Ensnared in the grip of the unessential

Ethel’s book on the redefinition of power makes an important point about letting go. 

It’s a mark of security when we are so comfortable in our own skin that there is no nagging doubt about the road not taken, the opportunities missed and the shortness of the road remaining. 

Sounds like a peaceful place to be. 

The challenge is, how do normal people, who aren’t monks, attain that level of comfort? 

One answer is, hard work. We read the books, take the classes and do the practices to improve our ability to accept ourselves. Accepting that each moment of letting go is an act of mercy toward ourselves. And over time, we become skilled spotting the signs that letting go may be in order. 

The other answer is, wait a while. Because as we get older and begin creeping closer to the edge of the eternal black abyss, we no longer wish to become ensnared in the grip of the unessential. As we gain a greater sense of our own mortality, our dogged determination to stick with things solely out of our desire for consistency, our fear of failing ourselves and disappointing others, and our stubbornness to try and hold onto whatever we think will give us security, that all fades away. 

Because there is no security. There is only right now. And it could all be gone in an instant. Any of us at any time could slip away forever into unending darkness. 

And so, do we really want to spend our precious time dwelling on foolishness? Do we really need to stay seated in this movie theater for another eighty minutes while this train wreck piece of shit superhero movie continues to insult our intelligence? 

I remember something my mentor once said about his retirement. 

The problem is not how to have your cake and eat it too, the problem is that you are eventually going to die. 

It’s a morbid but meaningful reminder that time is a precious resource, and one that we have less and less of every day. 

And since pain is always a sign that we are holding onto something, it only makes sense to let go of as much as possible. 


What part of your past are you still holding onto with an angry bite?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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