I heard an interesting phrase at a meditation retreat this weekend: compassionately let go. The wise man speaking (he runs in Deepak Chopra circles) was answering a question about wanting to help someone by telling them about your meditation practice and/or your God or guru or whatever it is spiritually that is working for you. You must do it without ego and without expectation, as a sharing, he said, as in this worked for me….and then compassionately let go. I liked that word compassion. I remember the first time I heard about letting go in 12-step….detach with love, was the advice. I could detach, but with love…nope. I was too angry, too fearful, upset by how another’s behavior was hurting me, but too afraid to walk away. Which reminds me of something another wise man once said, you always have a choice. Always. It’s just that sometimes the choice is between one pain and another. But I was talking about compassionately letting go: of another’s reaction, attitude, addiction, behavior, with compassion toward them. It’s out of our hands. Of course, it always was. Each person has his own path, his own guides and inner light for that path. We can’t make him turn on that light. The word love requires more than I can sometimes give, an energy of engagement that I can’t or won’t summon for various reasons. I can’t always love others. But compassion….I think I can go there, for the other, and also, for myself. Compassion is an interesting shade of love. Less red.
How do you see compassion and how do you see love? And how do you see letting go?
Remember Alice Walker’s poem, HOW POEMS ARE MADE? “Letting go in order to hold on/I finally understand how poems are made.. .” There is a place the love must go, there is a place the tears must go etc. . . and she explores the multiple emotions we let spill into the “too full cup” in order to get to the heart of whatever issues we must deal with before we can–write, love, live, escape abuse, whatever it is we must do. I always thought the poem was a recipe for living. Letting go is the only way to hold on to…sanity?
Oh how long did I hold onto pain for fear of walking into the unknown. So glad I finally let go of my insecurities and embrace a life of freedom, love and independence.