Lately I’ve been thinking about the idea of ‘letting go’. I recently read an article about a man who had been suffering from tinnitus. I have tinnitus, so I was interested.
A Chinese medical doctor who included psychological therapy in her treatments had written the article. She told the man that the tinnitus was a result of the anger that he harbored in himself about a family incident. She treated him with Chinese medicine and counseled him for two months to help him let go of the anger, hurt and bitterness he was holding on to. After two months the tinnitus went. He had completely let go of it all.
So, I too have been practising letting go. It is an interesting journey. For in order to let go, one really has to LET GO. Of even the subtlest of strings. To let go, I have to first of all FEEL the pain and the hurt and the anger that I’m storing, not only inside of me (the soul) but also inside of every cell in my body. There will be a specific place where I hold on to the pain, whether its my shoulder or my gut, chest, or throat. But I will be holding it in every other cell in my body as well – it just isn’t obvious.
Its hard to face pain. Its much easier to distract myself – turn on the TV, reach for some comfort food, get busy, phone a friend, go to bed – anything, but sit with the pain. And we’ve become very good at distraction and diversion, perhaps because its so easy and readily available. But the cost of not facing what needs to be changed deprives us of quality and in some cases, quantity of life.
An interview with an elderly couple one night at the end of the news many years ago has always stayed with me. They were celebrating a significant anniversary of their marriage and the journalist asked the wife why she thought many marriages failed these days. Her answer was “people don’t take the time to relax and just think anymore”.
We’ve entered a spinning cycle of busy, busy, busy, somewhere along the line. We’ve gotten busy and gotten tired and stressed. We’ve caused problems in our relationships and our health. Instead of stopping, thinking, talking, sorting things out, we’ve gotten busy and gotten tired and stressed. We’ve caused problems in our relationships…..and the cycle has repeated and repeated over and over again.
Instead of taking time out to deal with the things that really need to be dealt with – to sort things out, to understand, to apologise, to forgive…..we’ve just ignored it, denied it, internalized the pain and carried on.
Then we get sick or we get tinnitus. And tinnitus is REALLY annoying! 99.9% of the time I’m able to ignore it, and have done for years. I decided to do that because otherwise it would have driven me crazy.
But now, I’m going to try and do something about it. It would be good to be free from it and just hear beautiful silence. Plus, I’ve come to realize that if my ears are being affected by what I’m holding on to, then the rest of my body is also.
I’m loving the feeling of letting go. It’s a feeling of complete separation of the soul and the body. Where both the soul and the body are challenged to deal with what they each have to deal with, alone – without the support and familiar feeding in of the experiences of the other.
The soul is having to face the heart and deal with the deep seated feelings and swirling psychological and emotional pain within it, that may not even be able to be named. The body is having to face physical pain in all different places and its having to learn to accept, relax and allow balance to be restored.
All of this can feel quite strange and uncomfortable. But that’s what growing pains are like. And when I see this as growth it gives me the strength to keep going.
Otherwise there can be no getting off the merry-go-round and running through the countryside, hair streaming freely in the wind.
Have a lovely day.