Letting Go With Both Hands

Several years ago I dreamed I was outside my house as a giant windstorm approached over the horizon. Like the buildup to a hurricane, the trees swayed, and leaves and debris blew over the lawn and through the air. I knew that it was urgent that I find shelter inside, but I was worried about my son and kept searching for him outside. A part of my mind knew that the dream was echoing reality: it was a truly tumultuous time in our household as our son went through a difficult period, moved out, and struggled to live independently. Back in my dream, reluctant to give up, I stayed outside until the storm was upon me. Hurricane force winds pulled at me as I clung to the house, the rocks, the trees — holding on for all I was worth. Ultimately, as the wind pulled me off my feet, I could fight no longer, and I let go. In that instant I realized that I was going to be ok, that my son was going to be ok, and that letting go was the answer. Of course, this turned out to be the case in my waking life as well, as I learned to let go of intervening in my son’s life, to stop trying to “save” him. Fast forward to 2013, and I see the winds blowing wildly again, not just for me but for everybody. If 2012 was about the end of an era, or the close of a cycle, then 2013 has been all about letting go of the old: habits, patterns, social institutions, anything that no longer serves you — and ushering in the new. I find it interesting that in numerology, 13 doesn’t mean “bad luck,” it means “change.” Unfortunately, most of us will cling to the old, to the familiar, long past the expiration date, senselessly and relentlessly, until the winds of change force us to let go. Still, change is growth, and anything that isn’t growing is dying. Some call it karma, and view their life events as lessons in soul growth; others call it all happenstance. In the last year, thousands have lost loved ones, or their homes and all of their possessions to hurricanes, floods, forest fires, home fires and more. No amount of clinging could save what they had and now, like modern day Buddhist monks, they have been reduced to trusting the Universe to provide shelter and food for for their rice bowl. Now, faced with enormous changes in my own life, I am grateful that fate, karma, life, hasn’t been as harsh as all that with me. Older, and just a little bit wiser now, I feel the winds picking up, I see the trees sway and I look for the soul lesson, the old habits, attitudes and patterns that need to go, that which must be blown away. And even though I am afraid, I will not cling to the old. Instead, I lift my palms to the sky in surrender, knowing that it is my salvation, trusting that I will be ok. Finally, as the storm rolls over me, I am letting go with both hands.

by Cheryl Shainmark
Cheryl Shainmark is a writer, editor, and certified hypnotherapist with a private practice in New York. A long time contributor of articles and book reviews, Cheryl is now a senior editor and a regular columnist at Merlian News. When she is not reading, reviewing, or dreaming about books she can be found playing with cats of all stripes at her quiet country retreat.