I was going to call this post the art of letting go. But it’s not an art, it’s a skill. Skill is something you can learn, it’s something you can master. Like the Zen masters or other buddhist monks let go of their laymen lives to serve others. And sometimes the only reasonable thing to do is to let go.
But that’s not what I want to do. I want to hold on as hard and as long as I can. I’m holding on to the fact that my grandfather died just about when I was really getting to know to him. I’m holding on to past relationships, past projects and even long ago lost crap like a backpack. I’m holding on to so much that it seems like all I ever think about is that everything was better before.
But that’s not true. Everything wasn’t better. Everything was just different. And I – among other people – need to realize that.
Letting go of things you can’t change is a skill worth practicing and mastering. And not only letting go but loving what you can’t change. Only when you come to terms with the realities can you apply lateral thinking and move forward with ease.
Almost every great civilization has had its own version of letting go: memento mori, carpe diem, amor fati, respice finem. It’s nothing new, it’s nothing revolutionary.
But it’s something we should all remember.
Paul Rauno Merisalu September 22nd, 2014