Imagine walking into a room where groups of people are seated at a table where a succulent meal was set before them. Their table is filled with every sort of food you can imagine. It’s a mouth-watering display, all perfectly prepared and it’s all right in front of their noses and easily within their reach.
You notice however, that none of these people are eating. They haven’t even taken a single bite. Their plates are empty and it appears that they have been seated there for a very long time, so long that they appear to be starving to death.
They are starving, not because they cannot see or eat all the food before them, or because eating it is forbidden or harmful. They aren’t eating because they don’t realize that food is what they need. They don’t know that those very sharp pains in their stomachs are caused by hunger. They don’t see that all they need to do to stop their suffering is to eat the food that’s right in front of them.
This is an example of our basic human suffering as well. Most of us sense that there is something wrong, that something is inherently missing in our lives, but we haven’t a clue how to overcome the problem. We may have an inkling that what we need is somehow very close to us but we don’t connect the lack of it to the sharp pain inside us. With time, as the pain becomes even more severe, we start to believe that being in pain is just a normal part of living.”
Many of us spend at least a good part of our day going over internal dialog. We relive past experiences, worry about the future, blame the outside world for our shortcomings and criticize ourselves for not having all we want by this point in our lives. We do this both consciously and unconsciously. Even while we are listening to others we aren’t really fully present. Instead we are rehearsing our answers, slipping back into yesterday and worrying about tomorrow. Sound familiar?
Let’s say you are feeling the pain of unhappiness. You suffer from it daily, unaware that you can eliminate your suffering and find happiness by simply making the right choices and by letting go of the past and future. The problem is that our emotional conflicts are so familiar to us that they keep us blinded to better possibilities. We actually become addicted to feeling the way we do, thinking that it is just the way things are and we resign ourselves to getting by and coping.
The fact is that someone somewhere along the way has convinced us that if something is going to be worthwhile it’s going to require a lot of hard work and you have to get serious about it. That type of outdated thinking is what stands in our way more than anything else. Knowing more and working harder to make life easier is not the answer. It’s developing the understanding of how simple life can be and opening yourself up to the miracles in life instead of trying to create your own miracles. You can’t force anything into existence. You can’t make a miracle happen. Create your vision then let your imagination flow freely. When you do answers will appear. That’s the real miracle!
Look at the creation process this way; the whole universe is made up of energy waiting to be directed by you and me. It’s energy that responds to your intentions. You are in partnership with that energy and can use it to create anything you want. This means that when you create a vision of something you want or you have a problem that needs solving the right people will show up and circumstances will be influenced to bring forth solutions to accomplishing what you want. In fact, this process is at work in your life 100% of the time. When you create struggle and focus on it the answers will come to you to create more of the same. Remember you are partnering with the energy to create anything you focus upon. What you hand out comes back. What you are in harmony with you are creating.
We seek joy and happiness in our lives because joy and happiness is our true nature, otherwise, why would we strive so hard to find it? Being able to live and operate from this level will bring you complete fulfillment in every way. However, this can only happen when you let go of the need to control outcomes and resolve the layers of conflict within. When we resist the flow of life by hanging onto our old perceptions, what we are actually resisting is having joy and happiness in our lives and struggling for what we want. We are resisting life as it should be. This isn’t mystical at all. It’s actually pretty simple when you think about it.
Attempting to earn happiness through behavior or material things will always end in failure, because as soon as you stop the behavior or get the material thing you are right back where you began.
Experiencing happiness is beyond behavior. Search inside. Peel back and let go of all the layers of anxiety, doubt, fear and anger and you’ll discover the most basic truth of all; happiness comes from you not at you…as do all other things in life.
The million-dollar question for a lot of people is how do we let go and walk away from what’s familiar to us? How do we let go of our pain and conflicts? I believe that most people have a desire to do more with their lives, to be happy and not suffer their emotional pains. But most often their fear of taking risks and the pain of change prevents them from even trying. We very often fear what we want most. And at the same time we get what we fear most because we are in harmony with the fear. Our mental programming is so averse to risk that it prefers to keep us safe and secure within the status quo, so we stay where we are even though we are miserable. Just look around you. You see it everywhere. If most people want to be happy, what is it that keeps them from making the changes they need to make to get there? People say they want to change but do they really?
Do a little exercise. Do you feel that you are happier now than five years ago? Have you truly made significant progress? Have the last five years turned out the way you wanted them to be? And if not, why not? When you break free from the patterns of the past and you begin to see the truth behind the conflict watch what happens to your life. What will happen is that the people, experiences and opportunities will begin to flow to you and you’ll begin to see conflict as just a mental and emotional mistake. Letting go of conflict is a choice. When faced with a conflict ask yourself this very important question. “What benefit am I getting from holding on to this conflict? Does it serve my higher good? Am I willing to trade an abundant life for hanging onto something that doesn’t serve my higher good? Am I willing to spend my vital energy for something that doesn’t take me in the direction I want to go?
