Question: When we have a negative experience and we want to let it go, why is it so difficult to just drop it? We wouldn’t hold on to a hot iron if we grabbed it!

Answer: Because the pain, the problem, isn’t the event itself. If there was a you involved in the moment of whatever the condition is, then the condition wouldn’t play out the way it does. I am half the equation I don’t want in my life. What I can’t let go of isn’t because it can’t be dropped, but because something in me is clinging to it. Only the awareness of this part of myself that is fascinated with what it doesn’t want can bring the end of that fascination and free me from that level of self.

Question: How do we make letting go a daily practice?

Answer: The first thing that everybody has to understand is that letting go isn’t an idea; it’s a necessity.

When the fall comes and it is time for the trees to let go of their leaves, the tree doesn’t have to think to itself, “What do I do with these leaves?” There is a natural relationship between the environment, the tree, and the leaves.

Letting go is the most natural thing on the earth. It’s what happens when I realize that something has served its purpose and is of no further use to me -– for instance my anger, my impatience, or my fear. But I have to be present enough, aware of the fact that these old forms are coming out on this tree, and recognize, “You know what? That is no longer of any use to me.”

The clearer I can be of the uselessness of the old states that used to define me, the easier they fall away. There is no struggle in it. It’s a recognition of what is useless and what is useful, and nothing is more useful than letting go of useless negative states.

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