Letting Go (The “Biggie”)

A while back, while chatting with Pam (my sweet, wise coaching and spiritual teacher) at the weekly SF insight gathering, she asked me: “So Michael, what’s up for you these days?” I answered her:”Still working on letting go”, to which she replied: “Yeah, that’s the biggie, isn’t it?”
HA! No kidding! In all ways, it’s the biggie.

As we move through our daily lives in this “culture” we humans have created which we call a “civilization”, and as we try to find a container for all of the stuff coming at us relentlessly through the media – from the haters in this country and around the world, the murder, mayhem and injustice, the mindless destruction of our precious planet, more than we can possibly digest, it is really, really difficult to not get lost in anger and despair.

Right now, it seems to me, that the only path to some peace of mind in the middle of all this, is letting go of the way the way things “need to be” (my opinion naturally, on how things “need to be”). So, finding a way to “be OK” with how things actually will turn out, (no matter what I think or want), seems to be the key. (which brings up another topic: that of the “liberation of surrender” what that means – when that’s appropriate – another blog sometime?)

Important too though, is to keep in mind not to use this “attitude” as an excuse to cop out on our responsibilies to do what we can to help – whether or not the result suits us. We still need to do that.
Lao Tzu said ” Do your work, then step back – the only path to serenity.” Well Lao my man, I’m workin’ on it…stay tuned!

Further on the topic of letting go, (and a really lovely story), I came across a quote from Nietzsche with a reference to Odysseus, Nausicaa, and letting go – yes, even of our lives, so I checked it out. I’ll get back to the quote in a minute, first the story:

In one of Odysseus’ adventures, it seems like he was shipwrecked and washed up on the shores in the kingdom of the Phaeacians. He was discovered, on the beach, naked and on death’s door, by the princess Nausicaa, the daughter of the king.
She rescues him, sees to his healing, during which time she falls deeply in love with him. Odysseus meanwhile, searches deeply into his feelings, and realizes that what he feels for Nausicaa is profound gratitude, but not love.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, his wife Penelope, is being told that Odysseus is dead, and she is being pestered to remarry. She’s stalling, promising to do so as soon as she finishes knitting this sweater (or whatever), which she knits by day, and unravels at night.
So, Odysseus, still in love with Penelope, tells Nausicaa that he wants to return to his wife, and asks for her help. Nausicaa, her heart breaking, nevertheless intervenes with her father, the king, to outfit Odysseus with ships and supplies so he can leave her. She not only lets him go, she helps him go.
WOW!! For me, the ultimate manifestation of truly loving behavior, setting your beloved free, putting your beloved’s happiness above your own…who among us can love that much?
So,now for the Nietzsche quote: “We should part from our lives as Odyssues left Nausicaa – in gratitude and blessing them, but not in love with them.”
Gotta let go now…see you next time,

Be kind to yourself.


About Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a life coach, author and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending 35 years in business - coaching found him - and he's never looked back. Michael uses his coaching training and experience, in the service of his clients, as their constant and loving guide towards joyous, fulfilling lives which are genuinely their own. He lives with his dear wife in Sausalito, CA.

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