Many experts say just face your fears, do the thing you fear most and the fear will go away. Well, that’s easy to say and even makes sense when you hear it. But how about all the people who are afraid to face their fears, too afraid to take the first step? What do they do? What about that buried feeling attached to the fear, what happens to that?
Let’s face it. Life is risky. Going into business is risky. Getting married is risky…snow skiing, mountain climbing, driving past the speed limit, raising children is risky…I could go on and on. All these activities are risky but we choose to do them anyway, don’t we?
Let’s first gain an understanding of the true definition of fear. “Fear is taking a past experience, projecting it into the future, with the anticipation of it happening again, and then re-living it in the moment.” Fear is simply trapped energy you hold inside that was created from a past traumatic experience, or series of experiences over time. Fear is a mental mistake. It’s friction in your thought process. When you get hurt emotionally you feel the pain inside. Then you hold onto that painful experience hoping that it will protect you from it happening again, but it won’t. Fear is simply trapped energy wanting to be released. And once you gain that understanding it becomes easier to let it go of the fear.
Look at it this way. Every action you take is either based in fear or love. If you move toward what you love, you naturally move away from what you fear. While you are moving toward what you love and you feel the fear, face it yes, but do more than that. Observe it. Separate yourself from it and see it for what it is, which is just trapped energy patterns created from past experiences coming to the surface wanting to be released. It’s your subconscious programming bringing it up saying “Hey, do you need this anymore or would you like to delete it?” Your fear is NOT you. It’s just a passenger you have picked up along the way. It is not hanging onto you, instead you are hanging on to it!
When a fear feeling surfaces, breathe into it and when you exhale, let it go. Then take a course of action that will bring you more of what you love. Just the fact that you have observed yourself feeling the fear, and you see it for what it really is, you have weakened its hold on you…or rather your hold on it.
Letting go is a choice, moment to moment. It’s a fork in the road. It’s a choice to buy into the delusion of our mind chatter, of past pains and programming, or move toward what you would love to have in your life.
Whatever happened to you in the past is not happening to you now unless you let it. The past is only your story and it’s not real today. It’s a memory, a trapped energy pattern. It’s like an old movie that you just keep watching over and over, until you decide you’ve watched it enough. What’s real is the stress headache, anxiety and unhappiness you’ve created for yourself out of something that doesn’t exist any longer. That’s what’s real.
Think about it.
Any sort of permanent change, whether it be losing weight, quitting smoking, getting healthier, earning more money, having a more fulfilling relationship, or breaking an emotional addictive cycle to eventually be free of it requires several things.
The first thing required is a desire. You have to want something bad enough in order to make any permanent change. Desire has to come from inside you. No one else can do that for you. I’m assuming that you have a desire to change otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this book.
The next step is that you must make a decision to change. It’s not important that you know how to change at this point, but it is important that you have made a firm decision to change. A decision to do one thing eliminates something else. For example, if you want to quit smoking you have to first make a decision to “be” a non-smoker! Once that decision is made that eliminates the decision to smoke. You can’t be a smoker and a nonsmoker at the same time. You can’t make both decisions at the same time. You might say, “Well I am tapering off and smoking less and less.” Well, you are still a smoker. You have made a decision to still smoke. You are one or the other…fat or skinny, healthy or non-healthy, wealthy or not, drug user or not. Whatever it is you want is not a decision to “give it a try,” but a decision to go all the way!
The next step is taking action toward what you want. When you do you must realize that every action you take from this point forward is either moving you in the direction of your desired outcome or away from it. There is no middle ground. You want to lose weight but you still stop at McDonalds for the Big Mac for lunch, simply means you need to re-evaluate your decision. There is no right and wrong here. It just is what it is.
In order to get something different in your life, you must do something in a different way, and that will require you stepping out of your comfort zone. Anything, anything you want lies just one step in the right direction…just taking one small step, one possible uncomfortable step, at a time until you reach your desired outcome.
When you take steps to change you’ll be faced with discomfort, fears and doubt. In fact, changing can bring up your deepest fears…fears of failing…what if I can’t do this? What if it doesn’t work? What will others think of me? I tried before and failed. What if I can’t do it this time? The list goes on and on. It can even bring up the fear of success…what if I’m successful? Will I have to change? Can I handle the change? Will I be okay without this crutch? And, trust me, suffering, misery and conflict are all crutches that you’ll remain attached to for life unless you decide to let them go and do something in a different way than you’ve done in the past. Change requires that you change. It’s a battle between the old you and the new you, you want to become.
To overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, you have to be willing to endure some pain of change and along with that you have to be bold. You have to stand by your decision and not let the mind chatter pull you down. Change can be like free falling out of an airplane…it’s both exhilarating and scary at the same time.
Remember that the “you” that is reading this book can’t accomplish those things you want. In order to have those things you have to become a different “you.” If you attempt to change using the same old thoughts and behaviors that you’ve always used, you’ll end up with the same old results.
