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Before you are ready to let go of something, you first need to own it fully.

Reflections from my three weeks hike through the Alps.

“Just let it go” – good advice, heard often, and also I told it to myself and others on many occasions.

But there’s a secret in letting go, which doesn’t make it such an easy act.

In fact, it’s more a passive process than an act of will. That’s the secret. It is nothing you can do, but something you can allow. The expression itself speaks of this allowing: Letting it happen.

The act of will would be: making a cut. But even if you do so, you might have difficulties to let go.

In order to manifest something we need to allow time for ripening, and in order to let go, we need to allow time for deconstruction and dissolution.

This need of time is something we tend to ignore, as any process that can’t be controlled by mind and will is hard to accept, even more in a culture that values linearity and active agency (masculine principle). Then “just let go” becomes an impatient imperative which just increases the tension and inner stress.

Moreover, possibly before you are ready to let go of something, you first need to own it fully.

Letting go does not mean to dissociate and cut something away. It’s a process of deep acceptance and integration of what has been, which finally allows to let it go.

It’s a process of first accepting/perceiving and then dissolving that which still binds you -mostly unwelcomed feelings like grief, anger, hurt, regret. But it’s also the “positive” aspects that bind you – it might be a fear to never experience again what has been so beautiful, a fear of not being nourished in the future, a fear of loosing what had defined who you are, for a while.

Yes, for a while. Forms and shapes of your identity are ever changing.

The active part in the process of letting go is to seek contact to that which grounds you in here and now: your body, the earth below your feet, your breath, your sensations. And to the part within you that never changes, that connects you to the eternal and the beyond: To soul and spirit.

If you are in contact with this source of your aliveness, and of all life – change happens naturally in its own timing. Letting go becomes something you don’t have to do anymore – just to experience how it happens gracefully when time has come.

Then it might still feel like an act of will, but a natural and peaceful one: A willingness to let go now, to intentionally open your hands and heart and let free what you’ve been holding there. If the “ripening time” has been respected, you owned it and integrated what had to be integrated, letting go will feel light and relieving, it will bring peacefulness, calmness and inner joy.

What might stay is gratitude for that which has been and what is gone now. And a readiness to receive what the future will bring.

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