On Holding On and Letting Go
Whoa Nellie, do I have the greatest of all paradox lessons in store for you today. I think I wrote a desperate post about this about 6-8 months ago, in the throws of an existential crisis. WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO HERE, GOD??!?!?!?! On one hand, I’m being told to fight for, to stand for having the dreams in my heart, and then on the other to SURRENDER, to TRUST, to LET GO?!?!? Make up your freaking mind!!!
I don’t have any hardcore scientific research on the matter, but observation shows me there are 2 kinds of people: those who go with the flow and take what life gives them, and those who charge their wills forward to claim the thing they want. I believe that in this “new world” or “new paradigm” we are living in, we’re all being called to more fully integrate both of these energies in is. We all have them both, but one is typically much more dominant until we make a conscious effort to balance them. For simplicities sake, lets stick to the 2 types:
By nature, I am firmly rooted in category #2. I can’t think of a moment in my life I wasn’t charging after something. Good grades, looking look, making money, getting my awesome life. Someone sent me this pic on Facebook (on left) last night, and I teared up looking at this little girl, remembering that as young as I can remember, I was going after something (me on right). Gosh I wonder why that pic reminded her of me, lol 🙂
If you’ve been following along with me for anytime at all, you know that living in this space of DRIVE, of CHARGE, of GO all of the time came back to hit me pretty hard in the form of adrenal fatigue, high stress, depression and general burn out. And even though I’ve gotten down on this energy as I’ve been being pulled to center this last year, the thing that cannot and should not be forgotten is that this energy is essential for creating stuff. In turning thoughts and visions into physical things in the world. The positive side of it is TENACITY, COMMITMENT, DEDICATION, and STRENGTH.
One of my favorite authors, Wayne Dyer said in his book “The Power of Intention” that most people are not capable of a “firm persuasion” for much of anything. They may get an idea or an inspiration that feels good and exciting, go after it for awhile, and then give up when things go “wrong”. They may even use words to spiritualize it by saying: “It just wasn’t flowing” or “God closed the doors” or “I surrendered it to a higher plan.” Did you? Or did you just give up? Did you become resigned to the truth of your own power to push through whatever obstacles stood in your way? Do you secretly believe that you failed?
I was talking to a fascinating guy at a party a couple weeks ago, and he said something that is still lingering in my ear. He said: “Almost nobody is able to stand living in the tension, and thats why almost nobody has the life of their dreams.” (Note: I really don’t know him, but I do know that he is now married to the woman of his dreams with an adorable baby. And he is constantly smiling. He actually made this amazing video of his love story that any hopeless romantic would love.)
The tension he was referring to (or my interpretation, anyway) was having the dream, holding the dream, standing for and taking action towards the dream that has not yet manifest. This is one of the MAJOR lessons I’m still being called to master. The reason I know that is because I have dreams that have not yet materialized (if you don’t, go get some dreams, people!). When I think about that word “tension”, I think about the paradox of holding on and letting go. Tension exists between opposites, between paradoxes. On the one hand you have this thing that you want so bad. Thats the desire, thats where action comes from. But then on the other, you have the reality that you never know how, if, or when it will materialize. And thats where the surrendering, trusting and letting go comes from. But you need to be able to learn to live inside of that tension. If you veer to far in one direction, here’s what happens:
Too far to the desire and action side (lets call it the masculine bc it seems to fit here): You have the vision, have the passion, and take tremendous action towards it. You likely get very tired holding the weight of your dream on your shoulders. If the dream does not come to you inside of your timeline and in the way you think it should look, you get frustrated, anxious, and possibly depressed. You begin to resent other people for having the thing you want and become resigned that it could be yours. God doesn’t care. You’ve been forgotten about.
Too far to the surrendering, go-with-the-flow side (lets call it the feminine): You have a concept or even a knowing that you are the creator of your world and that you can have anything you want. You believe in spirit, you trust in the divine unfolding of things. But do you have any goals or dreams that aren’t immediately cast aside at the first sign of tension, conflict or struggle? Are you allergic to standing for a point of view or another person who has given up on themselves, saying “its their life, man.” You float around, sitting in the passengers seat of your own life, content enough, but knowing in your heart that there is so much more available to you that you are not claiming.
Something I’ve noticed in myself and most everyone I know, regardless of what camp you fall in is that we live in the shadows of our past “failures” in at least one area of our lives. Maybe a business venture failed and you now live cooped up in a stable job thats eating your soul away. Or maybe you gave all of you to a relationship that didn’t work out. Your brain would love to have you believe: “See, you gave everything you had and they still left. That means your best just isn’t good enough. You should not bother. Or better yet, lower your standards so much that you find someone who would never leave you no matter what.” You may not say it or consciously think it, but you decided that YOU FAILED, that YOU ARE A FAILURE and shrunk down really small to prevent having to deal with that pain again. If this is painfully resonating with you as true, just hang in there with me. I won’t leave you here, I promise.
So how do we put all this together? How do you live in the tension of unrealized dreams and still live an amazing, happy, full life, one where you are consistently taking action in the right direction and also allowing for infinite space for spirit to correct your course, possibly change your dream (or object of your dream) all together? How do you stand firm with focus, clarity and direction and also release the whole of the manifestation into the hands of something so much bigger than your ego where you can trust to receive SO MUCH MORE than your human mind can even comprehend?
Thats my question. I don’t have all of the answers, but here’s what I’ve come to so far:
1. Become crystal clear about your desires and what you intend to create. Focus and meditate on them daily.
2. Ask yourself: Who to I need to become that would be a match for this to effortlessly manifest into my life? As you BE that person, you naturally attract that thing you desire (or something better).
3. If there are actions to take, begin taking those actions. Get accountable to others. Good luck trying to manifest your dreams without a community and people who have been there before guiding your way, be it friends, coaches, or teachers (if you don’t have a community that is pulling you towards your dreams, the School of Inner Beauty can provide that for you).
4. Continue to ask yourself at the end of each day? Did I do my part to manifest this dream? If yes, pat yourself on the back. If you see places to adjust, make a silent commitment to adjust. Pat yourself on the back. Release it all to the divine plan and divine time. Breathe. Trust. Surrender.
Phew! Thats it for today. Excited to hear your comments to this via Facebook (working on the FB embed code thing to put here). This post surely is a work in progress!
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