Whatever you’re feeling…depression, anger, fear or anxiety, remember as it comes up, that it is just energy wanting to be released and that you are in complete control. As you feel it, stop for a moment and observe your feeling and then ask yourself these questions. “Do I like feeling this way?” If your answer is “no” move to the next question.
“Will honoring this feeling take me in the direction I want to go?” If your answer is “no”
move to the next question.
“Do I want to let it go?” If your answer is “yes” move to the next question.
“Am I willing to let it go?” If your answer is “yes” then move to the last question.
“When…When will I let it go?
And your answer should be apparent…NOW!
By the time you get to the last question you’ll discover that the feeling has left you. It may come back but you have advanced to the next level. With each release the feelings get weaker and less frequent.
Hanging on requires a tremendous amount of energy, sometimes all your energy, and it will get you nowhere except backwards to more of the same. Letting go, on the other hand, requires no energy at all. It’s simply a choice!”
The most important thing is to love yourself above all. Any feeling that is not loving toward yourself or others is based in fear. Darkness is the absence of light, just like fear is the “feeling” of the absence of love.
One of the most basic fears we have about letting go, is the fear of the emptiness we believe will be there when we do. But in reality, when we die to the old, a vacuum is created for the new. That empty space is instantly filled with love. When we simply surrender a fear, the vacuum is then filled with love, and it happens without any effort whatsoever.
If you become an observer of your emotions…really observe them, you will no longer be attached to them. You can just allow them to “be there” without acting on them. You will eventually come to the realization that the origin of suffering can be put aside and can be let go of.
Letting go simply means that you leave emotions as they are. Whatever you pay attention to grows in strength. What you don’t pay attention to withers away from lack of attention. It does not mean that they are gone forever, even though some might. It is more like observing and letting them be. Through the practice of letting go you’ll begin to realize that hanging on to outdated experiences, feelings and emotions is the origin of suffering and conflict. All conflict is self-conflict.
When you find yourself attached, look at it this way. If I’m holding onto this book and I sit it down on the table, I have let it go. Just because you have the book doesn’t mean you have to carry it with you day after day for the rest of your life. The book is not the problem, just like the emotional suffering is not the problem. The problem is hanging on to it. So what do you do? Let it go, lay it aside. You simply put it down gently without any kind of conflict, just like putting the book on the table and walking away. You can apply this insight to letting go of fear, anger, anxiety or any other self-conflict. So, when you are feeling inner conflict the moment that you refuse to indulge in that feeling, you are letting go.
We all have moments when everything we do just seems to work. It is during these times that great insights occur. We feel abundant, happy and trusting of life. We are refreshingly still inside, our usual nagging “chatter” is quiet, and our energy flow is profoundly open. In this state we are able to experience our own true nature, love, and the full beauty of our surroundings. We feel alive, balanced and purposeful. Then suddenly, without any notice at all, this vibrant, loving state disappears as mysteriously as it came. Our soaring spirit seems to fall back to sleep, as we drift back into our old identity. We begin to once again “buy into” the illusionary, self-created tensions of worry, fear, depression, anxiety and scarcity, which restrict us from being in the moment and living the life we want.
Remember that any feeling that is not loving toward yourself or others is based in fear. When you let go of fear all you have left is love. Love truly has no opposite. It is an energy that travels so fast that it’s everywhere at once. Even in your darkest moments love is always present. In fact, love is presenting you with the fear saying “If you let go of this, you can have more of me.”
We have some misconceptions about love however. The first is that it comes from outside us, and the second, is that it is secured through relationships. If we narrow love down to these two things, we are cheating ourselves out of the endless possibilities that exist. Love is always present inside us. It’s just that we’ve disconnected by buying into our fears.
The depth of connection you feel becomes stronger as you let go of the fear, doubt, anger, blame, etc. Love is the spirit that lives within each of us.
Once you begin the process of letting go you see that every seemingly painful event is truly a gift designed to show us the power of love if we’ll just let go and embrace it. Remember: What you pursue will always elude you. What you become is what you’ll create. If you pursue love, it will always be “out there” somewhere, in the next relationship, job, or outside event. When you love yourself you’ll begin to discover love in everything we do, and in everyone you meet.
Receiving comes first, then giving. And what you give to others, you also give to yourself. And of course the reverse is also true: What you withhold from yourself, you withhold from others, and again from yourself.
Letting go is essential in living a balanced life. Too much focus in one area of your life can literally suck the energy and life out of another area. When you are in balance energy flows as it should.
If you continue to view your life as if it were a problem, or if you continue trying to escape your imaginary problems or to blame others for your problems, your true power to create will always remain hidden. However, even though it is hidden, you can rest assured it is always with you. Waking up to who you are requires letting go of that which you imagine yourself to be.
So, how can we shorten the time from “vision” to the manifestation of that vision? Just remember to stop as often as necessary to reconnect…to re-fill. Keep yourself in your true power by letting go of what disempowers you. This is where the action is. This is where your power to create exists. No one or no-thing can take your power from you. Only you can choose to keep it hidden.