Letting Go vs. Letting Be

December 4, 2017

We all have our own memories of navigating that difficult transition from childhood to adulthood. Heartfelt stories of teen angst and somehow finding one's way to who they are is the fodder of many a song and Hollywood film.


Our experiences, even from earliest childhood make us who we are today. Whether it's a difficult time at school, strained relationships at home, even previous relationships leave their subconscious mark on our personalities and reactions.


But have you, dear yogi, ever practiced the art of "letting be"?


"Letting be" is different from "letting go", which affords us the means to cut our attachments to the past or to things that are dragging us down. Letting go affords us to excise all those things we no longer which to have attachments to, in order to keep our peace of mind. Instead, "letting be" allows us to become more accepting of how we respond to ourselves, other people and to our current environment.


Even as adults, we're socially conditioned to expect so much of ourselves. Whether it's having the perfect body, the perfect image, the "perfect life" (whatever that may be), we're always measuring ourselves by a constantly shifting social barometer.


Practicing the fine art of tuning in and listening in on our mind and body, however, allows us to access "letting things be". Whereas letting go allows you to get rid of the negative in your life, you can't really escape yourself, and you certainly can't escape life experiences, whether good or bad!


Instead, make "letting be" the concept of simply loosening the grip of past experiences, both good and bad. Instead of putting a space between yourself and your experiences, create a non-judgemental space for yourself. It's about getting comfortable with who and what you are, without beating yourself up about it.


Has your parents' divorce made you dislike the thought of finding a meaningful relationship in your own life? Instead of staying away from relationships altogether, letting be simply means listening in to your own fears and working with them. If you tune in to yourself, you'll gradually find yourself moving towards making yourself ready for that connection.


Has bullying at school made you dislike yourself and your overall image? Letting be simply lets you tune into who you are as a person, and finding acceptance of what makes you the person you are.


In a way, letting be bears similarities with "accepting and moving on". As the saying goes, you may not be able to change the past, but you can control what happens in your future. Accepting and moving on is where you've gained acceptance of who you are, based on your previous life experiences, and chose to no longer let these hold you back. It's not really letting go of anything (other than any negative thought processes that might put up barriers). Instead, you'll face whatever has gone before and accept this as a learning experience for your future.


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