letting go is love

If you want to be… let go.

Letting go is not getting rid of. Letting go is letting be… In the end, we discover that to love and let go are the same thing. Both ways do not seek to possess. — Jack Kornfield

***

My old apartment had a spot on the living room floor that radiated warmth. It probably was in close proximity to a radiator in the apartment below mine, but I liked to think that it existed for the sheer pleasure of my feet’s touch.

I would trace my feet along its boundaries, feel the divide between warmth and cold, and wonder if it was a love story meant for only a few tiles to share. It didn’t matter that the whole room wanted to be loved. I wanted to be loved.

Every time I rediscovered it, it put my entire body at ease. Sometimes, I would lay my whole body on the floor. The warmth could hold my hands, cheek, chest, and the beginning inches of my waist all at once.

I would curl my body as tightly into the fetal position as I could and try to contain the warmth. Slowly, my body would start to shake. It was time to let go, and this fact never changed no matter how much I struggled. It always escaped me too soon, and the cold would run up my spine like a shiver.

***

To say the least, letting go is just something I did not do up until about five years ago. I carried every negative, shameful event and feeling that I could with me. It’s no wonder that so many parts of my body are so tight. I wrapped my story, the sad one that I would not let go of, into my hips, my hamstrings, my trapezius, anywhere I could fit it. This is one of the main reasons I don’t get discouraged with my limited flexibility in many poses. I know that those areas of tightness are old wounds, old sadness. I’m not going to force myself deeper into poses to get rid of them. I’m going to be patient and let yoga be a form of love for my present, past, and future and offer love, offer forgiveness, and offer acceptance in the form of my breath.

One of the things that I am most thankful for in my yoga practice is the lessons it has taught me in letting go. I feel like each exhale, each time I smile when I fall out of a pose, each time I close my eyes in a balance pose is a road map straight into the heart of letting go. My yoga practice has made me very aware of the things that I carry and the things I can let go of.

Letting go doesn’t mean losing or giving up. It’s a form of healing  and forgiveness. It’s a form of love and it creates space for more love.

What are some things that you do to let go?

–lissa

photo by Walkabout Wolf.

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About lissa

writer. yogini. reader. dreamer. nurse practitioner. View all posts by lissa

9 responses to “letting go is love

  • Anna Guest-Jelley

    Totally crying with this: “I know that those areas of tightness are old wounds, old sadness. I’m not going to force myself deeper into poses to get rid of them. I’m going to be patient and let yoga be a form of love for my present, past, and future and offer love, offer forgiveness, and offer acceptance in the form of my breath.”

    What a gift you are.

  • emmainbxl

    Beautiful post Lissa, thank you!

  • Meredith LeBlanc

    Your words are visually clear and beautiful, thank you for sharing this.
    ♥♥♥

  • Elizabeth

    I felt every word of this post — it is gorgeous. Write on.

  • keishua

    This is simply beautiful. Your writing is so full of care. I feel you about caring sadness in parts of your body. I carry sadness in my hips and shoulders I know that poses that involve a lot of work in those area are a challenge for me because there are layers of pain there. Thank you for saying that…

  • ijuliarose

    SUCH a hard lesson to learn — but the most important when you can accept it. It’s nearly impossible to let go of something you think is holding you up, even if it’s hurting you. Your posts are lovely!

  • taraSG

    Another beautiful post!

    Your warm spot memory made me remember this spot on the sidewalk outside my first dorm room. The vents for the dryers must have been under it. I LOVED sitting there while on the phone or just to think :)

  • enamouredslave

    Oh, letting go is difficult, though…I wish I could learn how to do it. Sometimes, I think I succeed, and then it returns, eek. :) Thanks for the encouragement, though.

  • Eszter

    “It’s no wonder that so many parts of my body are so tight. I wrapped my story, the sad one that I would not let go of, into my hips, my hamstrings, my trapezius, anywhere I could fit it.”

    Very true, and very beautiful.

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