Why is it so hard to let go and accept things as they are?
Why can’t we just appreciate the moment that is unfolding in front of us and respect our past for it’s valuable life lessons?
If you’ve often asked yourself these questions, you have come to the right place!
In this post I’ll go into great detail to explain why we struggle with letting go and what we can do about it.
Table of Contents
Why It’s Difficult To Let Go
You have the potential of reaching a state of complete inner well-being where you’re unfazed from any mental melodrama. Everyone does.
The thing is, most of us are too blind to see it. Or better yet, we are asleep.
We are all so focussed on trying to “get what we want” through external stuff, that we overlook the small fact that it never fully satisfies our desires.
It’s in our nature to expand ourselves, that’s why we always want more money, more power, more appreciation, more love, more everything.
The problem is, our desire to expand is limitless while everything in the outside world is finite.
Have you ever noticed this: you really, really, really want something, but after you get it, you don’t think it’s that special anymore.
You really wanted that new car, but after driving it a few months it gave you the same level of excitement as your old one did.
You really wanted that new job, but after working there a few months, it still feels like something you’re forced to do, in order to bring food to the table.
You really wanted to be in a relationship, but after a few months you don’t feel “the butterflies” the same way you did as when you met her.
Altough these things can bring joy for a period of time, you’ll simply get used to it and continue your desire to expand.
What does this have to do with letting go?
Well, I wanted to show you how the mind works, or rather the task you have given it.
You have given your mind the task of satisfying your desire to expand limitlessly through external stuff. You have given your mind the task of making you feel okay.
Since the mind is physical, it can only think of “physical” stuff (more money, more respect, more compliments, more friends).
And you get so lost in the things your mind comes up with, that it’s near to impossible to let go of it. You’re addicted to every word it says.
Your mind has decided how everyone and everything has to be at all times in order for you to feel okay. As you might have figured out, it doesn’t work.
Some of you are probably wondering why I’m talking about the mind as if it’s seperate from you. The thing is… it kind of is.
I can explain, keep on reading!
If you haven’t really immersed yourself in the world of spirituality or human consciousness, this might sound a bit wishy washy, but bare with me.
You are not the mind, nor the body for that matter, you are the consciousness that is witnessing the mind and body.
Just as you (the consciousness) are experiencing everything on the outside such as people, places and events you are in there experiencing the thoughts come up in your mind.
Altough most of us aren’t aware of it, we have a constant mental dialogue going on inside our minds.
This “voice in your head” is constantly giving you feedback on everything that it’s experiencing (based on the very limited data it has gathered over the years).
“How can he talk to me like that”, “I am not smart enough for that job”, “I am not as good looking as her”
Yes, that’s the voice I’m talking about. Most of us make the mistake of identifying with this voice. We actually think that this constant mental blabber is us.
Well… it’s not. There are 2 types of thought: The ones you create willfully and the ones that are generated automatically.
If I’d ask you to think of your favourite animal, you’d use your will to create visuals and sound (language) inside your mind to match the request.
However, generally speaking, over 95% of the thoughts that arise in our minds are generated automatically.
It just comes up without us having to do anything.
It’s quite easy to prove. Just close your eyes and try to think of absolutely nothing for 1 minute.
Let me guess, you can’t.
That’s because you’re not the mind, you’re just experiencing it. Even the few thoughts you create willfully can’t be defined as you. It’s just something you created using your will.
You’re also not your body. With the most modern technology (or technology used 10 years from now) they could go pretty far in removing your body parts without you actually dying.
Arms? replacable. Legs? replacable. Heart? replacable. Brain? okay… not so replacable, but as I said you’re not your brain/mind either.
The mind has to be seen as a tool. A tool that’s helping you read these words and stay alive on top of a million other things. But still, a tool.
You could look at yourself (the consciousness) as a flashlight.
When a flashlight shines on an object, let’s say a motorcycle, it doesn’t mean the light has become the motorcycle, it just illuminates it. The light is the subject and the motorcycle is the object.
The same goes for you. When you, “the consciousness”, observes something, you are just illuminating the object.
So if you observe your car, it doesn’t mean that you are your car. Because you are the subject and the car is the object.
If you observe your body, it doesn’t mean you are your body. Because you are the subject and the body is the object.
If you observe your thoughts and emotions, it doesn’t mean you are your thoughts and emotions. Because you are the subject and the thoughts and emotions are the objects.
Realizing this is the first step of being able to let go of all the mental melodrama going on inside the mind.
The Wandering Mind
A research paper written by Steve Bradt from Harvard, concluded that our minds are lost in thought almost 47% of the time. That’s almost half of our lives!
We are so busy worrying about what happened or what is going to happen, that we forget to just live. Instead we’re living in the alternative reality created by the mind.
As I said, we have (unconsciously) given our minds the task of constantly coming up with ways to make us feel safe and okay.
The thing is, the mind is basing all its decisions on the very limited data it has gathered over the years.
You have to realise that your mind can only collect data from the moment that’s unfolding in front of you. But every moment you’re collecting data there are billions of moments across the world that aren’t collected (let alone in the ever expanding universe).
