Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

In order to have a sunny life on a moment-to-moment basis, you must be willing to let something new happen to you. No one sincerely asks for a new life until they are thoroughly dissatisfied with the old one. Letting go of the old ideas is the only way to really invite something new. This is what we are learning to do with the help of these higher ideas. Let’s look at one example of how our new self-knowledge can turn a painful and repetitive unhappiness into a bright and positive new experience.

Imagine that someone you think of as a friend suddenly becomes very disagreeable toward you. This could be at home or at work; the location and circumstances do not matter. We all know what happens. First, there is the initial confrontation. Then, either in a bang or like a kettle steadily building pressure, your friend begins expressing these angry and steamy feelings. Now you too are starting to boil. But you have been studying yourself. And, because you have been practicing higher self-observation, the arrival of these hot feelings brings with it more than just fire; there is also a new light. And in this special inner light, you can see that the surfacing anger is born out of being identified with feelings of fear: fear that this person before you doesn’t understand you, might leave you, has stopped “caring,” or will no longer serve to confirm your point of view.

In past situations such as these, prior to the awakening of this higher self-awareness, you would have gone on heating up and probably gone off yourself. There would have been yet another self-explosion and more people, including yourself, would have hated their day. However, that is not the case this time. Why? Because instead of defending your position, as was your old habit, you now understand that this “you” who is feeling threatened or attacked is not who you really are. You know your true nature never needs to defend any psychological or emotional position. This higher knowledge, along with your wish to let something new happen, allows you to simply and instantly drop this reactionary and false identity. Congratulations! At the instant you dropped this false life, you merged with real life. Here’s the explanation: by starting your life over in that moment—by not borrowing your life from a heated reaction—you let that negative fear-feeling live and die. When you allowed yourself to let go of what was old, you stayed true to what is new.

The benefits of this clear-cut new and true action are many. Just one of them is that you don’t have to go on living with the angry or anxious feelings that always accompany the insistence that others see life as you do.

Here are five life-liberating insights that will help you to let something new happen in your life. In itself, real higher understanding supplies you with everything you need to actualize it: clarity, instruction, and encouragement to succeed.

1. Self-doubt is born out of being identified with the idea that how you feel about yourself depends upon how others feel about you.
Give up self-doubt.
It only makes you more dependent on others who can’t do anything about their own self-doubt. Independence is confidence.

2. Self-righteousness is born out of being identified with the idea that just because you can point out something that is wrong places you above that wrongness.
Give up self-righteousness.
It only feels like something right. It is coming from something that is wrong. Right isn’t something you feel; it is something you are.

3. Self-pity and past regrets are born out of being identified with the idea that you could have done differently than you did. If you could have, you would have.
Give up regret.
It only ties you to the old life-level that didn’t know better and keeps you from the one that does.

4. Anger is born out of being identified with the fear you feel when others won’t conform to your point of view.
Give up anger toward others and yourself.
See that the force of fear is not strength. Remember that for any and every action of force, there is an equal and opposite one. This explains why the fighting never ends. Let it end.

5. Self-torment is born out of being identified with the idea that the more you suffer, the more real, the more important, you must be.
Give up self-torment.
It drives you—but it doesn’t take you anywhere. Who you really are never suffers over who it isn’t.

The gradual realization that you need never again try to find yourself in your thoughts about yourself is a happy one. It’s a bit like suddenly realizing that hitting yourself over the head was the cause and not the cure for your daily headaches! To your grateful amazement, you discover that the inner pounding you so wished would go away finally came to a stop when you stopped pounding. This startling realization brings you to a crucial moment in your quest for self-newness. And you must be resolute. As you begin to suspend your habitual involvement with yourself—which you know you must do in order to let something new happen—you begin to notice an altogether different kind of disturbing feeling starting to rise up within you. You would never have believed it, but it’s right in front of your inner eyes: you are actually beginning to worry about what is going to happen to you without your worry. Nothing doing! You instantly catch and drop this fake feeling, along with the rest of the inner impostors. They want you to believe that without stress, there might not be life! And yet, even with this silly notion out of the way, you are still tempted for a moment to drop the findings of your own inner discoveries. Anything seems better than this increasing self-uncertainty. Don’t mistake these feelings of fear for friends. Listen instead to what truth is trying to tell you.

Have no concern whatsoever over where these feelings of unknowing will lead you. The seemingly intelligent self-concern over your rising feelings of vulnerability is nothing but another false identity. Suspend it as well. Deny its re-entrance into your life. This total suspension of self allows the present moment to flood in unfiltered and uncolored. Something genuinely new is happening, and you know it. This newness is your true home. Within it, you are safe and out of the reach and grip of familiar but fierce self-creating thoughts and feelings. Persist with this higher kind of self-suspension for as long as it takes. Slowly but surely, the drag of your habitual self will weigh on you less and less. As you grow lighter in spirit, you will see that this new life you have fought for is who you really are: your true nature. It was there all along, like the strong, unshakable shelter of a deep mountainside cave you were at first afraid to enter when caught off guard by a fierce storm. To your everlasting delight, you find within this special kind of newness true refuge. In this strength yours is renewed. All is well. The storms can no longer reach you.

Here is a special exercise that can help you to start letting go of yourself. Every time you catch yourself just about to take a swim in the old habitual river of thoughts and feelings, practice self-suspension. Here’s how to get started: don’t let the current of the past dictate the direction of the present moment. Have your own life right now. You are not your thoughts and feelings. Dare to live without each painful identity that calls for you to embrace it and do its bidding. Let something new happen each moment by letting these old, habitual sensations go their way unobstructed. Stay out of them. Work at this special self-suspension and inner alertness until the day you find this newness you once had to struggle to endure is now something you could not endure living without!

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