There is a wonderful line from Rumi, the Sufi poet, which says, “Be like a tree, let the dead leaves drop…”
Like many people, Autumn is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love the beautiful colors of the leaves! I always feel a little sad when it is time for the leaves to fall off, I want them to just stay all winter. But the leaves know better and just do their thing naturally. They make letting go look so easy.
I was thinking of the Rumi quote not only because of the seasons changing, but it reminds of times when I didn't want to let go of things in the past. I know I had to let go, but it didn't make it less painful and easier.
Most of us have experienced letting go of old relationships, friendships, careers that no longer serves us, people that have hurt us and beloved pets. Many of us experienced letting go of marriages, and for some, children(whether through death or just leaving for school or the mid-week trade off from divorce).
Sometimes we also are letting go of old ways of being in the world. Most certainly, we have let go of different versions of ourselves. I know I have.
Letting go all the way takes it's own time, I have learned. Sometimes it takes a long time.
Today I simply want to acknowledge all that we have let go of- whether we wished to or not. In some situations, the letting go has been long and arduous, almost like cutting off a limb, bit by painful bit. In other situations, it is exactly like the leaf falling from the tree- natural and easy. But we have done it; kudos to your strength, brave one.
Letting go creates space for growth and for what's to come next. I love the quote from Joseph Campbell: We have to be willing to let the life we had planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us, which can be a gift.
To Let Go Takes Love
To ‘let go’ does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To ‘let go’ is not to cut myself off,
it is the realization I can’t control another.
To ‘let go’ is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To ‘let go’ is not to admit powerlessness,
it means the outcome is not in my hands.
To ‘let go’ is not to try to change or blame another,
it is to make the most of myself.
To ‘let go’ is not to care for,
but to care about.
To ‘let go’ is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To ‘let go’ is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To ‘let go’ is not to be in the middle, arranging outcomes,
but to allow others to effect their own destinies.
To ‘let go’ is not to be protective,
but to permit another to face reality.
To ‘let go’ is not to deny,
but to accept.
To ‘let go’ is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To ‘let go’ is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take every day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.
To ‘let go’ is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To ‘let go’ is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.