The Power of Letting Go
The word “sacrifice” comes from the Latin sacer “sacred, holy” and facere “to do, perform.” In other words, to make holy. One way to think about that is sacrificing—making holy—our lives in service to something greater, for the sake of our freedom.
So what exactly are we sacrificing? We let go of playing small, holding back, fear, limitation, anything that has held us back from living life at maximum power. We let go of the smallness and pettiness of the ego: its machinations, strategies, desires, opinions about the ways things should be. We let go of attitudes and situations that interfere with our inner peace and personal empowerment.
* Being right. As long as we are holding on to being right and holding the other person to task for hurting us, we keep ourselves separate and stuck in tired patterns of victimhood.
* Expectations. We free ourselves and others to be however we/they want to be in any given situation. We retain choice as to how and if we want to be in close relationship with anyone. We release expectations about the way things are or “should” be.
*Judgment imprisons us as much as those we are judging. Underlying is a feeling of self-righteousness: we are right and they are wrong. At a deeper level, we are making wrong in the other some aspect of ourselves that we cannot accept. When we practice extending forgiveness—giving room to be human and less than perfect—we break these chains. We set ourselves—and others—free from the heavy weight and responsibility of having to be perfect or being right all the time.
*Conditioning. We identify and release layers of conditioning, the beliefs about what is right, good and appropriate that we have inherited from family and culture. We undertake the heroic and important work of discovering and deciding that for ourselves.
*Limited thinking, about ourselves or belief in lack—that there is not enough of fill-in-the- blank.
*Attachment. We release attachment to people, situations, things that we think we must have in order to be happy, whether that is 100 pairs of shoes, a particular kind of car, our daily latte. Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with any of these things! It is the attachment that binds us. Freedom is the goal.
* Outcome. We also relinquish attachment to outcome—that things turn out a certain way—and to being in control. That is a big one! Instead, we simply show up. We give it our best. We release expectations and attachment to outcome. That is freedom. Make-wrongs and perceived failures and self-punishment are not necessary. We simply glean as much learning as possible from our past experiences for the purpose of growth and evolution.
* Identities. We let go of old and tired ways of seeing ourselves that no longer serve. This is one area in which planned obsolescence is desirable. We continually shed identities that we have outgrown and get ready for a new and better model!
* Stress. Personal growth and spiritual evolution do not have to be done breathlessly, obsessively and compulsively. We are giving birth to and taking a stand for a new world in which peace and balance begin within, a world in which we each declare ourselves a universal peace zone. That means we commit ourselves to cultivating inner peace, a process that has to be tended to and worked at.
Letting go is a key to freedom. What will you let go off today, this week, this month?