by Sharon Ray
“We come to the profound realization that the true path to liberation is to let go of everything.” Jack Kornfield
As we grow and change and evolve it is natural that our needs and our environment should change and evolve along with us, otherwise we are like a rose trying to bloom in the desert of the past. Our life is a reflection of what we value and, as what we value transforms, so does our life transform: our environment, our friends, and our activities. Sometimes these changes require a decision be made that says, “This doesn’t fit me anymore; it doesn’t describe me. I’m going to let it go and replace it with something better, something higher.”
It very often requires courage to let go, to detach. In fact, Sunburst teaches that detachment is one of the important words describing the virtue of courage. One of its opposites is grasping.
It takes courage to go into battle, but it also takes courage to walk away from the battlefield when we are called to stop fighting. An example is to let go of a relationship or an activity that no longer serves you. We grasp, clutching onto the hope that someone else or something else will change. We hold onto key people, places, and things because we are attached (sometimes addicted), and feel that we need them, that we won’t be happy without them, even if we are miserable with them.
Detachment is key on the spiritual path. It is difficult to go far without it—like trying to reach the top of Mount Everest but forgetting your water or your oxygen, or like trying to sail into outer space without dropping your booster rockets. Detachment is the ability to let go of every person, place, or thing that holds us back from progressing along the way. There are activities and people that, although they bring some pleasure or comfort in the moment, it is more destructive than constructive to have them in our lives. How can we detach so that we can move over onto the fast track in our spiritual life? After all, letting go leaves a void.
Filling that void with devotion is key. When we develop a love for God and a passion for God Union, where God becomes our mother, father, lover and best friend, our all-in-all, then little else is needed. “Become a spiritual alcoholic!” Yogananda said. This passion for God gives us the courage to do what we must do to live a healthy, serviceable life on the fast track to God. Devotion, in its ultimate form, gives us the ability to let go of everything, even of the small self we perceive ourselves to be, cleaving at last solely to the act of loving God.
God please empower me to let go of everything and everyone that is holding me back on the path homeward. I only want to see Your face. I only want to be with You. Make me a courageous Warrior of Light, strong in Your service. I am Yours, forevermore.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill