change, in transformation – a flow that can’t be stopped. Trying to hold something or someone in our pocket is the equivalent to signing a contract to suffer, because that something (or someone) one day, will inevitably be gone. We’ll lose it.
We need to STOP and clarify something: this doesn’t mean that we mustn’t love objects, ideas, people etc., but we must recognize that they are transient, as we ourselves are. We must not feel and act as though we are owners of someone or something, nor are we the owner of our life in the deepest of meanings. Life passes and expresses itself through us.
Such realization and conquest (not in a conceptual way, but as an experiential realization), leads to an enormous sense of freedom – freedom of movement, of thought, of unconditioned action.
Many old and ancient teachings state, that the absence of freedom is the main cause of suffering at an emotional, psychological and physical level.
Every “block” or obstacle we resist can only make us suffer, because it denies us to flow. This doesn’t mean that fighting for noble reasons is futile; neither does it mean that we have to think only for ourselves or do only the things that please us egoistically – this would only be a hypocritical excuse.
To release ourselves from attachment/identification is quite another matter.
As an aficionado of etymological meanings (it is part of my profession), I would like to end this short post with a further, more ancient and deeper meaning of the term “letting go”: “to abandon something”, “to abandon the offering to Abba”.
What does Abba mean? It was the term which the Teacher Jesus used to address the Celestial Father, the Common Father (not to be confused with the term God in a religious meaning, it’s a wrong translation).
Seen that we exist and move in the “Father”, to let go means, “allowing the return to the Father, what has always been his”.