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I attended a meditation retreat last summer and heard the poem She Let Go by Safire Rose for the first time. This beautiful poem resonated so deeply with me that I printed it out and put it in my daily journal so I could read it every day as a reminder. Full disclosure – my daily journal is sometimes weekly and occasionally monthly depending on life at the time.
Recently I’ve seen the poem posted twice on Facebook. It has such a powerful message that I thought I would share both the poem and my recent experience with letting go.
I really struggle with letting go – especially with what Buddhists call letting go of attachment to outcome. Sometimes I think I’m doing pretty well with letting go and then realize that I am still really attached to the way I want something to turn out.
My most profound experience with this was last year when my daughter Kathryn was very ill and in a lot of pain. Not surprisingly, I really wanted her to get better. Miraculously, spontaneously, just be better – now. Back to the way she was before she became ill. Even when she was finally diagnosed and scheduled for surgery I still just wanted her to be better right now – no hospital, no surgery, no more pain, just better.
I was totally holding on to the outcome I wanted even though the doctors had found out what was wrong with her and they were going to correct it. I was suffering because I didn’t want any of it to be happening. Fortunately for me the day before Kathryn went into hospital a very spiritual friend came to our house for a short visit.
While she was there she told us that Kathryn’s guardian angel was in the room. I was pleased to hear that Kathryn had a guardian angel but I was also quite ticked off that the angel wouldn’t just make everything all better – right then and there – like in the movies. I didn’t voice my thoughts but our friend passed on a message from the angel – I love Kathryn and I’ll be with her, but I can’t change her path.
There it was. Exactly the message I needed to hear to let go of my attachment to the outcome. The relief was instantaneous – like a weight being removed. Just like the poem says.
I can’t say that I was thrilled that Kathryn was going through such a tough experience but I can say that I resigned myself to the fact that for whatever reason, it was her path. I couldn’t change it but I could be there to love and support her. And I could do that so much better once I had let go of the way I wanted things to be and allowed “them to unfold in the new ways they’re supposed to.”1
1 quoted from I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver
She Let Go
by Safire Rose
She let go.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…
© 2003 Safire Rose (reprinted here with permission)