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Letting Go

January 18, 2018


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There are things we can change and things over which we have little power to alter or influence.

There are world events so huge, collective problems so complex, and personal concerns so vexing, that individual or unilateral action or effort would have very little impact.

To know the difference between what we can change or that over which we have little power requires, as the Serenity Prayer suggests, discernment and wisdom. Getting to that place where our wiser, deeper knowing is available involves moving the ego aside and doing some inner listening.

So, we might inquire of ourselves:

♦  If I move my egoistic wishes and wants aside, what can I reasonably do about this situation?

What’s best for me – my mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing?

How can the greater good be served?

If the result of that inquiry is greater confusion, it is likely a good time to do nothing. If we feel overwhelmed, it is probably a good time to look after ourselves and maybe to seek help and support from others.

And sometimes the best response to those overwhelming, perplexing and complex events or situations is to just let them go — or turn them over to something (an entity or an idea) that’s greater than we are.

We can’t change others. We can’t solve world problems single handedly. So, letting go and letting good is often the best solution along with a healthy bit of detachment from all those problems within and without.

As the Buddhist teacher, Ajahn Chah, said:

If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness.

If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness.

If you let go completely, you will be completely happy.