“Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness.”
― Caroline Myss
This is a tough one.
Most of us think letting go is a great idea, but we pretty much suck at it. Letting go of our beliefs, ideas, stories, grudges, expectations, letting go of control-not so easy.
In my conversations with patients about their relationships, it’s become clear that it is expectation that often blocks true intimacy—our expectations of other people, situations, experiences, cause us to miss out on what is actually happening in the moment. We are instead focused on a fantasy about what we want to happen, or about how we want others to act, and we miss the opportunity to authentically experience ourselves or others.
I was talking with a patient today who saw how she was unable to meet her husband as he was because she expected him to be as she wanted him to be. She found herself continually disappointed because he always failed to meet her needs. Her expectations of him were keeping her from being able to have any real intimacy with him.
In my own life I’ve come to realize that my expectations interfere with reality and I’m left feeling awful and I’m taken out of the moment. It’s not until I let go of my expectations of how I think something/someone should be that I can fully participate in life as it actually is. But don’t mistake what I’m saying; letting go is beyond difficult.
There’s a story about a guy who falls over a cliff and grabs onto a small branch on his way down, and as he dangles precariously over the jagged rocks, he calls for help. A voice commands him to Let Go. He asks, “God is that you?” “Yes,” the voice replies, “Let Go.”
The man calls out “Is there anyone else there?”
It’s super hard and often scary to let go, but sometimes the only thing left to do is to drop down into the abyss.