You can’t control what others do. You can only control what you do.
That distinction is an important one. If you’ve ever been under the impression that you can control others, you must recognize that you aren’t as powerful as you think.
You can influence others, and sometimes this happens without you even knowing. At other times it’s a rather deliberate attempt at changing the minds of others or convincing them to do something they might not otherwise do.
But people make up their own minds about their own lives. They think, act and feel how they think, act and feel. There’s only so much space you can occupy in someone else’s mind.
And, in a physical sense, you can’t occupy space in someone else’s mind at all. That can only happen in the realm of thoughts. You can’t scan someone’s brain and know exactly what they’re thinking. Thoughts are thoughts — nothing more! They don’t exist in the world we occupy. The only way to make them solid is to express them in some fashion.
The Myth of Taking Offence
I want you to think about a time when someone did something you didn’t like. How did you react? What did you do?
Did you confront her? Did you bottle up your feelings and ignore the situation entirely? Did you attempt to get your feelings across in a passive aggressive way?
She may have offended you. But was that her intention? Did she go out of her way to upset you?
There might be some extreme cases in which people do things to harm you. But most of the time, they aren’t even thinking about you. They’re only thinking about themselves.
People don’t always make the best choices — for themselves or for others.
But let’s be honest, “choices” is another relative term here.
What’s right or wrong for you isn’t necessarily black and white for me. What you like, or dislike isn’t necessarily what I like or dislike, though we might agree on some things. We each see the world through different lenses.
There’s no definition of right or wrong you and I could fully agree upon.
I’m not talking about right or wrong as it applies to politics, religion, morals or the law. I’m talking about what we as individuals perceive as being right or wrong. It’s a deep rabbit hole.
Separating the Event from Your Interpretation of the Event
But you were offended when she wronged you, right? That’s what happened.
No, that did not happen.
What happened was that you interpreted someone’s actions and decided that it was wrong. You felt the emotion of being wronged.
Separating the event from your interpretation of the event can be immensely beneficial in the process of letting go. You begin to recognize that you were the one that created a meaning around the event. The event itself has no meaning, only the meaning you attach to it.
We are always interpreting life. It’s human nature.
But we can’t let go if we’re constantly interpreting life. There’s no freedom in that. We just use every event to confirm or deny the story we’ve created for ourselves. So, we never subtract. We only add. And, in most cases, we just keep adding to our burdens. That’s no way to live.
I understand that horrific events do occur in life. I’ve been through many challenges myself. But those events need not stop us. They don’t need to define us either.
If you keep ascribing meaning to everything, the weight of that meaning will continue to mount through the years. Events will define you.
Do you think you’re a human being or a human doing? If events are defining you, then you are a human doing. You haven’t been in touch with your true, authentic self for a long time. Since when? The moment you attached meaning to an event in your life. It happens automatically. There’s nothing you could have done to stop it.
Allowing What is & Creating Possibilities
So, how does one let go?
“Letting go” is just another way of saying “allowing”.
When we allow, we stop resisting. When we stop resisting, problems disappear. You begin to realize there are no problems, only events.
Out of that space, you can begin to create new possibilities.
But if you don’t clear the space first, you can’t create a new possibility because that “new” possibility will be dictated by the meaning you’ve attached to your past. The results you achieve will be much like the results you’ve already achieved before. If you’ve ever noticed how everything in life seems familiar after a while, it’s because of the lenses you’re viewing your life through.
New things are happening all around you, but you can’t even see them. That’s how deeply entrenched you are.
Letting go is not about bottling things up. It’s not about gritting and bearing it. If that were the case, it would just be adding to the burden once more.
Letting go is allowing. It’s choosing what you have.