Friday, July 12, 2013

FFF: "Let it go"

"Let go of it."

That seems to be one of the more popular phrases in pop psychology.  I don't mean to oversimplify the notion as it probably goes all the way back to Buddhism as much as it now spews out of Deepak Chopra.  It's become almost a ploce in and of itself.  Nevertheless, it bothers me.

"Just that lately I feel so damned lonely when I think of you."

"You need to let it go."  Or perhaps this phrasal variation: "You're holding on to it."
I am leaving the "it" in this case deliberately ambiguous so that you might consider it within the context of your own life.  Maybe it's a job you lost, a relationship that ended, your time in college is done, someone died, whatever.

A casual stroll through the Interwebs will yield you all manner of advice on the subject, most of it boiling down to the same thing: "let go of it."

"You can't bring yesterday back."
"Don't mourn them.  Celebrate them."
"Release the stress.  You were never in control anyway." (yeah, that's fucking cheery)
"You can only love what you got while you got it."

From a bit more learned source, here's Percy Shelley:

"We look before and after,
And pine for what is not,
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught:
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought."

Here's one that irks me a bit: "Let go or be pulled under."

Gee, if I were in a sinking ship and tossed to the ocean, I'm pretty sure I'd be holding on for dear life to whatever piece of flotsam that floated by.  It's either that or "let go" and float into the dark, shark-infested depths.

You bet your whatever I'd hold on to it.

For me, it all begs the question of "why get attached in the first place?"  Why form any connection to anyone or anything as death, atrophy, and entropy appear to be the way of life?  A Buddhist might say "Don't attach.  That's the idea."  To that I say, "then why be human?"  In the end, "Why should anything matter then?"

Do what you want.  Follow whatever method helps you sleep at night or makes you feel alive.  I will do the same.

Because I like it when things matter and mean something to me.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets


  1. On Facebook, Colette said: "Nice post Jon. This is something I have struggled with for years, as I am sure you can well imagine....and I teach Yoga/Buddhist aspects of life's impermanence. But it sticks in my craw too and I have never been able to completely wrap my head around what I am supposed to be 'letting go of with loving kindness' - never quite made sense....and perhaps that is what the quest is all about, finding that answer....eventually..."

    Ah yes the great mystery. One day maybe it will all make sense but I doubt...for me anyway...that will be before I depart this physical plane.

  2. On Facebook, PeteR said: "Nice post and I got to see a bit of Duran Duran too. Sometimes the best thing one can do is to write about it and let it all out."

  3. On Facebook, Colette said: "I never just tell people - students or otherwise to 'let go', how very rude that would be, and not my place or right to say. The way my teacher used to put it was:
    'You are exactly where you need to be at this moment in time'. And he meant it from a universe/emotional and physical perspective. It was always more comforting and honest to me to hear that. When I was going through the pain of my relationship ending, I told him I could not practice my yoga cause I was crying all the time. He answered that crying was a yoga pose too. He is one of the wisest men I have ever known."


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