Events and Life Mindsets

The importance of letting go

As I grow a little older, I am reminded more and more how important letting go is. The Four Noble Truths state Buddhism’s fundamental principles and the second one links suffering to craving or attachment. I like the way it is explained on the Zen Buddhism site:

The second noble truth tells us that the root of all suffering is attachment. To avoid suffering, we need to understand what causes suffering and then weeding out these causes from our lives.

According to Buddha, the basic cause of suffering is “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”.

My wife reminded me about this with a good post she published on her blog which touches on this theme:

#Zombieprompts Week 13

It is so easy to create expectations of our world and form attachments to how we want things to be. That just creates so much stress and it’s only when we pause, take a breath and let go a little that we realise just how damaging our attachments are. It’s also easier said than done but little releases help a lot too.

Image credit: Bossfight


“… you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.”

Ever notice how we fixate on how we think things should be and our attachment to that expectation just causes frustration and anxiety when things don’t actually turn out the way we expected?

What would happen if we let go of that attachment and adapted to the circumstances we find ourselves in instead? I came across this quote recently which expresses this idea really nicely. It is apparently by Heather Hepler from her book, The Cupcake Queen, and it mirrors a philosophy of letting go of our attachments to things because those attachments cause suffering.

At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.

The crab in my photo is another reminder of why it can be so important to let go. We came across this crab at the Tel Aviv Port. It was hanging from a fishing line and that probably wasn’t where it intended to be when it began its day. I have no idea what passed through its mind (to the extent it has one) but I’d like to think it shifted its focus to its survival and didn’t lament how it just didn’t expect to be caught by the fisherman and hauled out of the water.

It cut the line moments after I took this photo and dropped under the boardwalk to the water below.