Release and Let Go! What does it mean?

by admin on March 31, 2015

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What Does It Mean To “Let Go”?

This is perhaps the most popular of all the current spiritual platitudes, “let go”. Even in mainstream society you can’t avoid this advice, “Let it go” is the main musical number for a very popular movie at the moment. Despite it being a generic piece of pop culture, there actually is some very deep wisdom to letting go, but it needs a little more explanation than simply telling people to let go.

Let’s go straight to a situation where letting go is the most difficult, the bond between a mother and her child. If I tell the mother to let go of the child, what does that mean? Does she just drop the baby on the floor? Does she pack up supplies for her 5 year-old and send him off to make his own way in the world? Does she become emotionally cold to her teenager? The kind of letting go I’m talking about has nothing to do with any of those situations. Letting go means releasing the expectations we have for another person, which actually leads to a deeper love, an Unconditional Love.

Desire gets in the way of Love, it can easily destroy a relationship between a parent and a child. What happens if the child doesn’t live up to the expectations the parent has? It leads to conflict and resentment, the very things that interfere with love. Letting go of a child is simply allowing the child to be themselves. It means still loving them no matter what they do, without conditions, whether they become a doctor or a criminal. It means so longer judging the child based upon the parent’s value system. Letting go is about releasing control, releasing our desires for another, that’s what true letting go is about.

This isn’t anything new either, this kind of letting go is the same as Buddhist detachment, the releasing of desire. Even the Christian Bible talks about this too: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” This stuff has been around thousands of years, the current “let go” fad is a new spin on some very ancient advice, advice that society as a whole has yet to fully understand.

Letting go is about being present too. Let go of your expectations for the future, let go of your attachments to the past. Then all that’s left is the present, and that’s all there can be if you’ve fully let go. Because of this, letting go is about forgiveness too, releasing the wounds of the past so you can grow and find deeper Love.

Just like anything else, the whole idea of “letting go” can be twisted and abused though. It can be used as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility and trying to escape one’s own life. You have to be truly honest with yourself in these situations, are you truly letting go, or are you motivated by conflicting desires? Letting go is about finding balance in the present and then finding direction in your life starting from that place of balance. It’s never about running away or trying to escape, those are sure signs that real letting go hasn’t happened yet.

So beyond the genericness of the expression, letting go is really good advice, so long as you understand the deeper meanings.


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