You were holding on to something you knew was very tenuous. Your hold kept on getting weaker every day, but you had the faintest glimmers of hope that it would survive somehow. And you found it extremely difficult, nay, impossible, to let the hope go. The reality kept on colliding with your fond hopes, and almost unbearable pain resulted at each such collision. You felt sick of the pain you had to endure, understood what caused it, and yet were unable to let it go. Like a gambler, you kept losing the majority of deals; the smaller ones you won kept your hopes alive, but you knew in your heart that finally you would rise from the table defeated and completely lost.
And then, one day, you awake to the fact. You finally realize that it is of no use. You acknowledge that the game was unwinnable. You recall all the negative signs and together they jolt you with a great shock as you find that you were in fact aware of them all the while but were deluding yourself and rationalising the irrational.
Hope tilts the balance in favour of any thing you want no matter what the cost.
To lose even that tiniest hope, brings you the greatest pain you can imagine. It is at this point that people go mad, or commit suicide. Life loses its meaning, nothing matters any more, and you find it difficult to even breathe.
It doesn’t really matter what you were hoping for. But the more insignificant the thing you wanted, and the greater the intesity of your desire, the greater would be the pain. If you simply wanted something trivial which mattered a great deal to you, the disappointment will gnaw at your innards till you start feeling totally empty.
It is said in many tradtions that the times of adversity are tests designed to test your mettle or faith or whatever. But who cares about such tests? Did you opt for taking such a test? No, it was thrust upon you, and you got tortured. Who wants to take such tests?
But then, the loss of that most tenuous thread of hope, can wake you up from you dream-ful slumber. You start seeing, no, acknowledging, the things as they are. You knew the reality before too, but you saw it in a translucent haze caused by your hope and silly desires.
So what happens when you wake up? The pain is still there, but you know what needs to be done. You knew it earlier too, but that little sliver of hope prevented you from taking any meaningful action. And there is only one meaningful action you can take; that is to let go. You can’t hold on to something which is slipping from your hands no matter how hard you try to grip it. You can’t turn the tide of events which are beyond your control. But you can do one thing: you can let go what you had been desperately trying to hold on to. It might sound a bit preposterous, but it is the truth: you can let go; that is the only thing you can do. You cannot tighten your grip any further beyond your strength, but you can always let go as letting go doesn’t need any strength in your limbs. You see that it was your effort to hold on to something slippery which was causing you anguish, and you just quit.
What a relief it can be. Are you in some deep love which is not reciprocated as you desire? Let go. Are you in the danger of losing someone you love on account of some terrible disease or accident? Let go. Are you not being properly understood and valued by people who matter a lot in your life? Let go; accept it.
You might complain that it is not easy to let go, but I tell you: trying to hold on is far more difficult and painful. Unless you are a diehard masochist, you would let go at some point or the other. Actually, you would be forced to let it go. It is far easier if you could let it go without any compulsion. It would be far easier to learn not to try to hold on to something. You might learn it by reading the words I am writing, or you might learn the truth after going through the hell yourself.
I just hope that you haven’t stumbled on this post AFTER you have gone through some hell. I hope you have come here BEFORE you experience it, and learn from this post.
And before I sign off, here is an unasked for advice: don’t ever do, or not do, anything, which you know would really hurt another human being. Such acts of commission, or omission, have a way to come back to you sooner or later.