Guest post: Are You Holding On Too Tight?

I don’t usually post articles that are not written by myself, but today I’ve read one that explains the matter that has been on my mind for such a long time so perfectly that I wanted to share it here. It’s about holding on to things in life. Really thought-provoking!

Original source:

Written by John C. Parkin, the author of one of my favourite books, F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way (I’ve written more about it here).

Maybe it’s because we innately know that everything is impermanent that we so desperately cling to it. But cling we do. We know that our youth vanishes, that we and our loved ones will die one day, that whatever we have accumulated can easily be taken away from us, that one day our skills might not be wanted, that a day may come when our love might not be reciprocated. But we go on clinging. Everywhere we turn we are faced with impermanence.

The more we cling—of course—the more pain we feel as things fade, disappear, die around us. And sometimes the more we cling, the more these things happen. Imagine someone in a relationship who is, yes, clingy. They hold on to what they think they love with an iron grip, are jealous at the slightest thing, spend their time in fear of what terrible things might happen rather than enjoying the relationship as it is. How does that make the other person feel? How long does that relationship last? (Bad. And not long. Just in case you were sitting there scratching your chin, wondering.)

The key to being able to let go of all the stuff you’re holding on to is knowing you’ll be OK if you don’t have it. And that’s the truth. This is a good exercise: go through all the things that you really want to hang on to in your life – the partner, the job, your health, your sense of humor, your family and friends, the soaps on TV—and tell yourself that you would (actually) be OK without them. You can survive with very little. And though the passing of people and things can be painful, you will survive. If you’re up for it, say this to yourself a few times: “I am OK with things passing and fading away in my life. I will be OK no matter what happens to me and those around me. I let go of my hold on life and allow life simply to flow around me and through me.” Relax, let go and get ready to accept everything as it is.

Accepting everything, just as it is, is a beautiful state to get to. Just feel it now: what would it be like to accept yourself just as you are, not slimmer or taller or better looking, just as you are right now? What would it be like to accept your life just as it is: job, family, friends, sex life, prospects, the whole bloomin’ lot, just as it is right now? And what would it be like to accept the world—f**ked-up, messy, warming up, war-strewn, greed-littered – just as it is?

Try it today. Accept the things that don’t go according to plan, the people that don’t treat you quite how you’d like to be treated, the bad news as well as the good. Start to enjoy feeling good inside yourself.

2 thoughts on “Guest post: Are You Holding On Too Tight?

  1. I agree with almost everything in this post except the part about not holding on to your health. I could be interpreting it differently, but health is vital and it’s hard to be OK if your health is poor. That said, there is no point stressing about a health condition you can’t change. In that sense, I agree with the author

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