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Opening Up and Letting Go

Here’s a powerful quote, “There is no controlling life. Try corralling a lightning bolt. Dam a stream and it will create a new channel. Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet. Allow and grace will carry you to a higher ground. The only safety lies in letting it all in...the wild with the weak; fear fantasies, failures and successes. When loss rips off the doors of the heart, or sadness veils your vision with despair, practice becomes simply bearing the truth. In the choice to let go of your own way of being, the whole world is revealed to your new eyes." (From Allow by Danna Faulds).

This quote is so enlightening, it bears a second reading, so read it again, slowly this time, and notice how it speaks you. What images or memories come to mind? What emotions surface? What is your most vivid experience of trying to hold on to something and what was the result? What is your most vivid experience of resisting something new and what happened? When you’ve let go in the past, what was the outcome?

Faulds’ quote goes to the heart of what scares us and how we try to manage fear. There is a frightened child in us all who is terrified of being seared by that lightning bolt, drowning in that stream, being swept away by that tide. This is the part of us that wants to be careful and vigilant, that wants to control emotions (ours, everyone’s), that mistrusts that we can ride out whatever distress or discomfort comes our way. How many times do need we be reminded that we must face our demons?

What are your deepest fears? I don’t mean not receiving the promotion you wish for or that your child won’t get into the college he wants. Our deepest fears are the ones we barely acknowledge, that lurk below the surface of consciousness, the ones we try not to think about and shutter our fragile selves against. Often we eat or starve ourselves to prevent or distract ourselves from feeling them. By fighting your fears, you force them underground where they won’t stay for long. Instead, they pop up in obsessing about food and weight, over-exercising, in a binge or a purge. By denying your deepest fears, you give them power. By opening up and letting them in you have a fighting chance to put them into perspective, detoxify them, and let them go.

If you want to resolve your eating problems, you need to follow Faulds’ eloquent advice about opening up and letting go. You don’t have to do it all at once, only set an intent to be more open to emotions and work toward that goal. You don’t have to do it alone either. Remember, two hearts are better at bearing pain than one.