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Lighten your emotional load by letting go

Catherine Zeeb, PhD
Vail, CO, Colorado
Columnist Cathy Zeeb
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I will begin with a small story: There were two monks walking along, in silence, on their way to a monastery. As they approached a stream, there was a woman standing there unable to cross. One of the monks picked her up and carried her across the stream, setting her down on the other side to go on her way. The two monks continued on their way in silence. When they arrived at the monastery the monk who did not carry the woman over the stream said to the other monk, “You violated the vows we have taken to never touch a woman.” The monk who carried the woman over the stream said, “I just carried her over the stream, you are carrying her still.” (Author Unknown)

This story is a perfect example of not letting go. We hold onto thoughts, looks, ideas and the past all the time. How much do you carry? Is what you carry really that important? We cannot live in the present moment when we remain connected to an old story, or the look someone gave us, or a memory. We tend to believe that our experiences or the things someone said or did to us define who we are today.

What does it mean to let things go? How do we let go of a thought or a situation from our past? How do we let go of anything? When a therapist, television host or teacher tells you to “just let it go,” what thoughts go through your head? Do you think, “Ok, I’ll just pretend it didn’t happen,” or “I’ll ignore it and never talk about it again,” or maybe “There, I’ve let it go and now I can just move forward in my life,” only to find that in a short time, the same thought, the same memory comes back to haunt you?

When we are told to let go of something, we begin (sometimes unconsciously) to wonder who we will be if we truly let go of this thing we think defines us. We get so caught up in our story about a situation that we forget that the story is not our truth. The story is what we can learn to let go of. We all do this, we all hold onto our story, hence, the experience of the story remains in our minds and the energy of it remains in our bodies.

What if you made a choice today to let go of one story, one experience, one comment someone made or one situation you were involved in? When you choose to truly let go of something, you release the energy of it from your body. You will energetically lighten your being ” your body and your mind.

Make a choice right now about what’s important to you ” what’s important in your life and what’s important right at this moment. If everything in your body relaxes as you decide that something does not benefit your life, then you are listening to the answers held in your body. Take a breath and choose to let it go. If you feel like you get an answer of yes, this feeling or thought does benefit you, decide what you want to do with it. Whatever you do, do it without judgment. Don’t beat yourself up.

So who will you be if you let things go? You’ll be exactly who you are, just lighter and more free. Take a moment and imagine how you will feel if you let go of things that don’t benefit you. What an amazing thought! It all sounds so simple and the truth is, it is. The only thing that gets in our way of choosing to let go, or actually doing it, is our ego. There is no else making choices in your life.

Letting go is work. Learning to let go as you move through the moments of your life takes practice. The result, as we learn to let go piece by piece, is worth the practice. When we’re so full of our “stuff” in life, we have no room for new and exciting ideas and thoughts. Make room ” laugh more, lighten up, and let go!

Catherine Zeeb holds a doctorate in philosophy in metaphysics. She teaches metaphysical classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. E-mail comments or questions about this column to cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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