Letting Go and Letting Be

Many sages have taught us that “letting go” is a supreme virtue and helps us grow inner peace. I find, however, that “letting be” is far more challenging and closer to the bone. Both are the fireworks of inner freedom. A happy Fourth of July.

Phrases posted on Facebook, July 2023

For me the act of Letting Go is an act of willed separation. Me here, and that (whatever it happens to be) over there, done for. It feels to me that the ego is in charge, happily or not. Letting be what already is, is a state of vulnerability and acceptance. When we truly let things be the ego is not in charge.
There will be times when letting go of an idea, a project, a person or a situation is the only path that is open to us or is the only way to serve life and love. Those are seminal times. We are deeply changed by them. After letting go comes accepting the changes that will come of it i.e. letting be.
If a situation has been long standing we might have to let go in stages . . . same for letting be. What’s important is the attitude in which we do either. To really let go and really let be are acts of compassion.
Neither attached nor detached or even nonattached, letting be is an inner spaciousness so vast it forgoes any kind of possessiveness, yes, even belonging to oneself. Call it outrageous freedom!
As we let go of any sense of possessiveness, we will somehow enter life, as it is . . . majestic, beautiful, horrific and everything in between. Humility and awe are natural responses as we come to realize that life possesses us, not the other way around. We will sense that we are wanted and invited to be in full participation.
To me there seem to be two aspects to letting be. One is fully recognizing the value of others and also the value inherent in whatever conditions that turn up in our lives. Sometime the second aspect is a little more difficult. It is giving ourselves permission to be as we actually are, no better and no worse. Both are matters of the heart and of deep compassion.
Have you ever been in the ocean when things appeared calm and safe only to have a rogue wave slap you around, leaving you gasping for air? That is what is happening to me with this subject. There’s no bottom to letting go and letting be. Deep waters they are!
We each have particular circumstances that are uncannily of the right difficulty to bring us to the edge of having to let go or having to let be so that life can go on without a continuous stalemate. That, to me, is truthful and a wonder that smarts.
Perhaps one of the hardest things for all of us is to let go of our idea of who we are. We are so many things, some of them completely unconscious. Here’s a little rhyme I like to use to help matters along in that regard. I tell myself “soften often” and then ask myself to lighten up a bit. Maybe you’ll want to give this a try.
Letting be is not a license for non-engagement. It is a different kind of engagement, one in which pausing to sense what might be right action comes first before reaction. Letting be is the visible pace of grace.
When we can let things be while yet staying present with whatever is taking place we court peace and much more. Vincent Van Gogh put it this way: “It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and give you deep meaning.”
Behind letting go and letting be is vast spaciousness and the truth that we are one with everything. There is no way not to be part of all reality. Understanding such enormous inclusion we will sense our true size . . . so very vast and so very little.