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This seems to be a theme that plays a large role in the west style of relationship. We always seem to be trying to control our circumstance to have some kind of grounding. This kind of clinging causes much human suffering. Letting go of control is probably one of the most important things you can learn when relating to others.
Why is letting go important?
When we can’t see that our ideas may not be whats actually going on, then we cling to that idea even at the expense of our our happiness. Letting go of our ideas of ourselves and others is important because it allows true openness and honesty to blossom during relating. Trying to pin a stagnant checklist/idea to someone you love (or to yourself) is not conducive to emotional well being.
As soon as we have an idea of someone else, we no longer see them for who they are.
And this then leads to mis-understanding because of our insistence to clinging to OUR idea that they “should or shouldn’t” be a certain way. This is a selfish behavior which when seen through can be stopped through conscious response.
See how human suffering can sprout from just this need to hang on to our ideas? We not only shoot ourselves in the foot with this one, but we end up shooting the other in the foot as well, even though they are innocent!
What does letting go of control look like?
I can tell you from my emotional alchemy endeavors that it cannot be willed. This makes it both easy and hard at the same time. Because the good news is, is that you cannot control the letting go process… but the bad news is, is that you cannot control the letting go process..
Even the act of trying to will letting go of control is a form of control.
So how this is played out is seeing that each thought arises on its own, especially the need to control certain aspects of our lives. This is a moment to moment thing. It isn’t a one and done kind of thing. When we are mindful of controlling thoughts, we would note they are there and to “see them”. That is giving them attention and compassion. You now have more of an opportunity to respond by not reacting to them.
Allowing them to pass may seem “hard” at first, but the more this response happens, the more the movements momentum begins to slow down.
This also transmutes into acceptance of both yourself and the other in the relating. It allows you the space in which you can begin to fully relate to another by allowing them to be who they truly are. There is nothing saying that this process is exactly struggle free, but the more the momentum is slowed, the less you will feel like there is anyone doing “work.”
Until one day you will begin to notice that letting go is automatic.
How this leads you back to you
When we begin letting go of control, we begin to see certain things about ourselves that we thought needed control or “order” in our lives. By allowing the acceptance and natural flow of life to course through us un-imposed, relaxation is more likely to arise.
We begin to see who we are and are able to even start accepting ourselves more fully. By seeing those things that we thought might of needed to be controlled, can now be seen as something we do or don’t need and choose to respond to them with mindfulness and compassion to where they will begin to lose momentum and over time dissolve or fall away.
How this looked in my life
This seemed to pop up recently with a really good friend of mine. But I found through our experience that I was holding onto anger because of what had happened. When I noticed this, this came to mind.
Holding onto anger is like holding a hot coal expecting the other to be burned by it.
I immediately dropped the coal and noticed that this anger was a great source of suffering. It’s never worth losing a good friend over something if it can be helped. (most times it can be helped, but not all times) We are dynamic human beings and are always in a constant state of change. If we can learn to drop our past experiences of each other and learn from that experience instead of run away, we begin to come back to emotional well being. Letting go of control becomes easy and our relationships become strong and healthy.
I’m thankful I was able to see this before I pushed this person out of my life, as this has been an old conditioning that I had not addressed in some time.
My Book Emotional Alchemist
If you like the article above, then you’re going to love my self-published book. It’s jam packed with stuff just like this, and includes a lot of other subjects that help toward emotional well being. Please support me and pick up a copy and support my emotional alchemy efforts!