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Sculpture by my son, Javi. The hand is holding on, but the irony is he had to let go of his dislike of plaster in order to do it and in order to let go of that, he embraced his desire to do well in sculpture class. Go figure!

Letting Go Is Really About Holding On

Everybody is talking about letting go these days. I read about it everywhere. People seem to be obsessed with the notion of “letting go”. I understand it completely, but the more I ponder the concept of letting go, the more I realize that in order to let go, you have to do the opposite.

First of all, if you need to let go of something it’s because you held on to it. One cannot let go of that which one never held. So before we can let go of anything, we need to hold it. Therefore, letting go is inherently linked to holding. And yes, there are times when we need to let go, but when I analyze my own “letting go” process I notice, I never actually let go of anything, I just hold on to something else; something better.

For example, when we’re afraid of something and we need to overcome the fear to move on, are we letting go of the fear or are we embracing courage? When I brace myself and take plunges into places that have me scared shitless, my fear doesn’t go away; I don’t really let go of it, I embrace courage, determination, and hope. That helps you “overcome” the fear. You never actually let go of it.

Let’s say you are a parent and you need to “let go” of your children (aka, letting them grow up). Are we really letting go of our children? Of course not! You never stop being a parent, you never “let go” of your children, you “embrace” their adulthood and independence. You hold on to those concepts instead of the baby, helpless child one. You embrace the notion of having done a good job, you embrace confidence and trust in them that they can make the right decisions without you. It’s not “letting go” per se. It is holding on to growth.

When you need to let go of anger, what do we do? We embrace patience and love. We hold on to peace. When we need to let go of someone, we hold ourselves harder; we embrace our self-love (careful here, some people just hold on to someone else, instead of themselves, but the concept still holds). You let go of negative thoughts by embracing positive ones. It’s like that 3rd Newton Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So letting go actually means holding on. They are equal and opposite actions and they balance things out.

So the next time you feel like you need to let go of something, think about what the opposite is and hold on to that. Don’t let go; hold on to what really matters, with all your heart because when you’re holding on to love, you can’t hold hate; when you’re holding on to the light, you can’t be holding on to the darkness; when you’re holding on to trust, you can’t hold distrust, and so on and so forth. Think on that and hold on to a wonderful day!



I like putting my thoughts and ideas down on paper. Why not share them with the rest of the world?

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