Letting go is one of the hardest things to do. It’s one of the hardest lessons we learn in life – and one that tends to come up time and again until we learn the lesson.
Since Monday was the official start of fall, the notion of letting go has been top of mind. Fall serves as a reminder of the beauty of letting go – it’s not easy but it’s necessary for growth.
And it’s something entirely unavoidable for cancer patients. We’re confronted with losing not just our hair, but also our sense of identity, our place in the world, and the loss of our life as we know it. We’re even confronted with the possibility of the loss of our life entirely.
It’s terrifying and overwhelming and confusing.
Cancer, Hair Loss, and Letting Go of what was
I was certainly terrified of losing my hair – terrified it wouldn’t grow back the same. Terrified it wouldn’t be the unique, vibrant red that had been a central part of my identity for my whole life.
Eventually I came to accept that it was what it was and just hoped for something – anything – to grow back in. Hair is better than no hair.
Sure enough, it did NOT grow back in the same – not even close. There’s a hint of red in some lights, but it’s altogether different. And guess what – I quite love it too. I loved my old hair. I love my new hair. I even loved the bald at some moments.
And maybe it’s even better this way. Not that my hair now is better. But it’s also not ‘worse.’ I was so attached to my old hair color I wouldn’t touch it. I wouldn’t cut it. I wouldn’t do anything to mess it up. It was a unique color, a special color – special enough to have strangers and hairdressers say to me they wish they could bottle it up.
That was what I knew my whole life. I was the long-locked redhead and I was terrified that anything would change that.
And then life laughed at me and I lost every last bit of it – as if to say you think that’s what’s most important? You think that’s who you really are? Here’s a reality check – there are more important things. And you are so much more than your hair.
Letting go is a process of finding ourselves – who we really are at our core.
“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.”~ Deepak Chopra
Change is the only Constant – We Must Let Go to Grow
Change is scary, but it’s the only way we grow. While I don’t think hair color defines anyone, this change has served me a beautiful lesson in letting go – you can’t move forward if you’re still looking backward.
Interestingly, many people are more comfortable with the suffering they are currently experiencing than facing the fear of change. The fear of the unknown can hold an immense power over us. The suffering that we know is familiar, but it holds us back.
As the saying goes, when you let go of who you are, you become what you might be.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu~ Lao Tzu
There is a wide open sense of freedom and possibility that comes from letting go. Sometimes starting over is a wonderful gift. Shedding the past, accepting what is, and embracing the expansive possibility of an undefined future – that’s what the real work is.
Let go so you can let yourself Live
One of the great paradoxes of life is that clinging on to our desires often pushes them away, or keeps them just out of reach. The energy of wanting or grasping is different from that of having. Often the things we want most come to us once we ‘give up’ and let go.
Alternatively, sometimes holding on to what we think we want blocks us from receiving something even better. Change is scary, but change is what helps us grow. If we don’t take that risk of trying something new – if we hold on to what we know – we might never experience a whole other level of amazing.
Here is one of my favorite quotations on letting go:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”~ Joseph Campbell
The Abundant Power of Letting Go
You can’t receive new gifts or opportunities if you’re life is cluttered with old junk. Abundance comes by letting go and emptying the cup so we can fill it back up with something even more beautiful and delicious.
Sometimes we don’t even realize it but the things we hold on to are heavy – like emotional baggage, physical clutter, and relationships that drag us down or no longer feel uplifting.
This is particularly true for emotions – anger, disappointments, grudges, fears, loss, shame, sadness – these all keep us in a state of lack. Forgiveness can help us let go of the past. In fact, forgiveness is key to moving forward in our lives. Letting go of yesterday allows us to experience the full magic of today.
Once we let go and release the heaviness, we feel lighter and more joyful, free and open. Our vibration raises to receive with ease.
There is immense power and wisdom in letting go.
There could be a whole new world waiting for us if we just let go of our fears, doubts, limitations, hesitations and limiting beliefs.
Letting go could be the key to happiness, love, and abundance that you’ve been searching for. You hold the key to your future.