Letting Go

This week we continue with my ninth installment in our list of suggestions for how we could live and operate our businesses from a place of greater happiness…

Suggestion #1: Assume the best.
Suggestion #2: Roll with it.
Suggestion #3: Visualize responsibly.
Suggestion #4: Say what you want and expect.
Suggestion #5: Stop comparing.
Suggestion #6: Take the leap.
Suggestion #7: Lend a hand.
Suggestion #8: Be selective and guard your time.
Suggestion #9: Let go.

As I write this, Tom and I are closing up our summer cabin for the year. It’s quite a job. We take 3 days to pack our clothes and bedding, clean out the food, strip and cover the beds, and sweep out ashes from the fireplace and wood stove. Tom will haul the grill and patio furniture down to the basement, take down the flagpole, unscrew the shade cloth over the deck, drain the water pipes, lower the chimney screen, shutter the windows and doors, and lower the deck railings for the heavy amounts of snow that will fall from the roof over the winter. In our best effort to deter our furry bear friends, we spray the kitchen down with Lysol and soak all the doorways and windows with Pine-Sol, which apparently is somewhat of a bear and critter repellent.

Tom’s great-grandfather built this cabin in 1924. It’s small and rustic and drafty. But, every corner of the Belt’s Silver Firs Cabin is filled with family memories and traditions of playing games, reading good books, roasting marshmallows, singing songs, or warming by the fire after kayaking, fishing, hiking, or swimming at Echo Lake.

Tonight, will be our last night to delight in this peaceful and sentimental sanctuary for the next nine long months until we open again, God willing, sometime in June of 2018. Tomorrow morning, we will take our last hike in the white pines and red firs, drink our last drop of water from the spring, and rest our gaze for one final time on the majestic Sierras and pristine waters of Echo.
It’s always bittersweet when we back the car and fishing boat, both loaded to the gills (no pun intended), out of the driveway and look up at the winterized, stripped-down cabin with its boarded doors and shuttered windows. We say a silent prayer that the powers-that-be will protect her in our winter absence from snow damage, fire, broken water pipes, human vandals, and hungry bears until the snows melt and the forest awakens to welcome another Spring.

In saying that prayer, I’m reminded that every time I’m feeling sad, disheartened, regretful, or any negative emotion… that is my absolute sign to flip my internal switch and let go. Let go of what I’m leaving behind. Let go of what is missing. Let go of the things I didn’t say or do. Let go of the things I did say or do. Let go of all the things that I can’t change or control.

Because when we let go, we allow. We allow goodness, worth, opportunity, creativity, gratitude, and abundance to fill the space. We make room for what can be, what’s next, what is here, what we do have, and what we can still do. When we let go of that heavy, negative emotion, we make room for the higher, lighter, easier emotion of happiness… because true happiness can never really be achieved without a large dose of letting go.

What do you need to let go of: A failed relationship, anger toward someone, come to terms with the death of a loved one, some heavy feelings about what you don’t have or haven’t accomplished, things you didn’t say or do, or wish you could take back, or the fear of change?

I don’t mean to say that letting go is easy. Life is filled with loss… sometimes big loss. And the greater the loss and the deeper and stronger the negative emotion, the harder it is to wrap our arms around the process of letting go. But, it’s worth the effort. There are events in my life about which I will probably never get full “closure.” But, in a determined effort to live more of my life in a state of joy and happiness (and with the help of some very wise counsel), I’ve made great progress in managing my losses and regrets and creating space for the gifts and goodness around me to fill the void. It’s an ongoing process but, like all 10 of our suggestions… it gets easier and easier with practice.

Don’t let go of your dreams for they are positive energy pulling you forward and giving you motivation, drive, and desire. Do let go of anything that makes you feel prolonged sadness, anger, despair, or envy.
This week, just let go. Identify what’s creating those low-level emotions and “open up” the space for all the good to pour in. You are not alone. We all have things that we need to let go. If you need to, reach out for support. Find someone who you can talk to but only someone who will help you deal with it and move forward.

Remember, you are resilient, worthy, and pure positive energy if you will simply allow it to shine.

“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance.
It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us.
This frees us from unnecessary stress and opens us up for more joy.”
   ~~Melody Beattie

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