In other words you are basing all your decisions, wants and needs on the statistically insignificant data that you’re able to gather with your limited view.
That’s also the reason we as humans tend to fight with each other so much. Everyone has collected their own bit of data and sees it as reality. Then they try to fight with everyone that claims otherwise.
People are so lost in the alternative reality created by the mind that they fail to look at things objectively.
How many times did you think you were absolutely right tabout a particular thing, and then found out that you were wrong?
It probably happens on a daily basis right?
And still you always feel that you’re right. Or better yet, that your mind is always right.
When your mind thinks that someone dislikes you, you believe it.
When your mind thinks that people have to behave a certain way, you believe it.
When your mind thinks that you’ll be happy when you get back with your ex, you believe it.
But you’re neglecting the fact that you were wrong so many times in the past. You’re overlooking the fact that you’re basing these believes on the very limited data you managed to gather in your life.
That’s why you have to create a distance between you (the consciousness) and your mind and emotions.
Creating A Distance
The key to letting go is to distance yourself from the melodrama created by the mind.
You could go through life without worrying or suffering from anything that happens in the external world.
If you look at life objectively, you can see that we’re all just sitting on a big rock that’s spinning on it’s axles in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
Everything you see is just light bouncing off of a bunch of molecules.
And here you are, worrying about things that have nothing to do with you.
You (the consciousness) have the power to feel joy and well-being every moment of every day.
You have full controll over how you feel, you are the only one in there!
But, right now you’re way too involved with the mind. You’re so close that you can no longer see the woods for the trees.
When you identify yourself with your job, with your house, with your car, with your body, with your mind or with your emotions you won’t be able to let go of anything.
And I don’t mean that you should not enjoy having all these things, they can be a great part of life. But they are not you…
By seperating yourself (the consciousness) from everything else, you’re able to liberate yourself from any mental melodrama going on inside your mind.
Just consciously remember yourself throughout the day, that you are the consciousness and everything else is just the object which your consciousness happens to be illuminating.
The Miracle That’s Unfolding Infront Of You
Did you know that the very moment infront of you took 13.8 billion years to unfold?
And that there are more stars in our universe than grains of sand on all the earth’s beaches?
There are more than 8.7 million different types of animals on our planet (and that’s without the millions of animals that haven’t been identified yet).
This is nothing short of a miracle.
Life has manifested itself in countless different ways. And we’re lucky enough to experience it with the most sophisticated piece of technology on the planet (the human body).
And yet a lot of us aren’t able to handle it. Most of us tend to worry our way through life and some even try to speed up the process.
All because we get sucked in the alternative reality that is created by the wandering mind.
It’s time to open your eyes and really see the beauty that’s out there.
Life happens all by itself.
Seeds turn into trees by itself.
Your heart keeps beating by itself.
The earth keeps spinning around the sun by itself.
Ofcourse i’m not saying that unpleasant things don’t exist. Where there is life, there is duality.
Man and woman. Light and dark. Pain and pleasure.
But when you’re free from the melodrama that’s generated by the mind, you’ll be able to appreciate every part of life just as it is.
Just try to make a conscious effort to acknowledge the incredible and immeasurable intelligence that is life and you’ll see how beautiful it can really be.
Relax And Let Go
So how do you let go you ask?
Well, as I said, the first step is to start being aware.
Realize that you are the consciousness and not your mind or emotions.
Start to seperate yourself from that what you are experiencing (such as your thoughts and emotions).
When I say this, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t think or feel anything. It just means that you should stop identifying with things that aren’t you.
Become aware of the fact that your thougths and emotions are just a collection of impressions which you have gathered throughout your life.
And realize that the impressions you have gathered (or the ones you’re gathering at any given moment) are (way) less than a fraction of the reality that is unfolding around the world and throughout the universe.
When you have come to this point of awareness, you can start the process of relaxing and letting go of the melodrama created by the mind.
Whenever you feel the sense of disturbance come up, realize that it’s not you that are getting disturbed, you are the one that is watching. Become aware of this and relax your whole body.
When you think of something emberassing you did 5 years ago, become aware and relax your body.
When you’re getting mad at the driver in front of you for driving too slow, become aware and relax your body.
When you’re getting anxious about the presentation you have to give tomorrow, become aware and relax your body.
If the disturbance comes back, do the same thing again, and again, and again.
This process takes time, but over time you’ll notice that things that used to upset you, won’t bother you at all anymore.
You’ll care less of what others think of you and you’ll be able to let go of anything that is troubling you.
Just stop listening to that voice in your head that keeps complaining about everything and relax.
The Result Of Letting Go
When you relax and let go of the negative thoughts and emotions coming up inside you enough times, you’ll get to a point where you’re constantly aware.
You’ll begin to experience clarity and calmness in your mind and you’ll see that it’ll start to work for you instead of against you.
You’ll be able to liberate yourself from anxious thougths and stress, and you’ll start to feel a sense of joy and complete well-being from within.
Everyone has the ability to get there, it’s just a matter of putting in the work!
Are you willing?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!