“My mission is to teach, heal and inspire others to heal themselves by connecting to the power of Spirit within.”
- Rev. Uki MacIsaac
Sometimes I get tired about this topic of "letting go". Buddhist tradition tells us of our pain being caused by our attachments. We will know peace, we are promised, when we can let go of our need to hold on to people, places or things. Countless new-age or even mainstream writers inform us that letting go is a path to freedom. I do believe that is true. I have either consciously chosen to release what I held so dearly, or the Universe has given me a nudge (sometimes hitting my ego mind with a cosmic 2x4), that my grip on the known had to loosen, or else...
Today I had finally readied myself to give some of my cherished items from the past back to the Universe. I believe in recycling, i.e. offering up to others what no longer serves me. My former treasures may become someone else's delight. Over 20 years ago, I had moved to San Diego from Germany. At the time, I chose to bring only a few boxes of cherished items with me to the New World. One of them was a heavy old mending iron, the type that our ancestors filled with hot coals for ironing their clothes, in absense of electricity. During our most recent move, the iron had been stored in a cardboard box that was subsequently damaged by the winter rains flooding our garage. When I unpacked it, the iron was blossoming with rust from the dampness. With a heavy heart, I decided to give it away. At the Salvation Army pickup station I handed the iron and a few other damaged memorabilia to the attendant who was going to receive my stuff and place it into those huge containers. The attendant noticed my attachment and looked at me, with a compassionate smile. "Are you sure you want to get rid of this", he asked with a gentle voice. "I got to let go, it's just stuff, and it clutters up my space! But... but.. this item has such an amazing story", and I proceeded to tell the attendant the story that came with my mending iron, and why I had brought such a heavy item with me long ago. He smiled again and gently suggested "I think you should keep this iron. It has a great energy, and it holds special memories".
To make a long story short: I kept the mending iron. Not only that, but I polished it and placed it over the fireplace, where I enjoy its presence once again. Do we need to let go? Absolutely. And we also have the power to make a few deliberate choices which honor our memories and our past.
We all wear masks and 'garments' that are to hide and protect our true identity. We do this out of social convention, expectations placed on us at an early age, e.g. family environment, and internalized role playing. THere's nothing wrong with putting on protective masks and wearing different hats according to what we think is expected from us. We may try on the garment of successful business woman, and like that role a lot. Coming home, it might be pleasurable to slip into the role of loving wife and mother. The trouble is, we over-identify with those roles. When the rules of the game change, for example through a layoff at work or a divorce, we are at a loss, because we have lost our true identiy, our inner self. This Self is the silent observer who agrees to play the game of the moment, but does not give up its identity. It is not defined by our outer world. Your very core is your spiritual Self, the one that has always been and always will be.
How can we drop, even just for a while, the outer selves and delve into the true Self? This short meditation might help you experiment in a playful way with letting go of the superficial identifications.
Imagine wearing a garment of heavy wool. Maybe this garment looks and feels like a coat or cloak. It is warm and comforting. At times, it is wonderful to feel the protective shield of your cloak. But at other times, the cloak becomes heavy and cumbersome. It restricts your movements and self-expression. See yourself now dropping the woolen garment at will. It feels wonderful to drop the heavy weight for the time being. You know you can always pick up that cloak whenever you wish to. For now, see yourself dressed only in a light-weight beautiful wrap of transparent fiber. This garment moves with you, flows around you, soft yet shielding. This is your soul wrap, The color of this exquisite fabric changes according to your mood. Better yet, you can change its color to affect your mood! Feeling a little down today? Notice the color of your soul wrap. Is it a tone too dark and somber? By the power of your intention, change your soul wrap to a lighter, more harmonious tone. Immediately, your feelings shift towards a higher vibration, a happier note. You move more freely, your steps have more bounce. How fun it is to play with your soul wrap! At other times, we wish to drop any and all coverings and be just in our natural costume, the way we were born. Even our skin is a protective clothing, as is your entire physical body. All serves to house the Soul, your essence. Experiment with the feelings of being naked, open to all that is. There are moments when we need no hiding, no protection. We feel safe stripping down to the bare bones. Those moments are gifts, because they reveal more of our true being. We relish these times, and we also know when it's time to dress up again. All has its purpose. The liberating aspect of this exercise is to have a choice: to wear what you wish to wear, to drop what feels inhibiting at the moment and feel safe doing so. Have fun with this exercise and know that you are never defined by what you wear, visible to ordinay eyes or not. Blessings!
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