You’ve heard friends tell you to “let it go”, “just let it go” after something’s occurred that felt like it left a mark or a gash on your heart. As David Cain says, “very experience does go, at some point.” Every sight, sound, taste, or feeling you’ve ever experienced, does go leaving you with only what is happening in this very moment.
“We don’t have enough control over life to protect ourselves from normal human feelings. This demand for an impossible level of control over our experience is intrinsically stressful.”
In my own life, I still remember tripping on a step back in high school and falling down as other students walked past and looked at me. I remember feeling mortified at my own clumsiness but more at my embarrassment and feeling of awkwardness. Afterwards I vowed to never be caught in such a moment without some brilliant response which I then came up with. Painful….
Or the heart break of ending a relationship with somebody followed by his untimely death in a motorcycle accident and the anguish it brought up. Past moments replayed and replayed on a loop in my thinking for some time until they settled into a place inside where they were quiet and were able to became part of the fabric of myself.
I’ve found a suggestion of Michael Singer’s to be so perfect for me : be present while something as it is happening but allow it to wash THROUGH you rather than get stuck in you (thereby causing deeper issues). I imagine this as drinking water…. Drinking in the experience, but then letting it continue on through me, knowing that in time, it will leave again. Maybe it will be a useful image for you too.
All experiences arise and fade, in a very real everyday sort of way. There’s no such thing as a permanent never fading experience. Each moment comes, is present for a flash of time, and then is gone, not unlike a wave that builds, crests, breaks, and then dissipates. Knowing this and more importantly recognizing this cycle first in little things and then increasingly in bigger events in our lives, will help us to release our grip on even the most intense of our experiences.
Image by Hokusai