Letting Go

Letting go of an ambiguous loss is often the most challenging and important task we face.

At some point in our lives, we all experience it. Someone important to us isn’t willing to talk. Maybe we need to talk, but the other person needs not to. The more history involved and the higher our expectations for that relationship, the more painful their silence.

Painful events happen to all us. But our real problems arise when we attach to that pain.

Often we have this fantasy that somehow by holding on to our anger, the other person will magically decide to apologize and/or come back. As long as we hold on to our anger, we hold on to our hope. Or so we think.

But while you’re sitting there ruminating, the person in question may very well be out having a wonderful day at the lake. The simple fact that you’re the only one suffering, should be your own best argument for letting go.

Negative attachment is still attachment.

Anger is often the glue that keeps us stuck, expressed as an ongoing obsession about “why” this person has wronged us. It’s human nature to want to understand behavior. But the fact is, it’s hard enough to understand our own, let alone somebody else’s. And we simply can’t force another person to talk to us or own up to “the truth” as we see it.

Sometimes we just have to let go.

A sad ending doesn’t negate the value of a relationship. And while it takes two people to form an intimate relationship, it only takes one to end it.

We have to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.

It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

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Four Agreements to Make With Yourself Today That Will Instantly Change Your Life

four agreementsDo you consider yourself to be open-minded? Are you willing to shatter personal illusions in pursuit of personal freedom? If you haven’t had a chance to read Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements, I highly recommend it. It’s a quick read but packs a powerful punch. In fact, I read the whole thing while sitting at an AutoZone one day waiting for my tire to be fixed.

Don Miguel Ruiz is a shaman of the Toltec tradition. More a way of life than a religion, Toltec wisdom embraces the spirit and arises from the same essential unity of Truth as other sacred traditions. The simple yet profound agreements about which Ruiz writes are summarized below.

If you can take five minutes out of your day to read through these points, you’ll quickly be on your way to experiencing personal freedom like never before. Write them down, share them with friends, or put them on your refrigerator. Do whatever you can to embrace and live by these four agreements and I can assure you that your life will be infinitely better for it.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. As human beings, the word is the most powerful tool that we have, and the tongue our most powerful weapon. Words are things. They get on your walls, your upholstery, your clothes, and finally into you. Our word contains all of our creative power. Through our word, we think, express, communicate, and ultimately act, thereby creating the events of our lives. With such power at our disposal, we really ought to be more intentional with our word (even impeccable, as Ruiz suggests). What does it mean to be impeccable with your word? Speak with integrity and say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or others. Instead, direct the power of your word towards Truth and love. Truth is the most important part of being impeccable with your word. And impeccability of the word is the starting point on the pathway to personal freedom.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally. Your point of view is personal to you. It’s your version of the truth. In the same vain, what others say and do is a projection of their own reality. In other words, nothing other people say or do is because of you. If you can internalize this idea, you will become immune to the opinions and actions of others. When we begin to really see other people as they are, without taking it personally, we protect ourselves from needless suffering. We’re no longer hurt by what they say or do because we know it’s in no way related to us. Remember, we’re not responsible for other people’s decisions. We’re only responsible for our own. When we truly grasp this, it’s like a weight has been lifted and in its place is a deep, profound sense of inner peace.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions. Ask. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. All too often we make assumptions by our own accord and wrongfully believe them to be true. When the truth finally comes out, we realize that it was not at all what we thought. Find the courage to ask questions. Perhaps you need to gather more facts about a particular situation. Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them. If you don’t understand, ask for an explanation. How much sadness and drama could be avoided if we simply practiced communicating with others as clearly as possible without making assumptions?

4. Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you’re healthy as opposed to sick. When you wake up refreshed and energized in the morning, your best will be better than when you are tired after a sleepless night. Under any circumstance and regardless of the quality, simply keep doing your best. By committing to this, you avoid the self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret that come from doing anything less.

Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance is a way of viewing oneself compassionately, without condemning or justifying yourself. It is the starting point in life that opens the door to all other things.
Open-Door

Intuition

It’s a strange thing when you start to feel better after thinking that you never would.

It’s even stranger when you want to love again after losing the love of your life.

A part of you screams, “No, you can’t! It’d be a betrayal.”

But another part of you, the better part of you, whispers, “Yes. Live again. Love again.”

There is no better way to honor yourself than trusting your intuition when it whispers.

Following Your Heart

“As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others do or say. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices.

If you keep this agreement, you can travel around the world with your heart completely open and no one can hurt you. You can say, “I love you” without fear of being ridiculed or rejected. You can ask for what you need. You can say yes, or you can say no – whatever you choose – without guilt or self-judgment. You can choose to follow your heart always.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz

Walking Away

“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her.

Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want.

You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz

Self-Abuse

“In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else.

If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate endlessly.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz

Stand Your Sacred Ground

There is something deeply spiritual about standing your ground; not getting small in order to make other people feel comfortable, or throwing up defenses in order to protect ourselves.

There is something sacred about honoring our truth. When faced with vulnerable situations, I try to remind myself of this: “Don’t shrink. And don’t puff up. Stand your sacred ground.”

Own and Embrace Your Story

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.

Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy–the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.

Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

-Brene Brown

The Song of The Seed by Macrina Wiederkehr

Life unfolds
A petal at a time,
slowly.

The beauty of the process is crippled
when I try to hurry growth.
Life has its inner rhythm
which must be respected.
It cannot be rushed or hurried.

Like daylight stepping out of darkness,
like morning creeping out of night,
life unfolds slowly a petal at a time
like a flower opening to the sun,
slowly.

God’s call unfolds
A Word at a time,
slowly.

A disciple is not made in a hurry.
Slowly I become like the One
to whom I am listening.

Life unfolds
a petal at a time
like you and I
becoming followers of Jesus,
discipled into a new way of living
deeply and slowly.

Be patient with life’s unfolding petals.
If you hurry the bud, it withers.
If you hurry life, it limps.

Each unfolding is a teaching
a movement of grace filled with silent pauses,
breathtaking beauty
tears and heartaches.

Life unfolds
a petal at a time
deeply and slowly.

May it come to pass!

By Macrina Wiederkehr