We cling too much. We cling to past hurts…cling to painful memories …cling to negative emotions…cling to abusive relationships…cling to greed….cling to possessions. It is this tendency to hold on that makes us unhappy…stressed and vindictive. Parents who cling to children make them emotionally dependent and this leads to frustration. When a husband/wife clings to the partner, it only results in breakdown of relationship which leads to either divorce or death as it happened recently in the case of a young couple.
The secret of contentment lies in letting go. I am deliberately not using the word ‘happiness’ because it is a relative term and dependent on external sources. Contentment on the other hand comes out of ones own effort to find balance between what one has and one does not. When we let go of anything that tends to take charge of us, we are in control… of our emotions…relationships and our life in a way.
Life is like taking a journey. First, we need to take stock of our baggage. Do we carry an internal suitcase of things we need or stuff it with unnecessary items? More often than not, we overload our suitcase and wonder why it does not close well. It is a sensible move to make a list of what goes inside .What do we need and what can we discard? The same goes with our thoughts/emotions. Our mind is overcrowded with thoughts that are better off in the dustbin and our emotions are stretched to snapping.
Peer pressure and social recognition drives us to cling. It becomes a compulsive urge to have what the Joneses have so that we do not fall short in the social barometer. If we can come to terms with what we have and feel satisfied, learn to let go. So acceptance is the key to the exercise of letting go. We need to vacuum our mind of false expectations from life and people and get on with what we have, leaving the rest to God and His grace.
Another importance point for us to remember is that we do not carry anything with us. When we go, we go with nothing. So why accumulate more than what we need for a comfortable and peaceful life? Why do we need to harbour hostilities and pass them on as legacy for generations to come? Why do we have to hoard anger and hatred and weigh ourselves down? Why do we need to cling to relationships that are not good for the persons involved? Why sweat about things that happened long ago and nurse past grouses?
How do we spring-clean our mind and find that balance? How do we let go? We can start with being truthful to ourselves. We feel insecure within. That gives rise to an acquisitive tendency to cling to things that make us feel wanted/important/powerful. Our sense of self worth is related to factors like having money, fancy cars, palatial bungalows, large circle of so called friends and other material possessions. Without these trappings, we feel redundant. The day we assess our self worth by different parameters like our competency/skill/goodness of heart and faith in God, we let go. When we let go and let God, we realize our true self