I recently themed a yoga class around the idea of letting go... letting go of the past, of control, of obstacles we place in our own paths.
One of the quotes I chose for this class was "By letting it go, it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning." ~ Lao Tzu
That Lao Tzu sure was a smarty pants... if you've got some time on your hands, google some Lao quotes and you'll see what I mean.
I happened upon this particular quote nestled inside an interesting article that described things of which we need to let go in order to find happiness. It was rather serendipitous for me to stumble across this article on a day in which I was also trying to wrap my pea sized brain around the idea that someone I know finds it incredibly difficult to offer a simple, yet sincere, apology when something goes not quite the way it probably should. I have often wondered, when people have a hard time with the words "I'm sorry", if it is a reflection of their own unhappiness... I suspect that it shows a need to be right and a need to feel superior, which I'm certain are red flags of an unhappy soul. And so the article got me thinking...
The gist of the article is that in order to be happy, we must be able to let go of the need to always be right, the need for control, and the need to lay blame on others. Instead, we should focus on taking responsibility, engaging in positive discourse, and living in the moment, allowing people and situations to just be, for as it turns out, noticing, without reacting to or trying to control people and situations, allows us to clearly see some of life's greatest truths.
We also need to hush our self-defeating talk, we need to open our minds to limitless possibilities of who we can be, what we can do, and let go of the need to label that which we do not truly understand. We must stop complaining and criticizing as well as let go of the desire to impress other people. Instead, to find happiness, we should devote our energy to practicing kindness, not only to others, but also to ourselves. We are often our own worst enemies. The power of positive thinking can not be overstated. When we are true to our authentic selves in every situation, even though that sometimes makes us feel vulnerable, people are naturally drawn to us.
Finally, we must accept that change may be hard, but it is good. So often we dig our heels in, we resist; but without change, we are not able move forward. In order to grow as human beings we must also give up on fears and excuses, as these are things we create in our minds, they don't really exist unless we give them life, and we must learn to practice non-attachment, which ultimately allows us to become more peaceful, more tolerant, more happy, and empowers us to follow the path that is uniquely ours.