Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Adult Rite of Passage

What no one every really explains to you as you grow up is that during the course of your life you will have to learn to let a lot of things go. Life is really the process of letting go; letting go of childhood dreams, friends, family and ultimately ourselves. But letting go is just about the hardest thing to do due in part to the vast majority of our experiences  parents put our name in everything as children and tell us not to lose belongings, we are told to go off to college and take in every opportunity and we are told to get a job and keep it. We are rarely receiving the message to let go of things that we hold dear. We are taught that by acquiring things we will be happy weather it is wealth, a family or a new product-it is in the acquisition and keeping of things that we are happy. If that is the case why are so many of us unhappy? Why is the world always seeming to jump from one crisis to the next, always one step from total oblivion  Because the answer lies in letting go; of desires and negativity, of anger and hate. But how can we do these things, how can we give up what we have worked so hard to gain? I think that it is more of a state of mind than a constant action. We can achieve understanding through the "Adult Rite of Passage". It is the moment that we all realize that we will not be astronauts or star athletes, pop singers or doctors. For some of us these things will come true and we will live dreams, but for most of us the dream will change with the passing of time. We understand that although we won't win the World Series we might become fathers or mothers, we may find joy in teaching or building homes. We almost get all the way there, but we sometimes live out our childhood fantasies by watching TV shows of doctors or paying to see professional sporting events. It is OK to live in these fantasies from time to time as long as we acknowledge them as such. But it is through this distinct experience that we all share that we can learn to let things go. How many of us never learn to let things go and end up being upset by the world around us, failing to see that we are only upset with ourselves and our inability to change our perception of how we interact with the world. Letting go allows us to move on and to find other things that will help us feel joy, happiness and even other sorrows. Letting go of each of these emotions in turn will let us prepare for the next emotion and live that fully and without ghost of the past interfering. My challenge to you is to let go of fear, let go of pain and yes, let go of joy as well. Live those moments, experience those feelings and then move on, find the will to allow the next set of emotions into your experience. At times they will be sad, at times they will be exhilarating but new ones are always on the horizon and past experiences are always in the distance, they will always be there to visit if you want, but it should be on your terms. Live in the moment and then - let go.

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