It is human nature to become attached to things or people. And it can be very difficult to find out how to let go from these attachments even if we know that they are not good for us. The Buddha even went so far as saying that our addictive behaviour is the root of all suffering.
But why is it so difficult to let go? Why is it so hard to give up a bad habit or an ex-lover? The truth is that most of us suffer from a feeling of inner emptiness that we are trying to fill up with our various attachments – often without much success. One person may eat too much, another may cling to an unloving partner while a third may get addicted to social media. But none of this can fill our inner emptiness.
How can we learn to let go?
The first step to letting go is to take a good, hard look at the things and people that we are so attached to. Do they really fill that nagging sense of inner emptiness? Is our ex-lover really this wonderful person that we make them out to be?
It is amazing how much we can deceive ourselves, believing that things and people will bring us happiness when, in reality, it was never the case. In other words, we need to burst the fantasy bubble that we have built around our addictive clinging and then we need to make a decision to give it up.
Face the emptiness
The next step is to face the emptiness that will appear once we try to give up a bad habit or a person who does not want to be with us. Doing this needs courage but I will now tell you a technique that will make this step easier. When temptation strikes we simply sit down comfortably and relax our whole body and mind. You will notice that the sense of craving is like a contraction in your mind that you can relax and release with every out-breath.
Wrap yourself in love
Then we envelop ourselves with love like a loving mother would cradle an unsettled child. In that way, we give ourselves the very thing that we have wrongly expected from our addictive habits. Only love can fill our inner emptiness and we can get this love directly from ourselves. And once we feel this inner fulfillment it will be much easier to let go and invite healthier habits and people into our life.
A bubble of love
Once we are filled up with love, we envelop the object or person of our temptation with a bubble of love as well and let this bubble slowly drift away until it gradually disappears into the distance. If this is difficult, we simply remember vividly all the negative consequences that will happen if we carry on clinging.
What are the takeaway keys?
The essence of the art of letting go is truthfulness, relaxation and love.