This concept of “letting go”…what does it really mean? I have let go so many times in my life, just to find out that I have more letting go to do. It is like peeling back the layers or shedding the skin so to speak. It is more of a slow arduous process of peeling than it is an abrupt one time rip-and-it’s-gone. Once you have released a layer, you have in essence excavated yourself to a new layer of awareness…a new depth of recognition. Somehow, it is always a new surprise.
Fortunately over the years I have come to terms with this process and am ever impressed by the multitude of layers that seem to have unconsciously built upon themselves to create the wonderful, multifaceted being that I am today. So recently faced with a surgery to remove a large fibroid tumor from my uterus, I found myself again in another transitional stage of letting go. But this time I brought a new perspective to the mix. Before embarking upon this surgery, I had the opportunity to ask myself, “How is letting go related to unconditional love?”
To answer this, I thought about how it feels to let go of something that no longer serves me. Usually, I find that if I can come to terms with the fact that whatever I am letting go of is no longer needed in my life and does not serve my higher self, then I can recognize that it doesn’t serve the whole, universal consciousness, or the interconnectedness of all beings (if it does not serve me, it does not serve the whole). So when the choice of letting go becomes a conscious service beyond myself and my own needs, it is then clear that my role, as a part of the bigger picture of serving the whole, is now about unconditional love…not just for myself, but for all. If I am able to release something that will allow me to create space for more light and love in myself, then letting go is unconditional love and unconditional love is letting go.
Prior to making this connection of letting go and unconditional love, I had done what already felt like a lot of “letting go” related to this fibroid tumor. As I discovered in my Sacred Sensual Splendor retreat just a few months prior, I had never properly acknowledged the 3 miscarriages I had over the past 6 years. As a result, I felt like this tumor was a holding of the energy of the souls that had never been released. I felt this on an emotional level and decided to ceremonially let go of the 3 souls. I did this in my own ritualistic way over the timespan of a full moon and new moon, but it wasn’t until I made the connection to unconditional love that I really felt the power of letting go.
I had hoped that with my rituals and intentions, I would be able to reduce the tumor, but when I finally was awakened to the fact that it was too big and I needed surgery, I had to question whether I had really let go. I did all of the emotional work and felt it on a deep spiritual level, but the tumor hadn’t diminished and I was clearly being guided to a surgical removal. As much as I prefer the holistic approach, I was okay with this option of surgery. However, this was an extreme measure in my book, and was an indicator that I needed to look more deeply at the root…maybe peel back another layer…shed some more skin. It sounded exhausting, but I knew that if I didn’t do the due diligence and just had the surgery to remove the tumor, there would be another tumor or another miscarriage or something that would show up to remind me that I hadn’t yet revealed the cause.
Just a day before leaving for Mexico City for the surgery, I found myself in a wonderful and surprisingly overdue conversation with Yinka, one of our wellness gurus at Present Moment. He asked me about this connection between letting go and unconditional love. When we started talking about the meaning of unconditional love, Yinka broke down for me what he considers to be the 4 pillars of unconditional love: Compassion, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Trust. This was easy for me to relate to…it was clear that these four pillars make up the foundation of unconditional love. What was a new and a more subtle understanding was the way in which these four pillars are also the structure that allows us to truly let go.
So this was my homework on the way to the hospital. I had to go through each pillar to not just identify what I was letting go, but how I was letting go, to what extent (depth or layer) I was letting go and for whom I was letting go. An example of my process looked something like this:
Compassion: I had to make a conscious choice to let go of my miscarriages with compassion….compassion for myself, knowing that the process was part of my path and compassion for the miscarriage, knowing that the spirits that came to me are beings of light that deserve complete freedom to be exactly where they need to be in this moment.
Forgiveness: I needed to forgive myself for not caring more intimately for myself during the pregnancies and for not letting go sooner when the losses happened. I needed to forgive the souls that were with me for their role in the process. For whatever reason, they were not able to stay the duration of the pregnancy and I had to graciously forgive them for leaving.
Gratitude: I was able to have great gratitude for myself in relation to the emotional letting go that I had done so far and gratitude for the beings who trusted the experience to journey with me even if only for a short while.
Trust: I was truly able to feel the trust in myself on my path, as well as the trust in the universe that these beautiful souls were guided to me and were now being guided to a new dimension of light as I release them with compassion and unconditional love.
Try it…put anything you want to let go of into these four categories and ask yourself how it affects you and the issue/person/thing that you are letting go. While feeling your responses, practice vibrating unconditional love for yourself….and then ask, “how can I love myself even more?!” Notice the connection between unconditional love and letting go.
By breaking down “letting go” of the fibroid this way, I was able to see that there was no need to hold on to pain, pity, resentment or sadness. Whether my feelings were emotions that related to myself or were a reflection of my empathy for others, I needed to allow the energy to flow through me with effortless ease. I saw that if I could be unattached to the outcome, and act solely as a clear vessel through which prana could pass, this life force, by nature of its high vibration of unconditional love, would be of service to me and therefore to the whole. The cause of my pain and resulting tumor was the inability to really allow things to move through me. The holding created a block, a stagnation that manifested in physical form of dis-ease. It is a gift to realize that ultimately, the experiences we encounter in the human process of holding on and letting go and holding on and letting go again are actually for the purpose of learning to love ourselves more deeply. And the more we love, the more we can eliminate the step of holding and just stay in the state of letting go and letting it flow.
So now, a couple weeks post surgery, I am enjoying this realization while working through what seems like a very slow recovery process. Fortunately, I now have in my tool box the 4 pillars of letting go. The pillars remind me that each physical and emotional challenge in this process is an opportunity for letting go. And the key to letting go is letting unconditional love flow.