A major transit from one of the slow moving outer planets to a planet or point in your natal chart usually translates into big life change, usually over the course of several years. This can leave us feeling confused, frightened and often completely wrung out. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to keep our emotional head above water. While things shift constantly around us there seems to be no foundation, no steady point to which we can anchor. This is when we must learn the sacred art of letting go.
Often, the emotion we feel most strongly is fear, but this primary emotion can become overlaid by a series of secondary emotions including anger and despair. It can be difficult to disentangle the truth of how we feel from the swirling chaos within. But when we emerge from the fog of our confusion we find ourselves confronting a truth that may be hard to accept: if you cannot control it you need to let it go.
You would be forgiven for thinking that letting go is a passive approach but I assure you there is nothing passive about it! Unclenching your fist from the edge of that cliff face may take more effort and force of will than anything you’ve previously achieved in your life, especially if it’s not something you’re accustomed to doing.
Letting go is no mean feat but it’s worth it. Like an acrobat trusting to the strength and timing of their partner we need to be able to have faith that we will be ok, that something greater is at work and that we will eventually emerge victorious.
I’m not a religious person but one of the most beautiful expressions of letting go that I know is found in Reinhold Niebuhr’s serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” These three qualities, serenity, courage and wisdom, are the essence of letting go.
Difficult transits remind us that we are not in control of our lives. We may believe we are, we may construct all kinds of edifices and systems to give ourselves the illusion that we are, but we’re not. At any point life can take a u-turn and everything we’re attached to will come tumbling down. Accepting that this is the nature of reality, that everything is impermanent, is at the core of letting go.
Buddhist teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh sums this up perfectly when he writes: “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
And the funny thing is, when we stop trying to force life into our preconceived idea of what is right or good we allow it to take us to entirely new and wonderful places. Life can open up for us in ways that we never expected. This is the reward of letting go.
The power of letting go…
If you’re like me you’ve experienced the wonderful freedom of letting go more than once in your life. When you felt you were about to break from the effort of holding on so fiercely you decided your only option was to surrender. What happened when you let go? Please share your experiences so we can all learn from each other…