The Art of ‘Letting Go’

We have heard many times people saying, ‘Let go’, Let go of your emotions, situations, and even people.
They say that one is in ‘pure bliss’ with the act of ‘letting go’… but nobody says How? Nobody explains
how. Each one is left to one’s own understanding of how to go about it. In fact, what works for one, may
not work for the other or even for the same person, the next time. It is a new learning experience each
time, a journey of self-discovery and adventure.


So, how do you know that you are getting ready to ‘let go’? Well, you will start receiving signs!

  1. You will hear someone say, ‘Let go’ (believe me that happens) because others can see what you
    cannot yet.
  2. Constant negative emotions and fears.
  3. Your actions backfire on you rather than serving you in a situation or in a relationship.
  4. You will start feeling the dead weight of your actions/relationships.
  5. You feel stagnant.
    Unearthing what you are supposed to ‘let go’ is a process and hold on as I take you through this process
    with my example.

In 2020, I faced many fears and was cooped with them. I tried to control my situation with thoughts of ‘I
am doing the right thing’, ‘I will make everything perfect’. The more I feared the more I controlled it by
my righteousness and perfection, i.e., ‘doing the right thing’. They became my coping mechanism. The
more I was nudged by the universe to ‘let go’ the more tightly I held on to my coping mechanism because
I didn’t know what ‘letting go’ was about and to be precise I didn’t know what I should ‘let go’ of. The
same was the case with fear – I was not aware of what I was fearful about, I just was ‘fearful’.
Well, gradually I did realize what my fears were and discovered the art of ‘letting go’. So, this is my
humble attempt at unlocking the art of ‘letting go’ and why ‘letting go’ is important and why the
universe nudges us to ‘let go’.
During our formative years in school, we cultivate certain ways of working, we make friends, we become
comfortable in that environment and develop behaviors that suit that environment. But as we grow up,
go to college, and move away from home – all the above changes. Our environment, routine, friends,
ways of working as well as our behavior – all changes. This change is enormous, however, just because
we are aware of this change and we can anticipate what lies ahead, having seen others go through it
that we adapt easily.
But imagine ‘moving into new life’ and then trying to control your new environment (college life) with
prior knowledge (of school). Imagine what will happen if we try to fit a new and much larger picture in
the old frame instead of accepting the new ways of working and accepting that each day is a new
learning experience. What do you think will happen? Misery, fear, frustration, and other negative
emotions will follow you as you don’t understand and realize the need to ‘let go’ of the old. And It is like
being tied to ‘eight-point acupressure cuffs’ the more you move the tighter it gets (Kung FU Panda-2
reference for those who have not seen the movie). The more you control the more miserable you
become.
While transitioning from early school life to life as a college fresher is fairly simple and having heard
about all the great new experiences a college life brings, a kid tends to accept the change and ‘let go’ of
the old easily. However, when the same transition happens in other aspects of life, we all fail to allow
the same level of acceptance. And this is because other changes do not seem to be so remarkable or are
not so visible or we doubt the new will not be any better than the old and most importantly many a
times we don’t even realize that we are undergoing a change.

This is what happened with me in 2020, I didn’t even realize that something was changing. And now
looking back I realize that the trigger point for my current transformation was 180 degree opposite
situation, something that I could never have contemplated consciously. The change came as a threat to
my belief system in the ‘A’ aspect of life while the transformation I witnessed finally was in the ‘B’ aspect.
Since it appeared as a threat to me, I held on to my old beliefs evermore. The more I suffered (the change
felt like suffering) the more conscious efforts I put in to rectify it and control it. I actually wanted to
rectify (undo) the transformation (the higher good) I was witnessing.
How dumb it is to try and limit your vastness and infinite growth prospects with the finite knowledge of
‘being’ that you currently have. It is like when the universe offers infinite abundance, you take out a
bottle from your pocket and ask the universe to fill it up. While the universe was offering the ocean, I
from my limited beliefs thought that ‘the bottle’ is good enough for me.

The control not just made me miserable but also affected my physical health. That is the intensity of
friction we witness when we try to control the transformation instead of accepting it. We actually can’t
control nature’s course of action and therefore our mental, physical and emotional health suffers
because they are naturally aligned with the transformation, but we use external force/control to stop
the change. In my intense miserable state, I happened to speak with my teacher/my guide – “you are
standing inches above from the surface but not letting go of what you are holding yourself with”, she
said. “But I don’t know what I have to let go” I thought as I felt the discomfort. I wanted to ‘let go’ but I
just didn’t know what should I? There it was – my first cue towards ‘letting go’ – INTENT.
You know for anything to shape up in life you need ‘PATIENCE’. Patience and trust allow the new to
unfold, it allows the transformation to reflect, the story to develop and complete, and to show how
beautiful the universe’s plan is for us. When we are not patient, we conclude the story from our own
limited knowledge and therefore the story doesn’t look as good as it should be. Because we ASSUME
when we are supposed to be WITNESSING.
So, in my own unknown way, I told the universe that I was ready for the transformation. You may want
to conclude my story by thinking that the journey for me from that point was a straight upward moving
line, but my journey was rather ‘normal’ with ups and downs.

