It's in our human nature to gather, and keep. We try to tether ourselves down everywhere we go. We attach to jobs, homes, cities, old t shirts, and people. These cables give us a sense of stability, of purpose, we feel a sense of responsibility to our outside connections. We need to keep them, we need to hold them.
We attach to certain mindsets and repeat patterns that sometimes work for us. We hold on to these response patterns for so long we become confused and call it our "natural reaction".
Most of all we hold onto holding on. We start to feel trapped in our golden towers. Suffocated by jobs, cluttered by our possessions, frustrated in relationships, gripping onto our idea of stability so tightly that we can't even handle when other people can't hang on like we do. Like we think we all "need" to.
Sometimes we hang onto people so tightly we think that our grasp can keep them holding onto us, too. When it's finally lost, it breaks your heart and your bones.
Holding on is a choice, with the alternative being letting go. For the majority of us holding on is a habit, again, done so long we call it a natural reaction. But as my Iyengar teacher Adam Vitolo told me several years ago when I REFUSED TO REALIGN my body in Trikonasana because it went against what I did "naturally"
"There are no natural reactions, there are only habits. And habits are the opposite of consciousness."
In one moment I lost the person to whom I had been holding onto so tightly for nearly a decade. As that cable was cut with it went the roadmap I had designed for the rest of my life. In two hours, ten years of New York holding on had been boxed on the street, my current possessions downsized to a single backpack.
I quit my job. I'm living with his family until I leave for Thailand.
While I'd like the circumstances to be different I can tell you that fifteen days of letting go has done more for me mentally than 27 years of holding on has ever done for me.
I realize how little I give a shit about the things I clung to so hard. I hated my job. I didn't wear half of those clothes. My kitchen gear I'll miss when I'm trying to cook at my moms house with a pink butter knife and a Teflon pan (truth be told, outside of the backpack I saved three knives and my journals. I threw my journals from age 11-21 out in the last let-go and I really regretted it), but whatever! I'll roll my eyes and sort it out.
I'm letting go of the busboys (people who brig nothing to the table, they just take shit away) from my life. I'm letting go of the grudges connecting me to certain friends. I'm letting go my need to live five years in the future always. I'm at ground zero. Anything that shows up now is subject to an evaluation. Will I hold onto this? Or let it go?
It takes practice. It's a choice always.
Go clean out your junk cupboard and do it like you mean it. Delete the one fb friend you can't stand and never talk to but need to keep on hand in case you need someone to scalp mentally when you're having a bad day (I had a lot of these) . Throw out jeans that never fit you that good in the first place, they just remind you to feel like shit about yourself sometimes. Throw out the scales or the attachment to a number on them. In the scheme of things what the fuck does that matter? Throw out delivery menus, chopsticks, projects you're never gonna do, and underwear with holes in them.
Throw out and let go of anything you can so that the things that you choose to hang onto will get the attention you've always thought they deserved.
Even in the darkest times you'll be relieved and wonder how you held on so tight all this time.
I love you.