The revelation hit me when I was staring at my professor’s rainbow necklace made out of chopped color pencils. Terms like “expressive” and “interpretations” were being thrown around the room, and as their voices faded into the background, I raced to catch my thoughts, like falling pins, and plot them onto a bulletin board.
It’s not enough to cruise through life on auto. It’s the same concept as lowering your chance of getting into a car accident: to be aware, active, and buckle up. Maturity takes a certain amount of recognition: it’s the ability of knowing when you can let go and when you should, and then going through with it.
You could be letting go of anything— your dream or your desires, a looming responsibility, any emotion (joy, jealousy, greed, and so on), an ideology, an attachment, seemingly fated encounters or blind faith in destiny, temptation for revenge, your Netflix subscription— it can literally be anything.
The thing could be rooted to your core, heavy like throwing on the skin of a grizzly bear after you’ve been running around naked all your life, or the matter could be as light as a colorless broth, as weightless as the first words of small conversation. You know reality’s hard to swallow, but ya do it anyway.
To become so self-aware that you recognize your own tendency of thought, to recognize your situation, circumstances, and viable options (facing your insecurities, doubts, and fears), and then take the appropriate action (whether or not that involves your happiness with the process or result)… that is maturity, that is letting go. It has a selfless characteristic like love.
Then how does one let go without feelings of resentment, bitterness, or losing hope? Is it possible to ignore leftover feelings, toss aside distracted emotion and focus solely on forgiveness? (Perhaps forgiveness isn’t the right word, but I’m not sure what’s more fitting…). Can we let go of things of personal value without devaluing what we prized in the first place?
Letting go gives you room to breathe. I feel more mature, but I wonder if it’s only foolish pride of a late-bloomer. Our class topic had shifted to Buddhism’s idea of “the far enemy”:
The Far Enemy – cruelty, cold heartedness.
The New Enemy – pity, distancing yourself.
Compassion – the recognition that we are all part of being human.