Not only do I hear it, as a teacher I use it frequently in my own classes.
It’s easy to say.
It’s not as easy to do.
And it gets easier with practice, it really does.
But through my experience there are times when we shouldn’t just let it go.
When something happens in our lives, when something bothers us, frustrates us, upsets us or makes us so angry that we just want to throw all the furniture off the balcony, or when we’re so humiliated we want to hide in our room and the lock the door until the wounds begin to heal.
Whatever the emotion, whatever the response, especially if it’s a reoccurring one—don’t let it go (or at least not right away).
Sit with it, bask in it, let it wash over ever cell of your body. Let it simmer. Feel it, really feel it, every last bit of it.
I see our emotions, our reactions, like the leaves on a tree. The result of something much bigger, much deeper.
As you follow those leaves down the tree, see how they stem from the branch. See how the branch stems from the trunk. See how the trunk emerges from the roots.
The leaves are a result of something much deeper.
Our emotions, our reactions, are just the leaves. Just the budding surface of something much deeper.
Following my reactions down to the roots has been one of the most eye opening and liberating practices I’ve ever done.
I find sweetly asking why helps me move a little bit deeper, a little bit closer towards the source of it.
When I followed my emotions down to the root, it was shocking and fascinating to me that even though they all looked and felt different, they were all stemming from the same branch, the same issue.
Whether it came in the forms of anger, frustration, or jealously…they all originated from the same source.
They were all different expressions of the same core issue.
After countless efforts of letting go with little success, I decided to do the opposite.
I sat with it, let all feelings fill me up completely.
I closed my eyes. I meditated on that feeling.
And then something magical happened.
It was exquisite.
After I traced my emotions down to their roots, after there was no more, “Why do I feel like this?” After there was no more, “Where is this feeling coming from?” No more questions, no more digging. I reached the root.
Only you know when you get to the root, and when you get there—you just know.
The thoughts became quieter. The spaces between the thoughts became wider.
It was pure being-ness. Moments with the underlying pulse of this life.
Through the basking in the emotion, followed by tracing it to its origin, I discovered mine all were stemming from a feeling of incompleteness, of unworthiness.
I began to contemplate the thought of not being enough, of not being whole, not being “complete.”
Through that contemplation I realized that just as the leaves are expressions of the tree, we too are expressions of the tree, the tree of life. All from the same source. All whole, complete, abundant beings. Without doing more, or having more, or being more. None of that is needed. Being is enough, complete, perfect.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced those feelings of unworthiness, of not being enough. I realized something that day that I think everyone should be reminded of on a daily basis.
You are always enough. You are enough right now, exactly as you are in this moment. Anything you are doing, or not doing can’t change that. There is nothing to add to your experience or renounce in order to be whole, complete, perfect.
There is exquisite wisdom in those leaves—in those emotions.
If certain leaves keep turning up, maybe instead of constantly letting them go, sit with it, follow it down, explore its roots (at least for a little while).
You may be surprised what you find.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Alexa Torontow
Editor: Travis May
Image: Author’s Own