It was one of those days at the ranch. The rain had set in and the arena where we feed the horses was a bowl of mud soup. I was knee deep in mud, feeling unsettled and somewhat fearful. Big horses and slippery mud make a challenging match. Horses eat rain or shine, however, so we set about getting our work done.
Half way through the feeding one of the horses, Patches, decided to pull a Houdini and escaped to sample food from her neighbor’s bucket. Second’s anyone? I sloshed over to collect her and to lead her out to pasture. When we got to the gate, however, she had another plan in mind. She reared up and pulled away so that she could find some more food. Little piggy!
Ordinarily, my reaction would be to regain control and let her know who was in charge. But, today, my hand just opened up and let her go. No thought, no second guess… my reaction was instantaneous. Now, letting go is not one of my strong suits. I’m a recovering fixer-make-it-work-control-freak. Most of the time, I hold on to something until I’m dragging behind it holding on for dear life. When it comes to protecting my pride or controlling my fears, no amount of rope burn will deter me! I am holding ON!
That incident taught me that letting go is sometimes the safest, most affirming thing to do. My guess is wrestling 1500 pounds of horse in slippery mud would not have had a pretty ending for me. Thankfully, my inner knowing took over and made the decision to let go before my ego had the chance to debate it.
Sometimes, we hold on to things that aren’t life affirming and part of our growth as a soul. Jobs, relationships, marriages, fears, shame, guilt, insecurity, excuses…you name it. We hold on to them as life preservers saving us from the discomfort that change can bring. We also hold on to them to quell the fear of what it might be like to really show the world how brilliant we truly are. When we hold on to something that diminishes who we are or drains our energy the universe will usually send in the rains to create that unsettling mud which forces you to let go. Economic challenges, divorces, illnesses and accidents are often slippery and cause us to reflect upon what our core values and motivations really are.
Are you are experiencing a difficult challenge in your life at the moment? Think about letting go of something that you may be holding on to unnecessarily- that miserable marriage, that boring job, even your perfectionism. How would that feel? Ask yourself why you are holding on. Are you holding on to prove something? Are you holding on out of survival fear not trusting that the universe will always be there for support?
Now think about what it would feel like to have what you really want if you let go of something that no longer serves you. That’s a nice feeling isn’t it? Think about letting go before the rains settle in. Sometimes, it could be a matter of feeling empowered or being trampled.