When you read a lot of self help books they always mention the analogy of letting something go to embrace something new. I actually find that to be very difficult at times. You can get so attached to things, experiences, or even people to the point that you never want to let them go. In Buddhism they say that it’s best to not be attached to anything because everything in life changes. This is definitely true and I’m sure many of us can relate that change is inevitable. One of the most difficult challenges in my life has been letting go of things. Over time I’ve learned that letting go is necessary and that although painful can be an open door to something new
When we have experiences, acquire things that we covered, or meet new people that really give us joy we start to identify with those things. It’s like we start to carve out a space for those things in our own identity and therefore when it’s time to let them go we have a sense of losing apart of ourselves. When I was about 16 years old I purchased my very first car . It was a 1989 Toyota Corolla coupe. It had grey interior, a somewhat faded red paint job and was a stick shift. I went through a struggle to save up for the car working all summer before my 11th grade year of high school to get the car. I was working as a waiter at a restaurant called Bob Evans back in Cleveland Ohio and by the end of the summer I made enough tips and saved enough money to finally purchase the car. I was so happy that I went out to buy red spray paint from auto zone to spray over the small rusted areas it had, I purchased stuffed dice to hang in the rear view mirror and a small matching red teddy bear that I placed on the passenger side to ride with me as I went to and from the places I could now travel to. Up until that point I had been riding the bus and was accustomed to taking public transportation, but I always felt a sense of lack by having to ride the bus and I always felt left out because I didn’t live closer to my friends in the city. I was always left out of things because I had no way to get there or get back home, which in turn crippled my self esteem.
Once I purchased my first car my confidence changed. I was a new person who could come and go as I pleased, move around the city when I wanted to and I gained a sense of achievement because purchasing the car was something I had accomplished through my own will power and determination.
Shortly after I purchased my car, about 3 weeks to be exact, I was driving on the highway and noticed something on the road which was a semi truck’s bug catcher that had probably detached from the truck while on the road and was sitting in the middle of the highway. Me being a new driver I panicked and tried to go around the object but I was driving to fast to make such a sudden move and I began to lose control of the car. My car started to swerve out of control hitting a semi truck that was riding along next to me. The impact sent my car swirling over to the side of the road and the car eventually flipped over. Now I wasn’t hurt at all by the grace of God however my car was totaled. Once I got myself loose from the car I started to cry as I seen all my school books and personal items scattered around in the car and on the road. It was evident that I had just lost my car and now I would be back to were I was before. On the bus and assuming the identity of bus rider once again .My heart was crushed and I had no choice but to let the car go. It was nothing I could do to salvage the car but it was one of my most memorable lessons in loss. The loss was devastating because I had started to identify with the car. I was a car owner that could come and go as I please not relying on anyone for a ride or for transportation. A piece of my identity had been lost now and I had to pick myself up again and start a new mission of saving my money and purchasing a new car.
I purchased a new car about three months later but what I realized from that lesson was that I could do something that I thought was impossible and even tho it had to go I could do what I thought was impossible, again. If I had dwell on the first car and stayed in that mental prison of loss I may not of embraced the determination needed to succeed at getting a new car. Since then I have had 10 cars to date and of course I have never looked back.
Everything in my life has been like that. Letting go to embrace the new but you let go not knowing exactly what new will be or look like and you let go not knowing when the new will come. Even though you don’t ‘know you still trust. You trust that the new will be better than what has gone and it usually is.
If you look at life you can see that it has been a series of losses but it has also been a series of gains. You have a new relationship but then it over only to find out that as you continue to travel your path you suddenly meet another. You have one job but then it’s time to leave and find yourself in a whole new environment with new co workers and practices. You live in one place until its time to move then you find yourself in a whole new home with a fresh new scene. The time in between can vary in length but the new always comes through. With so many waves of change sweeping through isn’t it safe to say that loss is just a doorway to something new? When something is over doesn’t it mean that afterwards something else will begin? Letting go of what you “think “ you identify with sets you free to embrace the new you or new situation the becomes you. Having had so much loss I have learned to let go and embrace. In terms of clients there is a saying that when one gets up two sits down. Its a metaphor meaning that you don’t have to be afraid to lose a client because there will always be new clients coming who want to stay.
You never have to stay sad for too long because of a relationship that didn’t work out because there will always be a new one that comes again. It’s our job to trust that the new will inevitably come. By letting go of the past mentally emotionally physically and spiritually we open ourselves up to receive. We allow ourselves to receive something much better then that that was there before . Let go of what’s holding you back so that you can allow the things that will spring you forward.