I read an enlightening piece about loss and letting go. It was called the Beauty of Impermanence in Yoga Journal (YJ) (I understand YJ is not everyone’s favorite magazine but they have some gems). This particular piece was written by a person experiencing the loss of their marriage while they were also witnessing monks creating an amazing mandala.
If you aren’t familiar or never seen this practice featured on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the mandala is developed with colorful sand by hand precision and is discarded once complete. I hate to even eat something beautiful so the disposal of this masterpiece would tear my heart. Which is precisely why practicing non-attachment is a virtue. Non-attachment or aparigraha, in yoga philosophy, describes the will to not be concerned with possessions or greed which is challenging in a western society.
The author of the YJ article was just as pained by the development and ultimate fate of the mandala as well as the new direction of his marriage. As the author mentions, everything eventually blows away in the wind. How we respond to that inevitability is the practice of aparigraha. The only permanence is impermanence and that can be scary.
With the fall, we see leaves change color and fall to the earth, feeding the soil and nourishing the tree. Similarly, we shed hair and skin but we find it scary to shed things and people. Sometimes there are things that aren’t good for us like alcohol, drugs or least obvious things like sugar, excessive shopping or gossiping. Or maybe it’s toxic friends or family members that drain your energy, finances, and kindness. Experiencing letting go is painful but just imagine this loss as fallen leaves contributing to the nourishment of your spirit and growth.
The author wrote that the wisest way to hold something or someone is with an open hand. Or some like to call it, “love from a distance”. I find myself in this process as I weigh my relationship with toxic family members. I ask myself why should I suffer people that are oblivious or willfully ignorant about the pain that they inflict. I have found that some believe that you belong to them and they feel entitled to harm you because you are related by blood or shared history. That is simply unfair and downright abusive. So this is me letting go. My letting go is truly accepting what I cannot change but embracing my response to that pain that removes guilt and obligation. I will no longer attach myself to family, friends, or things that bring me suffering.
This action is very necessary for your soul to protect your energy, your spirit. Remember the beauty of impermanence, nothing in this life is permanent. Not even the people that hurt you. Let go of the toxic weight of things and people holding you back from living your beautiful impermanence on this earth.