My intent to ‘let go’ made me aware of my controlling thoughts and actions – ‘doing the right thing’ and
‘making things perfect’. I started questioning my actions/control. And it didn’t happen in one day. The
constant questioning and probing myself led me to the root cause underlining my fears. The root cause
itself was a very deep-seated fear. Something that I developed a long time back and had forgotten
about. It took me one year, from initiation of trigger for transformation to becoming aware of the root
cause to witnessing the transformation I had become. Well, if 1 year of transformation sounds like a long
time then let me add that the fears that I unearthed and ‘let go’ of were something that I was carrying
for almost 10 years or maybe those from childhood or maybe from time beyond who knows. The funny
thing is that I was not even aware that I was carrying these fears. While it could have been a very
beautiful one year of witnessing and letting go, my need to control it with my limited knowledge and my
‘fear of the unknown or the new’ made the experience miserable for me.
So, remember that ‘letting go’ and the results it brings to you is way more beautiful than you can ever
imagine and something that you will cherish. And trying to decode it from the current belief system will
only slow down the transition and make the journey miserable for you. So, we have learned two steps
by now: 1. INTENT 2. ALLOWING

But wait ‘to allow’ may not be easy. Allowing the transition when it is happening doesn’t seem so
beautiful. It feels like your identity is in question. And yes, it is in question because your identity is
carrying that ‘fear’ and that ‘element’ that needs the change. And in allowing the ‘letting go’, your
identity is transforming. But when our identity is questioned (even when we ourselves do it and even
when it is for our higher good), we feel it to be a ‘threat’ and our natural response to a threat is – ‘fight’
or ‘flight’. ‘Fight’ was what I was doing – ‘trying to control. ‘Flight’ generally appears as ‘Denial’ – nothing
is wrong with me; I don’t need any change. I would like to say that these primitive instincts that are so
innate to us just prolong our misery during transformation. Your ‘fight/flight’ instinct will prompt you to
say, ‘I don’t need transformation, why is everything changing?’. In those moments remind yourself that
this is just natural. You can’t keep studying in school, you will have to leave school and join college one
day and then move beyond that too. Growth is just natural. So how to go past these natural primitive
instincts. Become AWARE of them. 🙂 When you become aware of your controlling actions/emotions
then you transcend them. And what facilitates awareness and allowance is simple TRUST. TRUST that
you asked for this transformation.
As a kid, I prayed to be taken beyond that deep-seated fear of mine. As a miserable adult 10 years back, I
prayed that my pain from that deep-seated fear be alleviated and then I forgot about my prayers. But
the universe didn’t.
So, trust what is happening is what you asked for and prayed for. It is ok to not understand and
appreciate your current life affairs. But trust that what you are experiencing and what is to come is in
your higher good. And trust that one day while sipping a cup of tea/coffee/beer/wine (whatever is your
poison :P) you will look at your transformation and say – how beautiful.

Allowance, awareness, and trust will work in a loop until you move from 0 to 100 in your journey of
transformation. So, now we have understood two steps of the process of ‘letting go’: 1. INTENT 2.
ALLOW – AWARE – TRUST

When you allow yourself to experience your emotions underlying ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ you ask yourself a lot
of questions – ‘Why am I fearful?’ ‘what will happen if I allow what I fear to happen?’, ‘What am I
controlling?’, ‘What will happen if I do not control it?’ Asking these questions makes you aware of the
underlying fears and ‘letting go’ of these fears and control. In the beginning will make you vulnerable,
like you had bandaged a wound and thought that it would heal but instead it has now become septic. To
heal the bandage needs to be removed. And looking at the deteriorated wound may make you weak and
painful, but you by now know in your heart that opening up the wound, (allowing yourself your
vulnerability) is the only way forward. And here comes the third step in the art of ‘letting go’ – step 3.
Acceptance. Accepting that your vulnerability will see you through your situation is actually the base of
transformation.
Accept your vulnerability. Sometimes this vulnerability will get exposed to others and it would be ok
because probably one question from them like – What will happen if you ‘let go’ your current? Or what
are you holding? Why are you holding on to that? Same questions that you asked yourself earlier. These
questions that either you ask yourself or someone prompts you, in your most vulnerable moment, will
take you straight to the deepest-seated belief/fear and also to the event when you developed that belief
(10 years back or in your childhood or beyond) and the need to fight or flight that you have perpetually
been doing will disappear and suddenly everything will start falling in a line. All the control, need for
perfection, doing things a certain way to save yourself, to please others; every single thing you have
been doing to save yourself of that one belief will seem so ‘not required’. And allowance will become
easy with Acceptance.

I can’t tell you in words how breathtaking that moment of realization is. You would want to share it with
others and wish they could understand – but they can’t, because they are not you. It’s like a dog who can
suddenly see colors and wishes to explain it to others (dogs are colorblind). Suddenly you will taste the
air around and smell the essence of your being – the inexplicable beauty that you discover in yourself.
You will feel the freedom from an unknown burden you have been carrying for ages, that you had
started believing is you but now you know you are not.
‘Letting go’ from here will become an easy and exhilarating process. You will discover ways to explore
the new (not really knowing or wanting to know where it will take you) just doing because doing is
pleasurable (just like a kid moving to college – exploring the new without any expectations of what they
will unearth). Each act of ‘letting go’ will get replaced with the new that you are ready for and each
‘new’ will take you towards the greater you, you never knew you can be.
While the example of school to college or my own experience may seem as one single journey, but it is
not. The transformation that originates at a deep-seated limiting belief, surfaces many other limiting
beliefs, fears, and control; and ‘letting go’ each of these, bit by bit, facilitates the holistic growth of your
being.
The art of ‘Letting go’ will make you realize that transformation is not of one aspect or one thing.
Transformation is always holistic and of the whole identity. Transformation is an on-going process and
so is the act of ‘letting go’. If/when you master the art of ‘letting go’, you would notice each moment
becomes enjoyable and each part of your being becomes beautiful. And here is an art that everyone
must master!

– By Shipra Mishra, 13 Feb 2021

Shipra follows serenity surrender’s way of living since 2013. She is a healer and teacher at serenity surrender.
Everything suggested here is something she has learnt by following SS way of living.

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